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Brazil to investigate former President Bolsonaro's role in Brasilia riots

Several Democrats have called for the U.S. to extradite Bolsonaro to Brazil and many more have drawn parallels between the acts of Bolsonaro's supporters and the events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol.

Published: January 13, 2023 9:24pm

Updated: January 13, 2023 9:41pm

Brazil's Supreme Federal Court will investigate the role of former President Jair Bolsonaro in the recent riots that saw his supports storm multiple government buildings in the capital city of Brasilia, demanding the ouster of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

"By posting a video on January 10 (two days after the attack) questioning the legality of the 2022 presidential elections, Bolsonaro delivered a public incitement to commit crimes," a statement from the court read, according to CNN. Bolsonaro on Tuesday shared a video on Facebook of a woman questioning the legality of the 2022 presidential election, which was subsequently deleted. The video was posted after the riots.

The court's decision honors a request from public prosecutor office, per the outlet.

Lula triumphed over Bolsonaro last year in the closest electoral contest in the country's recent memory. His mere candidacy was controversial as the then-former President had been convicted in connection with a corruption scheme and barred from seeking office in the 2018 contest that Bolsonaro ultimately won. The high court, however, overturned his 2017 conviction. Seven of the court's eleven justices were appointed by Lula directly or by his successor, Dilma Rousseff.

Bolsonaro declined to contest the election results and left the nation for Florida prior to Lula taking office. His supporters, however, were less willing to accept Lula's victory and took matters into their own hands to remove a leader whom they viewed as hopelessly corrupt. The effort was unsuccessful and more than 1,500 participants have been arrested.

Several Democrats have called for the U.S. to extradite Bolsonaro to Brazil and many more have drawn parallels between the acts of Bolsonaro's supporters and the events of Jan. 6, 2021, at the United States Capitol.

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