Brazil: Congress Probe Names Bolsonaro Among 61 Accountable For Jan. 8 Riots


By Carolina Pimentel

The joint parliamentary commission of inquiry investigating the anti-democratic riots of January 8 approved Wednesday (Oct. 18) the request to charge ex-President Jair Bolsonaro and 60 others—including five former ministers and eight generals of the Armed Forces—with staging an attempted coup d’état during the storming of the headquarters of the three branches of power in Brasília.

With 20 votes in favor and 11 against, commission members approved the report by Senator Eliziane Gama. There was one abstention.

Among the individuals listed are former president Jair Bolsonaro; Generals Walter Braga Netto, Augusto Heleno, Luiz Eduardo Ramos, Paulo Sérgio Nogueira, Marco Antonio Freire Gomes, Ridauto Lúcio Fernandes, Carlos Feitosa Rodrigues, and Carlos José Penteado; former Navy Commander Admiral Almir Garnier Santos; Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid; former Justice Minister Anderson Torres; and former Federal Highway Police Director-General Silvinei Vasques.

The report recommends that former President Bolsonaro be charged with crimes of criminal association, attempting to violently abolish the democratic rule of law, attempting to depose a legitimately constituted government, and using measures to prevent the free exercise of political rights. The rapporteur regards Bolsonaro as the mastermind behind the riots.

Senator Gama also included the names of several other military personnel, federal highway police officers and members of the Federal District military police, as well as several others suspected of having financed or influenced the attempted coup d’état on January 8.

“Democracy was attacked. The masses were manipulated with hate speech. Digital militiamen were employed to spread fear, discredit opponents and launch attacks on the electoral system. Security forces were co-opted. Attempts were made to corrupt, obstruct, and annul the elections. They use freedom of expression to drown out expression,” the senator said as she read the text.

The report will be submitted to the bodies tasked with investigating accountability, like the Federal Prosecution Service.

*With information from Agência Senado.

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