Brazil Orders Arrest Of Top Officials Over Riots

BRAZIL’s judicial authorities have ordered the arrest of top public officials after rioters stormed key government buildings in Brasília.

One official, the former commander of the military police, has been arrested, local media reported.

The officials also include Brasília’s former public security chief Anderson Torres and others “responsible for acts and omissions” leading to the riots, the attorney general’s office said.

Mr Torres denies any role in the riots.

Colonel Fábio Augusto, the police commander, was dismissed from his role after supporters of ex-President Jair Bolsonaro stormed Congress, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court.

The rioting came a week after President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, widely known as Lula, was sworn in.

The dramatic scenes saw thousands of protesters, some clad in yellow Brazil football shirts and waving flags, overrun police and ransack the heart of the Brazilian state.

Of the approximately 1,500 people arrested and brought to the police academy after the riot, officials say that nearly 600 have been taken to other facilities, where police officials have five days to formally charge them.

Earlier on Tuesday, the federal intervenor in public security accused Mr Torres of “a structured sabotage operation”.

Ricardo Cappelli, who has been appointed to run security in Brasília, said there was a “lack of command” from Mr Torres before government buildings were stormed.

Lula’s inauguration on 1 January was “an extremely successful security operation,” Mr Cappelli told CNN.

What changed before Sunday was that, on 2 January, “Anderson Torres took over as Secretary of Security, dismissed the entire command and travelled”, he said.

“If this isn’t sabotage, I don’t know what is,” Mr Cappelli added.

Mr Torres said that he deeply regretted the “absurd hypotheses” that he played any part in the riots.

He said the scenes, which occurred during his family holiday, were lamentable and said it was “the most bitter day” of his personal and professional life.

Lula has accused security forces of “neglecting” their duty in not halting the “terrorist acts” in Brasília.


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