One hundred of the more than 900 Brazilians who were sent to prison for participating in the Bolsonaro assault on the three powers in Brasilia will be released by order of the judge who is conducting the investigations. Those 102 people are free with charges. They will be able to return to their cities, but they will have to wear an electronic anklet, their gun permits are suspended and they will not be able to communicate with other suspects or use social media. Fifty days after the most serious attack suffered by Brazilian democracy in decades, investigations continue and arrests are still being made of those accused of inciting and financing the attack. Nothing has come out about the interrogations of Jair Bolsonaro’s former Justice Minister imprisoned for the assault, and the far-right former Brazilian president remains installed in Florida.
The decision of the Supreme Court judge directing the investigations, Alexandre de Moraes, to order the provisional release came hours after Bolsonaro and the head of the lobby evangelical in Congress coincided in complaining that hundreds of the suspects arrested on January 8 are still in prison. Thousands of Bolsonaristas forcibly invaded the headquarters of Congress, the Presidency and the Supreme Court, dissatisfied with the electoral victory of the leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who had taken office a week earlier.
The former president, who went to Florida before the end of his term, complained that, almost two months after the attack, there were “900 people in prison, treated as terrorists.” The far-right ex-president added that “when they were arrested they did not find a knife. They are heads of the family, ladies, mothers, grandmothers”. One third of those arrested red-handed who remain in prison are women.
The president, careful with what he says and with what he does because he knows he is in the sights of the Justice and his political adversaries, again slipped a timid criticism of violent acts by saying: “We do not agree with what there occurred”. The latest clue about his return is that he said in an interview that he will return in March to lead the opposition. Beyond the uncertainty about whether or when he will return, it is certain that an avalanche of investigations against him awaits him here for various issues such as the pandemic, the coup attack, false news… According to information published by Bloomberg this Tuesday, the Government Lula wants Bolsonaro to return to Brazil in the coming months and is looking for ways to force him if he does not do so of his own free will.
Deputy Eli Borges, head of the powerful parliamentary bench of evangelicals, also criticized Monday in an interview that “many good people remain in jail for January 8.” The parliamentarian insisted Folha de S. Paulo in a conspiracy theory by saying that the responsibility for the attack lay with a minority of infiltrators. It is a falsehood spread by social networks that from the first hours permeated Bolsonaro circles, delving into the parallel media universes in which millions of Brazilians live.
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Judge Moraes, considered the great defender of the institutions in the face of the systematic attacks of Bolsonarismo, has decided among the precautionary measures against those released from prison to leave them without access to their accounts on social networks. It is a punishment that he has applied before to other Bolsonaristas accused of spreading false news, including elected deputies who have millions of followers. A controversial measure that according to those affected is equivalent to censorship.
This Monday, Judge Moraes adopted another measure with the potential to raise blisters in the barracks. The judge has decided to assume for himself the judicial cases against the military and military police suspected of participating directly or indirectly in the assault on Brazil, procedures that until now were being investigated in the military Justice. He maintains in his ruling that it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court to deal with crimes such as the abolition of the democratic rule of law, a coup d’état or terrorist acts, whether perpetrated by civilians or by the military.
The discontent of those in uniform with Lula is enormous. One of the first measures of the new president of Brazil was to dismiss the head of the Army for lack of confidence. In his place, the president appointed General Tomás Paiva, who days before had defended the electoral result and the legitimacy of Lula’s victory in a military act. Proof of how troubled the waters continue is that he has just released a recording prior to his appointment in which he affirms to his subordinates: “It is not possible to say for sure that there was some irregularity (in the election). Unfortunately, there was a result that, for most of us, was not desired. General Paiva had asked the rest of those present not to record his words.
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