Brazilian Forces arrest over 1,200 following Brasília riot

DM Monitoring

Brasília: Brazil’s Ministry of Justice Monday announced that over 1,200 people were detained and taken to the Federal Police headquarters in Brasília after government palaces were stormed by protesters on Sunday.
Most of the arrests happened in front of the army headquarters in Brasília, where supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro had been camping since December.
According to the local police, dozens of buses were used in the operation.
On Sunday evening, Brazilian minister of Justice Flavio Dino said that 200 people had been arrested in connection to acts of vandalism in Brazil’s capital. The minister said that 40 buses were seized after being used to transport protesters from other regions of the country to Brasília.
“These buses are instruments for perpetuating crimes”, Dino said.
The investigation is now trying to establish who financed the protests.
In messages sent throughout the week on Telegram, organisers offered available spaces in “free buses” with “everything for free: water, coffee, lunch, dinner”.
Inspections inside government palaces include the collection of DNA traces left in surfaces and personal items left behind.
Drone footage gathered by Brazil’s Federal Police during the attacks is also being used to help identifying the protesters.
Diego Scardone, a senior parliamentary adviser to the Socialism and Liberty Party, which is in coalition with President Lula, can see a glimmer of hope amidst the division between Bolsonaro and Lula supporters.
Speaking to Radio 4’s World at One, he said he had never seen anything like the events of Sunday in Brazil before – but he was confident democracy would survive.
“More than 90 per cent of all the posts in social media were against the violence used in Brasília yesterday – public opinion is against violence in Brazil historically,” he said.
“The most important thing now is to find out who is financing and who is organising this and bring them to justice.”
Former president Jair Bolsonaro has rejected allegations by President Lula that he instigated the unrest, saying he has always respected the constitution and the rule of law.
A 17th Century clock given by the French Court to Brazil and a painting worth at least £1.2m are among the valuable works destroyed by rioters who invaded the presidential palace in Brasília on Sunday.
The clock by Balthazar Martinot – Louis XIV’s watchmaker – was a gift from France to King Dom Joao IV, who ruled Brazil and Portugal. According to the Brazilian government, there are only two pieces by Martinot like this in the world.
“The other is on display at the Palace of Versailles, but is half the size of the piece that was completely destroyed by the invaders”, says a statement.
An art specialist says the damage is beyond repair.

The painting, As Mulatas by renowned Brazilian painter Candido Portinari, was torn in seven different parts. The government says it is worth at least £1.2m, but could fetch possibly five times that amount if it went to auction.

Rogerio Carvalho, director of curation for presidential palaces in Brazil, told BBC Brasil’s Luis Barrucho he is currently assessing the damage.

“I still need time to assess what happened to all those items. A survey (conducted by the federal police) is currently ongoing. But the value of what was destroyed is incalculable because of the history it represents”, he said.
The Congress building was designed and built in 1960. The two spheres on the top of the lower part of the building are the Senate and Lower House.