Brazil: Top Court Sentences Another Jan. 8 Rioter To 17 Years In Jail


By André Richter 

Brazil’s Supreme Court on Thursday (Sep. 14) sentenced Matheus Lima de Carvalho Lázaro—the third defendant in the case of the January 8 putschist riots—to 17 years in prison.

It was also ruled he should pay a collective sum of BRL 30 million along with the other defendants for their participation in the depredation of government buildings in Brasília.

He was arrested on the Esplanade of Ministries on the day of the attacks after emerging from the National Congress building carrying a penknife. According to investigators, he had sent messages to family members during the riots advocating military intervention to seize power.

Based on the vote of the rapporteur, Justice Alexandre de Moraes, the majority of the ministers confirmed the defendant had committed the crimes of armed criminal association, violent abolition of the democratic state of law, attempted coup d’état, damage aggravated by violence and serious threat, and deterioration of property listed as heritage.


During the trial, Larissa Lopes de Araújo, the defendant’s lawyer, wept as she made her argument and accused the Supreme Court of not respecting the Constitution.

She argued the defendant did not take part in the depredation, adding that security camera images show him away from the Esplanade in less than five minutes of footage.

“At what point did Matheus enter the three buildings and break everything? Tell me! In five minutes? Only if he was a superman,” she questioned.


Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court convicted two more defendants of the same five crimes. Aécio Pereira, arrested on the Senate floor, was sentenced to 17 years in prison, while Thiago Mathar, arrested inside the Planalto presidential palace, received a 14-year sentence.

On January 8, the headquarters of the three branches of power—Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary—were destroyed by demonstrators. Among them were people calling for a military intervention in the country.

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