Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Thursday he was “certain” that Jair Bolsonaro was the mastermind behind the attack on government buildings in Brasilia on January 8, and that he was thus seeking to carry out a “coup “.
• Read also: Former Brazilian President Bolsonaro vows to remain active in politics
• Read also: Brasilia attacks: Bolsonaro wants a six-month visa to stay in the United States
“Today I am aware and I say it loud and clear: this citizen (former President Bolsonaro) prepared the coup,” Lula said in an interview with local television channel RedeTV!
On January 8, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters, unhappy with Lula’s victory over his far-right rival in the October 2022 presidential election, invaded and vandalized the presidential palace, Congress and the Supreme Court.
A Brazilian judge has decided to include the ex-leader, who left Brazil for Florida at the end of December, in the investigation which aims to determine who is behind the ransacking of Brazilian institutions.
“I am sure that Bolsonaro actively participated in this and is still trying to participate,” added Lula, when asked about the role of the former president in these events.
“They wanted to make this mess on January 1, but they realized they couldn’t because there were too many police and too many people on the streets,” Lula added.
These declarations intervene the same day as those of the senator Marcos do Val, who assured to have taken part in a meeting with the ex-president where it was a question of preventing the coming to power of Lula.
According to his lawyers, Jair Bolsonaro has applied to extend his six-month visa to stay in the United States. He denies having any connection whatsoever with the events of January 8.
Lula, 77, narrowly won the election: 50.9% against 49.1% for Bolsonaro.
“We have defeated Bolsonaro, but we still have to defeat Bolsonarism,” President Lula finally said in the interview on local television.