A former minister in the government of defeated Brazilian ex-president Jair Bolsonaro was arrested early Saturday, local media reported, in connection with looting government buildings.
Thousands of so-called “bolsonaristas” raided government seats in the capital on Sunday, breaking windows and furniture, vandalizing precious works of art and leaving graffiti messages calling for a military coup.
More than 2,000 rioters were detained after the events, for which the full extent of damage is still being calculated.
A Supreme Court judge announced on Friday that Bolsonaro will be drawn into an investigation into the origins of the firing, which was sparked by anger over the far-right leader’s election defeat to President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Anderson Torres, Bolsonaro’s last justice minister, was arrested when he arrived in Brasilia from the United States, where both he and his former boss were at the time of the attempted uprising.
He was wanted under a Supreme Court order for alleged “conspiracy” with the rioters, and is charged with “negligence” in his most recent job as chief of security for the capital.
Flavio Dino, Lula’s new justice minister who replaced Torres, said on Friday that authorities would give his predecessor until Monday to return to Brazil or face extradition.
The new minister also confirmed the discovery in Torres’ house of a draft decree proposing emergency measures for the possible “correction” of the October election, which Lula won by a razor-thin margin.
The undated and unsigned draft bears Bolsonaro’s name at the bottom, but Dino said the authorship was unknown.
The document, published late Thursday in the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo, calls for the creation of an “election commission” to take over the electoral oversight functions of the Higher Electoral Court.
(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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