‘Terrorists’ denying Brazil’s election results threaten Lula’s investiture, says new minister

By: News Team

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'Terrorists' denying Brazil's election results threaten Lula's investiture, says new minister

Protesters who reject election results and camp outside Brazilian army bases have become “incubators of terrorism,” Brazil’s incoming justice minister said on Sunday, a day after police detonated an explosive device and detained a suspect he accused of links to the camp in Brasilia.

“The grave events of yesterday in Brasilia show that the so-called ‘patriotic’ camps have become incubators for terrorists,” Flávio Dino tweeted. “There will be no amnesty for terrorists, their supporters and financiers.”

Supporters of President Jair Bolsonaro have camped out outside army bases in Brazil for weeks, urging the military to overturn the victory of President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who takes office on Jan. 1.

Dino said preparations for Lula’s inauguration would be “reassessed, with a view to bolstering security.”

In another tweet, Dino said he would propose the creation of “special groups to combat terrorism and irresponsible weaponry. The rule of law is not compatible with these political militias.”

News of the bomb added a new dimension to post-election violence in Brazil, where tensions remain high after the closest election in a generation in the country.

Bolsonaro, who has yet to concede defeat, has made baseless claims about the credibility of Brazil’s voting system, and many of his staunchest supporters believe him. The head of Brazil’s electoral tribunal last month rejected a complaint by Bolsonaro’s allies challenging the presidential election.

The Brasilia camp, opposite the Army headquarters, has become one of the most extreme in the country. On December 12, the day Lula’s victory was certified, some of the camp’s inhabitants attacked the federal police headquarters in Brasilia.

Robson Cândido, head of the Civil Police in Brasilia, said a 54-year-old man from the northeastern state of Pará had been detained and confessed to placing the device in a fuel truck near Brasilia’s airport to sow chaos.

“He came to participate in the protests, in front of the army headquarters, and is part of that movement that supports the current president,” he told reporters. “They are on that mission, which according to them is ideological, but has gotten out of control.”

Police also found assault rifles and other explosives in an apartment rented by the man in Brasilia. Cândido said the suspect was a registered gun owner, part Collector, Sport Shooter and Hunter (CAC), a group whose membership has increased sixfold to nearly 700,000 people since Bolsonaro was elected in 2018 and began loosening gun laws.

Cândido also said that the man, and those helping him, had tried to activate the explosive device, but that it had not exploded. He said it was not yet clear how many other people were involved.

“We’ve never had bombs here in Brazil,” he said.

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