- On orders of Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes, Brazilian federal police confiscated the passport of former right-wing Pres. Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday for allegedly working on a draft decree to overturn the 2022 presidential elections and arrest de Moraes, and pressuring military commanders to support a coup.1
- This comes as part of a broader operation, dubbed "Tempus Veritatis," that served dozens of precautionary measures, including four preventive arrest warrants. At least two former aides to Bolsonaro were reportedly among those named in the warrants, with the chair of his Liberal Party, Valdemar da Costa Neto, also arrested after being caught for reported illegal possession of a weapon.2
- The Washington Post reported, citing two anonymous police officials, that the alleged coup plot was "far more advanced" than anticipated, involving logistical and tactical planning in coordination with senior military officials.3
- Court documents disclosed on Thursday claim that Almir Garnier, then head of the Navy, was prepared "to put troops on the ground" and Army Gen. Estevam Theophilo was organized "to take measures to secure the coup."4
- Bolsonaro has denied wrongdoing, claiming to be the victim of a "relentless" politically motivated persecution despite being out of office for more than a year. He has already been barred from running for public office until 2030 for undermining faith in the established voting systems.5
- Following his election defeat against Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the closest presidential race in the country's modern history, Bolsonaro refrained from conceding his loss and filed a failed request along with his party to void ballots cast on the majority of electronic voting machines.6
- Left narrative, as provided by The Brazilian Report. Even if the coup failed, accountability for what happened in Brazil isn't only a matter of justice but is crucial for the future of the country's democracy. The current investigation has revealed a coordinated, multi-pronged attempt by Bolsonaro and his accomplices to undermine the election's result. Despite the many similarities to the US Jan. 6 Capitol riots, the political influence of Brazil's military cannot be underestimated, and this is a concern that politicians must confront in the future.
- Right narrative, as provided by WSJ. You don't have to be a Bolsonaro supporter to see that Lula is using the judicial system as a means to punish his predecessor. Lula is a leftist career politician who was convicted on corruption charges before they were stunningly reversed by activist judges. Right-leaning figures across the nation are being censored, and checks and balances are being curtailed as the legal system is increasingly used as a weapon against opponents. We ought to be skeptical about charges against Bolsonaro in this environment.