Brazil: Minister Says Attack On Gov’t Buildings Worse Than US Capitol Riot


By Karine Melo

Minister Paulo Pimenta, head of the Brazilian president’s Communication Secretariat—which holds ministry status—described on Monday (Jan. 9) the invasion and depredation of the headquarters of the three branches of government in Brasília yesterday as more serious than the attack on the US Capitol two years ago.

“The episode that occurred in Brazil is more serious than what happened at the Capitol. What we had there was an attempt to invade the headquarters of the Legislative Branch. Here, we’re witnessing the invasion of the headquarters of all three branches of power,” he declared.

In a bid to convey political stability, Pimenta said that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva decided to work from the Planalto presidential palace today. The damage caused to rooms in the headquarters of three branches of government did not reach Lula’s office, which has an armored door. The head of the Supreme Court, Justice Rosa Weber, whose office was also not affected, is expected to follow suit.


Minister Pimenta told reporters today that nothing that took place in Brasília yesterday could have happened “without some level of connivence.” “The main door was not broken, so people walked in through the door. In the Congress building, the door was not damaged either. At the Supreme Court, you can see the door was destroyed—which clearly leads me to believe that investigations will mostly likely indicate that they may have come in here [the Planalto presidential palace] and in the National Congress through the main door,” he said.

It was a thwarted attempt at a coup d’état, he went on to argue. “In our view, what happened here was not an act against the Executive Branch. It was an attack on democracy, on the Constitution. It was an attempted coup d’état, which failed to materialize.”

While giving an updated account of the terrorist acts led by the supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday, Paulo Pimenta pointed out that blood, feces, and urine were found in the palace rooms, and works of art were destroyed. “Onlookers said [the rioters] seemed beside themselves with hate, like a horde of zombies. They were running down hallways, smashing things, urinating, defecating in the corridors and in the rooms on one destruction spree,” he stated.

Pimenta also said that those involved must to be held accountable immediately under both civil and criminal law. An inquiry should be put in place, he added, to identify everyone who supported, financed, and participated in the rallies in Brasília and other states. “We will not tolerate any behavior that aims to weaken democracy or the Constitution.”


Agência Brasil (ABr) is the national public news agency, run by the Brazilian government. It is a part of the public media corporation Empresa Brasil de Comunicação (EBC), created in 2007 to unite two government media enterprises Radiobrás and TVE (Televisão Educativa).

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