Who are the Bolsonaristas who participated in the January 8 assault in Brazil and what are they facing?

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Almost 1,400 people remain in prison in the capital for the siege of the headquarters of the three Brazilian powers. Investigators are now focused on finding out who financed the attempted coup

Who are the Bolsonaristas who participated in the assault and what are they facing? January 8 assault in Brazil


Maria ZuppelloFrom São Paulo, Brazil.

Who are the Bolsonaro supporters who participated in the January 8 assault in Brazil and what are they facing

Bolsonaro supporters during the assault on the Brazilian Congress in Brasilia (REUTERS/Adriano Machado/archive)

So far, 1,395 people remain in prison in Brasilia, the men in the Papuda male penitentiary – the same one that housed Marcos Williams Herbas Camacho, alias Marcola, the leader of the Primero Comando da Capital > (PCC), the main criminal organization in the country – the women in the Colmeia prison. But the number could increase, since the Brazilian federal police is still in full investigation. It has even created a special email (denuncia8janeiro@pf.gov.br) for anyone wishing to send information about the events of January 8.

The network has also been launched. Instagram profiles have been created, linked to the Workers' Party, Lula's PT, which publish photos and accept complaints from any citizen, thus overlapping the actions of the federal police. Initially, at the request of the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Alexandre de Moraes, 1,500 people had been arrested, most of them imprisoned in the camp located in front of the Army headquarters in Brasilia. From this large group, the elderly, the sick, and children with their parents were released. It was, however, a unique collective arrest in the history of Brazil, to the point that even the Public Ministry of the Federal District, where Brasilia is located, mobilized to provide a sufficient number of prosecutors.

According to an investigation by the Brazilian news site Metrópoles, which was based on the official list released by the Federal District Penitentiary Administration Secretariat (Seape), some of the detainees had criminal records for robbery, threats, domestic violence and drug trafficking. One of them, Antônio Geovane de Sousa, 24, has an arrest warrant on suspicion of murder, while Edna Borges Correa, 54, is accused in another process of criminal association. Three employees of the Federal District Health Secretariat also participated in the devastation of the palaces of power. Of those arrested, 54 had previously tried to run for political office since 2000, including one from Lula's PT, Marcio Castro Rodrigues. But only three had been elected, of which only one was a woman, Odete Enfermeira, who became a councilor for the Liberal Party (PL) of Bolsonaro in Ponte Serrada, in the state of Santa Catarina. Among those detained are also a former Air Force soldier and an army colonel.

The extremists now detained, who probably will not be indicted under the 2016 Anti-Terror Law because it does not contemplate the politically motivated, they can be sentenced to up to 12 years in prison, according to some Brazilian criminal lawyers. The governor of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Eduardo Riedel, of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), has announced that it has made its state Public Defender's Office available to provide legal assistance to those who cannot afford it.

Who are the Bolsonaristas who participated in the January 8 assault in Brazil and what are they facing

Until now, 1,395 people remain in prison in Brasilia for the events of January 8 (REUTERS/Adriano Machado/file)

And if the masses, since the times of ancient Rome are easy bodies to move , it is the roots that the Brazilian police are now investigating to find out who paid for the dozens of buses that arrived in Brasilia on January 8 from all over Brazil and possible financial aid that were promised to the demonstrators during their stay in Brasilia.

According to Justice Minister Flavio Dino, among the financiers there would be people “from agribusiness, hunters, marksmen and collectors of weapons (the CACs as they are called in Brazil) and merchants from the South and Southeast of the country”, where Bolsonaro had earned more votes in the elections on October 30.

For Environment Minister Marina Silva, “the enraged mass of events in Brasilia is linked to the crimes in the Amazon”.

“It is necessary to severely punish the financiers”, declared Folha de São Paulo Marcello Brito, former president of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association ( Abag), “but the agribusiness that is behind these demonstrations is a small minority that does not represent the 5 million producers,” he said. It is no coincidence that the Mato Grosso do Sul Soybean and Corn Producers Association (Aprosoja) expressed in a statement its repudiation to the events of January 8. “We defend freedom of thought and peaceful demonstration, but we cannot agree at all with the invasion and looting of any property, whether public or private.”

Regarding In search of possible financiers, some American politicians from the Democratic Party have asked the FBI to check if there was also financing from the United States, while in the coming days a team of Brazilian prosecutors will travel to Washington to meet with their American colleagues who dealt with the invasion of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Who are the Bolsonaro supporters who participated in the January 8 assault in Brazil and what are they facing


However, it is important to underline that Brazilian extremism, as manifested in the invasion of the palaces of power in Brasilia, still does not appear to be structured into movements with a strong and well-established organization, hierarchy and ideology. defined as occurs in the United States with QAnon , Proud Boys or Oath Keepers , groups that have even created armed militias often linked to European far-right extremism. The Brazilian detainees, as can be seen from the videos discovered by the police and released by the press, were mainly motivated by a dangerous nostalgia for the times of the military dictatorship, to which a vague return was expected. with the slogan of “military intervention” and a violent rejection of the return of the PT and Lula. However, we must not forget that Brazil, like other Latin American countries that hosted fled Nazis after World War II, may continue to be fertile ground for this less structured extremism to take root in even more violent and organized forms.

It is no coincidence that Rüdiger Von Pescatore, one of the German soldiers arrested in December in Berlin along with 24 other members of a far-right terrorist group suspected of planning an attack on the German Parliament, would have been living in southern Brazil. In Blumenau and Pomerode, in the southern state of Santa Catarina, Von Pescatore owns two companies that are still active. In addition, according to the monitoring of the Brazilian anthropologist Adriana Dias, from May 2015 to May 2021, neo-Nazi cells in the country increased from 75 to 530. Data from The Federal Police also reveal that investigations for crimes of apology of Nazism have grown from 6 in 2015 to 110 in 2020.

The challenge for the new government Lula's decision will therefore not exacerbate the already complicated situation of all the detainees in order to avoid further inflaming tensions. In a country that during the government of Dilma Rousseff already experienced violent demonstrations with the looting of public buildings such as the Ministry of Culture and the exterior of Congress, if political revenge prevails over common sense, one runs the risk of handing over to much more structured fringes of neo-Nazi inspiration an extremism that can still be extinguished with the beautiful force of democracy.

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