Brazilian Election Protest Becomes Chaotic Riot

The scenes on January 8th looked familiar. People wore the colors of their country. They carried flags. They went past police barriers. They broke windows. They illegally entered government buildings. Many people were reminded what happened in the United States on January 6, 2021. However, this was not the United States. This was Brazil.

In November, Brazil had an election. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known as Lula, beat President Jair Bolsonaro to become president. Bolsonaro did not accept the results of the election. He said Lula cheated. Bolsonaro did not have evidence. Brazilian courts ruled that Lula won fairly. Bolsonaro travelled to Miami, Florida.

Bolsonaro supporters continued to protest. On January 8th, 100 busses of protestors arrived in Brasilia, the capital city of Brazil. They stormed the Supreme Court building, the presidential palace, and National Congress building. The protest had become a riot [a violent disturbance of peace by a large crowd]. It was a Sunday, so not many people were in the buildings. Lula was in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo at the time.

The crowd vandalized [deliberately destroyed property] the buildings. Only 365 military police were on hand. Almost 3,000 reinforcements arrived. They drove the rioters out of the capitol. They arrested around 400 of the rioters. Jair Bolsonaro condemned [spoke out against] the riots. Lula promised to punish those responsible. It will take a long time to restore order to Brazil.

What Do You Think Recently, people have had trouble agreeing with the results of elections, especially when their side loses. What can be done to help people trust the results of elections?

Photo Credit: Matheus Alves/dpa picture alliance/Alamy Stock Photo