In the middle of the carnivals, Jair Bolsonaro He made his own scene. Disguised as a fervent believer, the former president of Brazil led a prayer circle in Angra dos Reis, the seaside resort near Rio de Janeiro where he tried to get away from the worldly affairs that may this time frustrate his most daring ambitions. The former president is no longer a side figure in the investigations related to the coup attempt of January 8, 2023. He has been identified as the head of a “criminal organization“which sought to prevent, first, the electoral victory of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and then, faced with that impossibility, overthrow him.
Bolsonaro, who is disqualified from holding public office until 2030 for questioning the transparency of the Brazilian electoral system, used to look at himself with joy in the mirror. donald trump. He assault on the Capitol It must have been inspiring to his most radical followers. Now, Trump wants to return to power despite the fact that a Washington court determined that he lacks immunity from the accusation against him for having tried to reverse his defeat at the polls in 2020. The magnate hopes to obtain the grace of the North American Supreme Court so that nothing prevents his return to the White House. This time, Bolsonaro cannot emulate himamong other reasons because the main judicial body in your country is the one that precisely outlines the siege against you with irrefutable evidence.
A few hours before joining the prayer chain, the Federal Police (PF) knocked on the door of his house and seized his passport as part of an extensive operation named Tempus Veritatis. The use of Latin highlights the importance of the police mission. He “time of truth“is approaching and Bolsonaro has become the head of a conspiracy that the legislation criminalizes up to 23 years in prison. Supreme Judge Alexandre de Moraes gave the green light for the PF to raid 33 homes and comply with 48 different precautionary measures involving former front-line civil and military collaborators of the then president. The 45-minute video that was seized from Colonel Mauro Cid, Bolsonaro’s chief of staff and currently a collaborator in the investigations, is of a forcefulness that causes perplexity. “I’m going out into the field using my Armymy 23 ministers,” says Bolsonaro at a meeting of conspirators in July 2022. “We cannot wait for 2023 to arrive,” he adds, referring to January 1, the day Lula took office as the new president.
The ghost of Áñez
At that point, the far-right government was not thinking exclusively about what had happened in the United States. A closer experience particularly disturbed Bolsonaro: Bolivia. Although during the meeting with his senior staff he issued warnings about the danger of Brazil becomes a second Venezuela If Lula won, with the approval of the TSF, another duplicity caused him concern. According to Bruno Boghossian, columnist for the São Paulo newspaper Folha, if there was one thing Bolsonaro didn’t want in that July 2022, it was to be a Brazilian version of Jeanine Áñez. His ghost was chasing him.
“In speeches and conversations with collaborators, he frequently mentioned the former interim president of Bolivia.” She had come to power in November 2019, after the military pressured Evo Morales for him to resign. He showed up at the Palacio Quemado with a Bible in his hand and the determination to repress the discontents. Two years later, with the electoral victory of the MAS, Morales’ party, she was arrested accused of being a coup leader and the death of numerous people. Áñez has been sentenced to 10 years in prison. The Bolivian situation “It was one of Bolsonaro’s main arguments to demand that his collaborators take measures to challenge the elections.” At one point in the video he is heard warning: “I will go down the ramp here (the headquarters of the Executive, the Planalto) arrested for undemocratic acts just like Jeanine Áñez.” The analogy, Boghossian points out, “was captured by the eloquence” of his Minister of Justice, Anderson Torres. “The example of Bolivia is the great example for all of us“said Torres who, 8E was nothing less than in charge of Brasilia’s security.
The De Moraes factor
The Tempus Veritatis operation currently turns the other legal cases that Bolsonaro faces into secondary issues, including the personal use of gifts that the Brazilian State had received. De Moraes, points out the Rio newspaper Or Globeconsiders that the planning of 8E had a “parallel intelligence system“. The judge himself was subject to surveillance because he was in first place among the conspirators’ targets if they succeeded.
This Sunday, De Moraes ordered the release of Valdemar Costa Neto, the president of the Liberal Party (PL) that led Bolsonaro as a presidential candidate. His prominence grows with the progress of the investigations. In 2021, coinciding with the attack on the Capitol, radical Bolsonarism was barely investigated for alleged “undemocratic acts“which always clashed with the disdain of Attorney General Augusto Aras. Three years later, everything has changed: the coup plot has come to light and other evidence is still awaited. Eliane Cantanhêde, columnist for the newspaper State, from San Pablo, resorted to irony to refer to Bolsonaro’s coup obsession. “When did he identify emergencies and define actions, especially in poor communities and regions? When did he study and discuss plans for the economy, education, health, energy, public safety, environment, external police? After all, did President Jair Bolsonaro work? Or rather, did he rule?”.
The military came under suspicion for their inaction before and after 8E. Lula has had to mend relationships and clear up mutual suspicions. The current military command does not seem to have any interest in being associated with 8E. The commander of the Air Force, Air Brigadier Marcelo Kanitz Damasceno, has just shown himself in favor of a “exhaustive investigation” of what happened. If the participation of members of his institution in the riot is proven, he warned, they will be punished.