The legitimate, democratically elected government of Brazil took office only a week ago, because the Brazilian people wanted it so. On Sunday, supporters of the country’s former president, Jair Bolsonaro, stormed the Congress building as well as the presidential palace , and the Supreme Court in Brasilia to overturn an election which brought leftist leader and former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to power earlier this month.
Club de Madrid strongly condemns the violent assault on Brazil’s democratic institutions. Respecting the will of the people, a peaceful transition of power and the country’s institutions, is fundamental to maintaining and strengthening an inclusive democratic practice.
The biggest assault on Brazilian democracy in decades inevitably reminds us of the revolt in the United States two years earlier, when supporters of former Republican President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol in Washington DC in an attempt to foil Joe Biden’s inauguration. Sunday’s assault could have even more serious, because in Brazil the seat of all three branches of government were hit.
A part of Brazilians that does not respect the decision of the majority set out to crush the very roots of democracy. These acts of vandalism are a clear demonstration of the threat posed by hate speech, polarisation and the legitimisation of violence. This is an unacceptable backlash by those seeking to impose their worldview. Democracy must always prevail in the face of barbarism.