Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said Thursday he was “certain” that Jair Bolsonaro was the mastermind behind the March 8 attack on government buildings in Brasilia.
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“Today I’m aware and I’m saying it loud and clear: this citizen (former President Bolsonaro) prepared the coup,” Lula said in an interview with local television station RedeTV!
On Jan. 8, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters, unhappy with Lula’s victory over his far-right rival in the October 2022 presidential election, stormed and vandalized the presidential palace, Congress and the Supreme Court.
A Brazilian judge has decided to include the ex-leader, who left Brazil for Florida at the end of December, in an investigation aimed at finding out who is behind the looting of Brazilian institutions.
“I’m sure Bolsonaro took an active part in it and is still trying to take part,” Lula added when asked about the former president’s role in these events.
“They wanted to make this mess on Jan. 1, but they realized they couldn’t because there were too many cops and too many people on the streets,” Lula added.
These statements come on the same day as those made by Senator Marcos do Val, who said he had attended a meeting with the ex-president to prevent Lula from taking power.
According to his lawyers, Jair Bolsonaro has applied to extend his six-month visa to stay in the United States. He denies any connection to the January 8 events.
Lula, 77, narrowly won the election: 50.9% versus 49.1% for Bolsonaro.
“We have defeated Bolsonaro, but we have yet to defeat Bolsonarianism,” President Lula finally said in the interview on local television.