Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has removed 40 troops guarding the presidential residence after expressing distrust in the military for failing to act on protesters who looted government buildings on Jan. 8.
His decision was published in the Government Gazette on Tuesday.
Most of the troops guarding the Alvorada Palace, as the presidential residence is known, are from the military, but some are also members of the navy, air force and a militarized police force.
Last week, Lula told reporters that members of the security forces were complicit in allowing a mob of supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro to storm the main buildings that are the seat of power in Brasilia.
The president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on who would replace the troops guarding the residence.
Investigations into the rampage have begun to show seemingly deliberate security flaws that allowed it to happen.
Several thousand Bolsonaro supporters stormed Congress, Planalto’s presidential palace and the Supreme Court to overturn the results of October’s election, which Lula narrowly won.
“There were many people who were complicit in this among the military police. There were many people from the armed forces who were complicit,” Lula told reporters. “I am convinced that the door to the palace was opened to let these people in, because I did not see the door broken.”
Lula has also ramped up criticism of the military for doing nothing to dissuade a two-month-old encampment of Bolsonaro supporters outside the headquarters, where they begged the military to reverse the presidential election result.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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