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    Is Brazil’s Alexandre de Moraes Actually Good for Democracy?

    Alexandre de Moraes, a Brazilian Supreme Court justice, was crucial to Brazil’s transfer of power. But his aggressive tactics are prompting debate: Can one go too far to fight the far right?When Brazil’s highway police began holding up buses full of voters on Election Day, he ordered them to stop.When right-wing voices spread the baseless claim that Brazil’s election was stolen, he ordered them banned from social media.And when thousands of right-wing protesters stormed Brazil’s halls of power this month, he ordered the officials who had been responsible for securing the buildings arrested.Alexandre de Moraes, a Brazilian Supreme Court justice, has taken up the mantle of Brazil’s lead defender of democracy. Using a broad interpretation of the court’s powers, he has pushed to investigate and prosecute, as well as to silence on social media, anyone he deems a menace to Brazil’s institutions.As a result, in the face of antidemocratic attacks from Brazil’s former far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, and his supporters, Mr. de Moraes cleared the way for the transfer of power. To many on Brazil’s left, that made him the man who saved Brazil’s young democracy.Yet to many others in Brazil, he is threatening it. Mr. de Moraes’s aggressive approach and expanding authority have made him one of the nation’s most powerful people, and also put him at the center of a complicated debate in Brazil over how far is too far to fight the far right.Damage to the Supreme Court caused by right-wing protesters. Mr. de Moraes ordered the officials who had been responsible for securing the buildings arrested.Victor Moriyama for The New York TimesHe has jailed people without trial for posting threats on social media; helped sentence a sitting congressman to nearly nine years in prison for threatening the court; ordered raids on businessmen with little evidence of wrongdoing; suspended an elected governor from his job; and unilaterally blocked dozens of accounts and thousands of posts on social media, with virtually no transparency or room for appeal.In the hunt for justice after the riot this month, he has become further emboldened. His orders to ban prominent voices online have proliferated, and now he has the man accused of fanning Brazil’s extremist flames, Mr. Bolsonaro, in his cross hairs. Last week, Mr. de Moraes included Mr. Bolsonaro in a federal investigation of the riot, which he is overseeing, suggesting that the former president inspired the violence.His moves fit into a broader trend of Brazil’s Supreme Court increasing its power — and taking what critics have called a more repressive turn in the process.Many legal and political analysts are now sparring over Mr. de Moraes’s long-term impact. Some argue that his actions are necessary, extraordinary measures in the face of an extraordinary threat. Others say that, acting under the banner of safeguarding democracy, he is instead harming the nation’s balance of power.“We cannot disrespect democracy in order to protect it,” said Irapuã Santana, a lawyer and legal columnist for O Globo, one of Brazil’s biggest newspapers.Understand the Riots in Brazil’s CapitalThousands of rioters supporting Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right former president of Brazil,  stormed the nation’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices on Jan. 8.Anatomy of a Mass Attack: After Mr. Bolsonaro lost the presidential election in October, many believed that the threat of violence from his supporters would recede. Here is what went wrong.The Investigations: Authorities face several major questions as they piece together how rioters briefly seized the seats of Brazil’s government.Digital Playbook: Misinformation researchers are studying how the internet was used ahead of the riots in Brazil. Many are drawing a comparison to the Jan. 6 attack.The Role of the Police: Their early inaction in the riot shows how security forces can help empower violence and deepen the threat to democracy.Mr. Santana voted in October for Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the new leftist president, but said he worried that many in Brazil were cheering on Mr. de Moraes without considering the potential consequences. “Today he’s doing it against our enemy. Tomorrow he’s doing it against our friend — or against us,” he said. “It’s a dangerous precedent.”Milly Lacombe, a left-wing commentator, said such concerns missed a bigger danger, evidenced by the riots and a foiled bomb plot to disrupt Mr. Lula’s inauguration. She argued, in her column on the Brazilian news site UOL, that the far right posed grave perils to Brazil’s democracy, which should overshadow concerns about free speech or judicial overreach.“Under the threat of a Nazi-fascist-inspired insurrection, is it worth temporarily suppressing individual freedoms in the name of collective freedom?” she wrote. “I would say yes.”Brazil’s former far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, center, has long accused Mr. de Moraes of overstepping his authority and had tried to impeach him.Dado Galdieri for The New York TimesThe dispute has illustrated a larger global debate not only on judicial power but also about how to handle misinformation online without silencing dissenting voices..css-1v2n82w{max-width:600px;width:calc(100% – 40px);margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:25px;height:auto;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;font-family:nyt-franklin;color:var(–color-content-secondary,#363636);}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-1v2n82w{margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;}}@media only screen and (min-width:1024px){.css-1v2n82w{width:600px;}}.css-161d8zr{width:40px;margin-bottom:18px;text-align:left;margin-left:0;color:var(–color-content-primary,#121212);border:1px solid var(–color-content-primary,#121212);}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-161d8zr{width:30px;margin-bottom:15px;}}.css-tjtq43{line-height:25px;}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-tjtq43{line-height:24px;}}.css-x1k33h{font-family:nyt-cheltenham;font-size:19px;font-weight:700;line-height:25px;}.css-1hvpcve{font-size:17px;font-weight:300;line-height:25px;}.css-1hvpcve em{font-style:italic;}.css-1hvpcve strong{font-weight:bold;}.css-1hvpcve a{font-weight:500;color:var(–color-content-secondary,#363636);}.css-1c013uz{margin-top:18px;margin-bottom:22px;}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-1c013uz{font-size:14px;margin-top:15px;margin-bottom:20px;}}.css-1c013uz a{color:var(–color-signal-editorial,#326891);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;font-weight:500;font-size:16px;}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-1c013uz a{font-size:13px;}}.css-1c013uz a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}What we consider before using anonymous sources. Do the sources know the information? What’s their motivation for telling us? Have they proved reliable in the past? Can we corroborate the information? Even with these questions satisfied, The Times uses anonymous sources as a last resort. The reporter and at least one editor know the identity of the source.Learn more about our process.Twitter’s owner, Elon Musk, weighed in that Mr. de Moraes’s moves were “extremely concerning.” Glenn Greenwald, an American journalist who has lived in Brazil for years and has become a critic of certain social-media rules, debated a Brazilian sociologist this week about Mr. de Moraes’s actions. And Brazilian officials have suggested that they would consider new laws to address what can be said online.Mr. de Moraes has declined requests for an interview for more than a year. The Supreme Court, in a statement, said that Mr. de Moraes’s investigations and many of his orders have been endorsed by the full court and “are absolutely constitutional.”In the hours after the riot, Mr. de Moraes suspended the governor of the district responsible for security for the protest that turned violent and then ordered the arrests of two district security officials. Still, there is little support in the Supreme Court for arresting Mr. Bolsonaro because of a lack of evidence, as well as fears that it would prompt unrest, according to a senior court official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.Multiple Supreme Court justices instead prefer to try to convict Mr. Bolsonaro for abusing his power through the country’s election agency, making him ineligible to run for office for eight years, the official said.Mr. Bolsonaro, who has been in Florida since Dec. 30, has long accused Mr. de Moraes of overstepping his authority and has tried to impeach him. Mr. Bolsonaro’s lawyer said he had always respected democracy and repudiated the riots.Mr. de Moraes, 54, spent decades as a public prosecutor, private lawyer and constitutional law professor.He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2017, a move denounced by the left because he was aligned with center-right parties.Mr. de Moraes with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva last month.Andre Borges/EPA, via ShutterstockIn 2019, the Supreme Court’s chief justice issued a one-page order authorizing the court to open its own investigations instead of waiting for law enforcement. For the court — which, unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, handles tens of thousands of cases a year, including certain criminal cases — it was a drastic expansion of authority.The chief justice tapped Mr. de Moraes to run the first inquiry: an investigation into “fake news.” Mr. de Moraes’s first move was to order a magazine to retract an article that had linked the chief justice to a corruption investigation. (He later rescinded the order when the magazine produced evidence.)Mr. de Moraes then shifted his focus to online disinformation, primarily from Mr. Bolsonaro’s supporters. That gave him an outsize role in Brazilian politics that grew further this year when, by chance, his rotation as Brazil’s election chief coincided with the vote.In that job, Mr. de Moraes became Brazilian democracy’s chief guardian — and attack dog. Ahead of the vote, he cut a deal with the military to run additional tests on voting machines. On Election Day, he ordered the federal highway police to explain why officers were stopping buses full of voters. And on election night, he arranged for government leaders to announce the winner jointly, a show of unity against any attempt to hold onto power.In the middle of that group of leaders was Mr. de Moraes himself. He delivered a forceful speech about the value of democracy, drawing chants of “Xandão,” or “Big Alex” in Portuguese. “I hope from the election onward,” he said, “the attacks on the electoral system will finally stop.”They did not. Right-wing protesters demonstrated outside military bases, calling on the military to overturn the vote. In response, Mr. de Moraes ordered tech companies to ban more accounts, according to a senior lawyer at one major tech firm, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of fear of angering Mr. de Moraes.Supporters of Mr. Bolsonaro protesting in front of army headquarters in São Paulo to call for military intervention after the election in November.Victor Moriyama for The New York TimesAmong the accounts Mr. de Moraes ordered taken down are those of at least five members of Congress, a billionaire businessman and more than a dozen prominent right-wing pundits, including one of Brazil’s most popular podcast hosts.Mr. de Moraes’s orders to remove accounts do not specify why, according to the lawyer and a copy of one order obtained by The New York Times. Visits to banned accounts on Twitter yield a blank page and a blunt message: The “account has been withheld in Brazil in response to a legal demand.” And account owners are simply told they are banned because of a court order and should consider contacting a lawyer.The lawyer said that his tech firm appealed some orders it viewed as overly broad, but that Mr. de Moraes denied them. Appeals to the full bench of judges have also been denied or ignored, this person said.Multiple social networks declined to comment on the record for this article. Mr. de Moraes is a potential threat to their business in Brazil. Last year, he briefly banned Telegram in the country after it did not respond to his orders. There were talks recently among some justices about the need to bring Mr. de Moraes’s investigations to an end, according to the court official, but after the Jan. 8 riot, those talks ceased. The riot has increased support for Mr. de Moraes among his peers, according to the official.Beatriz Rey, a political scientist at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, said Mr. de Moraes’s approach, though not ideal, is necessary because other branches of the government, especially Congress, have skirted their duties.“You shouldn’t have one justice fighting threats to democracy over and over again,” she said. “But the problem is the system itself is malfunctioning right now.”André Spigariol More

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    George Santos denies reports that he competed as drag queen in Brazil

    George Santos denies reports that he competed as drag queen in BrazilNew York Republican under pressure over fabrications about his career, past and alleged criminal behaviour George Santos on Thursday tweeted an angry denial that he competed as a drag queen in Brazilian beauty pageants 15 years ago, claims made by acquaintances that have highlighted the contrast between the Republican congressman’s past actions and now staunchly conservative views.Republicans defend George Santos as report details alleged sick dog fraudRead moreThe New Yorker, who says he is gay, dismissed the story as an “obsession” by the media, which he insisted, without irony, “continues to make outrageous claims about my life”.Santos is facing calls from Democrats and his fellow New York Republicans to step down over fabrications about his career and history and amid reports of investigations at local, state and federal level in the US and in Brazil over the use of a stolen checkbook.In another contradiction exposed on Wednesday by a New York Times analysis of immigration records, Santos’s insistence that his mother was in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks was found to be false.Santos has admitted “embellishing” his résumé but otherwise denied wrongdoing and said he will not resign.The claim that Santos was a drag performer came from a 58-year-old Brazilian who uses the drag name Eula Rochard, Reuters reported.Rochard said she befriended Santos when he was cross-dressing in 2005 at the first Pride parade in Niterói, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro. Three years later, Santos competed in a drag beauty pageant in Rio, she added.Another person from Niterói who knew Santos, but asked not to be named, said he participated in drag queen beauty pageants under the name Kitara Ravache, and aspired to be Miss Gay Rio de Janeiro.Santos is now a hardline conservative on numerous social issues, especially those targeting non-binary communities. Republicans have taken aim at drag shows and performers in several states, claiming they are harmful to children.In Texas, one proposal would brand venues that host such shows as “sexually oriented” businesses.Santos, the first out gay Republican to win a House seat in Congress as a non-incumbent, has supported Florida’s “don’t say gay” law, which marginalizes the LGBTQ+ community and prohibits discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in classrooms.Responding in October to criticism of his support for the Florida bill, Santos told USA Today: “I am openly gay, have never had an issue with my sexual identity in the past decade, and I can tell you and assure you, I will always be an advocate for LGBTQ+ folks.”Republican leaders have so far stood by Santos. He supported the new speaker, Kevin McCarthy, through 15 rounds of voting for that position, and was rewarded with seats on two House committees in a slim Republican majority.But despite McCarthy’s support, increasing numbers of senior party officials have pleaded with Republican leadership to cut him loose. They include several of Santos’s fellow New York congressmen.The Daily Beast reported on Thursday that a “shadow” race was under way in Democratic and Republican circles to replace Santos in New York’s third district, in the expectation that he will eventually be forced out. Republicans, the Beast said, are looking for “a candidate with an immaculate, bulletproof résumé who can patch up the Long Island GOP’s scarred reputation”.Democrats are seeking somebody who can turn the district blue again after Santos’s surprise win in November.As for Santos’s alleged drag show exploits, Rochard said the congressman was a “poor” drag queen in 2005, with a simple black dress, but in 2008 “he came back to Niterói with a lot of money” and a flamboyant pink dress to show for it.Santos competed in a drag beauty pageant that year but lost, Rochard said, adding: “He’s changed a lot but he was always a liar. He was always such a dreamer.”Santos’s tweet on Thursday was his second denial in two days concerning a claim about his past. On Wednesday, he was embroiled in allegations he took money from an online fundraiser intended to help save the life of a sick dog owned by a military veteran.“The media continues to make outrageous claims about my life while I am working to deliver results,” Santos said. “I will not be distracted or fazed by this.”On Thursday, Santos called “reports that I would let a dog die … shocking and insane”.But the veteran told CNN Santos should “go to hell”.Richard Osthoff added that if he spoke to Santos now, he would ask: “Do you have a heart? Do you have a soul?’“He’d probably lie about that.”TopicsGeorge SantosHouse of RepresentativesUS CongressUS politicsDragBrazilAmericasnewsReuse this content More

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    Así comenzó el ataque en Brasilia

    Mientras el autobús se dirigía desde el corazón agrícola de Brasil a la capital, Andrea Barth sacó su teléfono para preguntar a sus compañeros de viaje, uno por uno, qué pensaban hacer cuando llegaran.“Derrocar a los ladrones”, respondió un hombre.“Sacar al ‘Nueve Dedos’“, dijo otro, en referencia al presidente de izquierda de Brasil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, quien hace décadas perdió parte de un dedo en un accidente de trabajo sucedido en una fábrica.Mientras los pasajeros describían sus planes de violencia, más de cien autobuses llenos de simpatizantes de Jair Bolsonaro, el expresidente de extrema derecha, también descendían en Brasilia, la capital.Video posted on social media shows dozens of supporters of Jair Bolsonaro arriving in Brasília by bus.Jakelyne Loiola, via TwitterUn día después, el 8 de enero, una turba pro-Bolsonaro desató un caos que conmocionó al país y que dio la vuelta al mundo. Los agitadores invadieron y saquearon el Congreso, el Supremo Tribunal Federal y el palacio de gobierno del país, con la intención, según muchos de ellos, de incitar a los líderes militares a derrocar a Lula, quien había asumido el cargo una semana antes.El ataque caótico tuvo un parecido inquietante con el asalto al Capitolio de Estados Unidos el 6 de enero de 2021: cientos de manifestantes de derecha, alegando que una elección estuvo amañada, entraron a los pasillos del poder.Ambos episodios impactaron a dos de las democracias más grandes del mundo, y casi dos años después del ataque de Estados Unidos, el asalto del domingo de hace un par de semanas mostró que el extremismo de extrema derecha, inspirado por líderes antidemocráticos e impulsado por teorías de la conspiración, sigue siendo una grave amenaza.Lula y las autoridades judiciales actuaron con rapidez para recuperar el control y detuvieron a más de 1150 alborotadores, desalojaron los campamentos donde se refugiaron, buscaron a sus financiadores y organizadores y, el viernes de la semana pasada, abrieron una investigación sobre cómo Bolsonaro pudo haberlos inspirado.The New York Times habló con las autoridades, servidores públicos, testigos y participantes en las protestas y revisó decenas de videos y cientos de publicaciones en las redes sociales para reconstruir lo sucedido. El resultado de la investigación muestra que una turba superó con rapidez y sin esfuerzo a la policía.También muestra que algunos agentes de la policía no solo no actuaron contra los alborotadores, sino que parecían simpatizar con ellos, ya que se dedicaron a tomar fotos mientras la turba destruía el Congreso. Un hombre que fue a ver qué estaba pasando dijo que la policía simplemente le indicó que se dirigiera a los disturbios.El desequilibrio entre los manifestantes y la policía sigue siendo uno de los puntos centrales de la investigación de las autoridades y las entrevistas con los agentes de seguridad han generado acusaciones de negligencia grave e incluso de complicidad activa en el caos. Tras los disturbios, las autoridades federales suspendieron al gobernador responsable de la protección de los edificios públicos y detuvieron a dos altos funcionarios de seguridad que trabajaban para él. More

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    How a Mob Tried to Oust Brazil’s Lula

    As the bus made its way from Brazil’s agricultural heartland to the capital, Andrea Barth pulled out her phone to ask fellow passengers, one by one, what they intended to do once they arrived.“Overthrow the thieves,” one man replied.“Take out ‘Nine-Finger,’” said another, referring to Brazil’s leftist president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who lost part of a finger decades ago in a factory accident.“You might escape a lightning strike,” another man said, as if confronting Mr. Lula himself. “But you won’t escape me.”As the passengers described their plans for violence, more than a hundred other buses bulging with supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right former president, were also descending on Brasília, the capital.Video posted on social media shows dozens of Bolsonaro supporters arriving in Brasília by bus.Jakelyne Loiola, via TwitterA day later, on Jan. 8, a pro-Bolsonaro mob unleashed mayhem that shocked the country and was broadcast around the world. Rioters invaded and ransacked Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices, intending, many of them said, to spur military leaders to topple Mr. Lula, who had taken office just a week earlier.The chaotic attack bore an unsettling resemblance to the Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the U.S. Capitol: Hundreds of right-wing protesters, claiming an election was rigged, stomping through the halls of power.Each episode rattled one of the world’s largest democracies, and almost two years to the day after the U.S. attack, last Sunday’s assault showed that far-right extremism, inspired by antidemocratic leaders and fed by conspiracy theories, remains a grave threat.Mr. Lula and judicial authorities have moved swiftly to reassert control, arresting more than 1,150 rioters, clearing the encampments that gave them refuge and searching for their funders and organizers.But questions continue to swirl about how a relatively small band of unarmed protesters, who had largely publicized their plans, were able so easily to storm the country’s most important government buildings.The New York Times spoke with law enforcement, government officials, eyewitnesses and protesters, and reviewed dozens of videos and hundreds of social media posts to piece together what happened. The reporting shows that a mob, led by what appeared to be a relatively small group of extremists bent on destruction, swiftly and effortlessly overwhelmed a drastically outnumbered police presence.It also shows that some officers not only failed to take any action against rioters, but, in at least one case, waved a spectator toward Congress.The imbalance between protesters and the police remains a central focus of the authorities’ investigation, and interviews with security officials yielded accusations of gross negligence and even active complicity in the mayhem. After the riot, federal authorities suspended the governor responsible for protecting the buildings and ordered the arrest of two top security officials who worked for him. More

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    Video Shows Brazil Rioters Breaching Inadequate Security

    It was an unfair fight in front of Brazil’s Congress. On one side of a metal barrier were a few dozen police officers, some armed with pepper spray, others with clubs. On the other was a rapidly growing mob of more than 1,000 angry protesters, falsely convinced that the presidential election had been stolen and dead-set on doing something about it.At 2:42 p.m. on Sunday, almost in unison, protesters at one end of the street easily pulled down the metal barrier, while at the other end, protesters pushed right through a plastic roadblock, according to a video obtained by The New York Times. A few police officers sprayed chemical agents, but within seconds, the crowd was surging through.The moment was the start of a riot that left Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices ransacked and the nation’s democracy under its worst threat in decades. The previously unpublished video of the moment lays bare the woefully inadequate security at some of the nation’s most important institutions, which is now at the center of the wider investigation into how the mayhem could have occurred, despite ample warning signs.Federal authorities have laid much of the blame on the handful of men who run the federal district that includes Brazil’s capital, Brasília. They accuse the district’s governor and security chief of being either negligent or, worse, complicit, and they have already taken action against them.Police inspecting the damage to the Supreme Court on Tuesday in Brasília, the capital.Victor Moriyama for The New York TimesIn the hours after the riot, Alexandre de Moraes, a Supreme Court justice, suspended Ibaneis Rocha, the district’s governor, from his post for at least 90 days. Mr. Moraes then approved an arrest warrant from the federal police for the district’s security chief, Anderson Torres, as well as its police chief, Fabio Augusto Vieira. In votes on Wednesday, the Supreme Court confirmed both orders.Mr. Moraes, a controversial figure who has been criticized for overstepping his authority, said evidence showed the men knew that protesters were planning violence, but did little to stop it.Neither he nor other federal authorities have disclosed that specific evidence. Instead, he cited the inadequate number of security forces and the fact that roughly 100 buses of protesters were allowed to enter Brasília with little monitoring.What is clear is that the federal government largely ceded responsibility to the district to protect the capital in the face of protests that, according to a slew of social media posts in the days prior, appeared likely to turn violent. The federal government pays the district roughly $2 billion a year to provide security, and the district had successfully protected the capital during several large, tense political events in recent months.A four-page security plan obtained by The Times showed that, during the planned protests on Sunday, much of the responsibility for protecting the federal government’s buildings fell on the district police.Understand the Riots in Brazil’s CapitalThousands of rioters supporting Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right former president of Brazil,  stormed the nation’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices on Jan. 8.Anatomy of a Mass Attack: After Mr. Bolsonaro lost the presidential election in October, many believed that the threat of violence from his supporters would recede. Here is what went wrong.The Investigations: Authorities face several major questions as they piece together how rioters briefly seized the seats of Brazil’s government.Digital Playbook: Misinformation researchers are studying how the internet was used ahead of the riots in Brazil. Many are drawing a comparison to the Jan. 6 attack.World Leaders React: Governments in Latin America and beyond were swift to condemn the unrest. President Biden called the attack “outrageous.”The document, which was signed Friday afternoon and sent to more than a dozen top security officials in Brasília, tasked the district police to keep demonstrators out of Three Powers Plaza, which includes Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidential offices, and to “maintain reinforcement of personnel” throughout the protests.But that plan did not please Flávio Dino, Brazil’s justice minister, when he heard about it on Saturday morning in a phone call with Mr. Rocha, the district governor, according to an official in Mr. Dino’s office who spoke on the condition of anonymity because officials had not yet agreed to release the details of the call.Mr. Dino did not want protesters on the national esplanade, Brazil’s version of the National Mall in Washington, a long grassy stretch that leads directly to Brazil’s most important government buildings. In response, Mr. Rocha agreed to change the plan accordingly and make the esplanade off limits, according to the official in Mr. Dino’s office.Later that night, according to the official, Mr. Dino was surprised when he saw a news article that said Mr. Rocha would let the protest go forward on the esplanade with “tranquillity and security.”Supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro stormed the presidential office in Brasília on Sunday.Eraldo Peres/Associated PressThe protests went forward, but the tranquillity and security was lacking.On Sunday, thousands of supporters of Jair Bolsonaro, the ousted far-right president, marched onto the esplanade, dressed in the yellow and green of the Brazilian flag and carrying signs that demanded a military coup and that referenced voter-fraud conspiracy theories long peddled by Mr. Bolsonaro.The district police was there, but not in full force. Authorities have not provided the precise number of police officers present on Sunday, but according to videos and eyewitness accounts, there were far fewer officers than for other recent demonstrations in the capital..css-1v2n82w{max-width:600px;width:calc(100% – 40px);margin-top:20px;margin-bottom:25px;height:auto;margin-left:auto;margin-right:auto;font-family:nyt-franklin;color:var(–color-content-secondary,#363636);}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-1v2n82w{margin-left:20px;margin-right:20px;}}@media only screen and (min-width:1024px){.css-1v2n82w{width:600px;}}.css-161d8zr{width:40px;margin-bottom:18px;text-align:left;margin-left:0;color:var(–color-content-primary,#121212);border:1px solid var(–color-content-primary,#121212);}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-161d8zr{width:30px;margin-bottom:15px;}}.css-tjtq43{line-height:25px;}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-tjtq43{line-height:24px;}}.css-x1k33h{font-family:nyt-cheltenham;font-size:19px;font-weight:700;line-height:25px;}.css-1hvpcve{font-size:17px;font-weight:300;line-height:25px;}.css-1hvpcve em{font-style:italic;}.css-1hvpcve strong{font-weight:bold;}.css-1hvpcve a{font-weight:500;color:var(–color-content-secondary,#363636);}.css-1c013uz{margin-top:18px;margin-bottom:22px;}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-1c013uz{font-size:14px;margin-top:15px;margin-bottom:20px;}}.css-1c013uz a{color:var(–color-signal-editorial,#326891);-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;font-weight:500;font-size:16px;}@media only screen and (max-width:480px){.css-1c013uz a{font-size:13px;}}.css-1c013uz a:hover{-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}What we consider before using anonymous sources. Do the sources know the information? What’s their motivation for telling us? Have they proved reliable in the past? Can we corroborate the information? Even with these questions satisfied, The Times uses anonymous sources as a last resort. The reporter and at least one editor know the identity of the source.Learn more about our process.By contrast, there were several hundred thousand people in the same spot a week earlier for the inauguration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. While those crowds were there to celebrate, rather than wreak havoc, the district deployed all of its more than 10,000 police officers, far more than were on the ground on Sunday.Why there were so few police officers is now a central question for investigators. The security plan did not list a number of officers, but instead just suggested that the police should have sufficient personnel to handle the protests.Federal authorities have pointed the finger at Mr. Torres and Mr. Vieira, the district’s security chief and police chief, who have been ordered arrested.Mr. Torres, in particular, has come under scrutiny. He was Mr. Bolsonaro’s former justice minister and started in his new post in the district on Jan. 2. He quickly replaced much of the district’s security staff, despite its recent track record of success during the elections, and then left for vacation in Florida, where Mr. Bolsonaro has also been staying in recent weeks.On the day of the protests, Mr. Torres, who was ostensibly in charge of the capital’s security, was thousands of miles away.Mr. Torres said Tuesday that he would return to Brazil to defend himself. “I have always guided my actions with ethics and legality. I believe in the Brazilian justice system and in the strength of the institutions. I am certain that the truth will prevail,” he said on Twitter. Mr. Rocha, the district governor, has now also begun to point the finger at his deputies for the security lapses.Alberto Toron, Mr. Rocha’s lawyer, said in an interview on Wednesday that the security plans were adequate, but that the security forces failed to carry them out, even suggesting that they did so deliberately.“We saw videos, for example, of police fraternizing with demonstrators,” he said. “There is a hidden hand here, which not only demobilized the police and the Army not to act, but it seems that there was an orchestration for something broader to happen.”“The governor was deceived,” he added. “He suffered a process of sabotage.”Several videos appear to show the police as indifferent to the protests. In one, a man asks a group of chatting police officers if he can walk all the way to the end of the esplanade and take a bath in the reflecting pool in front of Congress. “Everything is open today?” he asks. The police appear to respond affirmatively, and wave him in the direction of Congress.Another video shows that after protesters ascend onto the roof of Congress and break into the building, about 10 relaxed police officers watch the scene, chatting with protesters, texting and filming the scene themselves.It was not until the protesters had broken inside the government buildings that military and federal law enforcement arrived to retake control.Federal security officials in charge of protecting the presidential offices had not expected violence during the protests, and only asked for reinforcements from the Army after rioters broke inside the building, according to an Army general who spoke anonymously to discuss a sealed investigation.Federal police said late Wednesday that they had arrested 1,159 people, nearly all under the suspicion of taking part in the riots. Authorities have said in recent days that they are now turning their attention to the political and business elites who helped organize, fund and aid the riots.The actions of security officials and police officers are expected to remain a central focus of investigators in the months ahead. Brazil’s Senate plans to begin a congressional investigation next month. On Wednesday, 60 U.S. and Brazilian members of Congress released a joint statement, condemning extremism in both countries that led to attacks on their capitols.Lis Moriconi More

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    Exclusive: more than 70 US and Brazilian lawmakers condemn Trump-Bolsonaro alliance

    Exclusive: more than 70 US and Brazilian lawmakers condemn Trump-Bolsonaro allianceCongresswoman Ilhan Omar leads joint statement focused on Sunday’s riots in Brasília and January 6 insurrection

    Brazil’s failed coup is the poison flower of the Trump-Bolsonaro symbiosis
    More than 70 progressive US and Brazilian lawmakers have condemned the collaboration between the Bolsonaro family and Trumpists in the US aimed at overturning elections in both countries, and called for those involved to be held to account.“As lawmakers in Brazil and the United States, we stand united against the efforts by authoritarian, anti-democratic far right actors to overturn legitimate election results and overthrow our democracies,” said the joint statement, led by Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar.The statement, released on Wednesday evening, cited both Sunday’s attack by supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro on government institutions in Brasília, and the very similar 6 January 2021 insurrection in Washington by Donald Trump supporters.“It is no secret that ultra-right agitators in Brazil and the United States are coordinating efforts,” the legislators, including 36 US Democrats and 35 Brazilian progressives, said.Security tightened in Brazil amid fears of new attacks by Bolsonaro supportersRead moreThey pointed out that after the 30 October Brazilian elections, won by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the defeated president’s son and Brazilian congressman, Eduardo Bolsonaro, flew to Florida and met Trump and his former aides, Jason Miller and Steve Bannon, who “encouraged Bolsonaro to contest the election results in Brazil”.“Soon after the meetings, Bolsonaro’s party sought to invalidate thousands of votes,” the statement said. “All involved must be held accountable.”The lawmakers also drew attention to the fact that Bannon has been convicted for failing to comply with a subpoena to appear before congressional hearings or provide relevant documents on his role in the January 6 insurrection two years ago.03:49Jair Bolsonaro flew to Florida on 30 December, the day before his presidency came to an end. The Biden administration has not directly commented on his immigration status, but it pointed out that an A-1 visa, reserved for foreign leaders, would expire 30 days after the holder ceased to hold high office, implying that if Bolsonaro entered the country on such a visa, he would have to leave by the end of this month. The administration has also said it would treat any Brazilian government request for extradition “seriously”.Bolsonaro’s former justice minister Anderson Torres, who was the official responsible for security in Brasília, flew to Orlando, Florida, where the former Brazilian president is staying, on the weekend of the insurrection, instead of making any preparations to defend government buildings from the protests. Torres has been fired, his house has been searched and a warrant has been issued for his arrest. He said he was ready to return to Brazil to present himself to the authorities.An inquiry is under way in Brazil to determine the extent and sophistication of the planning behind Sunday’s riots, and whether they were a part of a coordinated coup attempt.“Democracies rely on the peaceful transfer of power,” the lawmakers’ statement said. “Just as far-right extremists are coordinating their efforts to undermine democracy, we must stand united in our efforts to protect it.”TopicsJair BolsonaroUS politicsBrazilDonald TrumpIlhan OmarUS CongressnewsReuse this content More

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    A Jan. 6 Moment for Brazil

    Clare Toeniskoetter and Rowan Niemisto and Listen and follow The DailyApple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Amazon MusicAfter Jair Bolsonaro lost October’s Brazilian presidential election to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, many believed that the threat of violence from the defeated leader’s supporters would recede. They were wrong. Mr. Bolsonaro had spent years sewing doubt and undermining Brazil’s election system, and last week, thousands of rioters stormed Brazil’s Congress, Supreme Court and presidential offices. What happened — and how did Brazil get here?On today’s episodeJack Nicas, the Brazil bureau chief for The New York Times.Police officers inspecting riot damage at Brazil’s Supreme Court. On Sunday, supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the Capitol.Victor Moriyama for The New York TimesBackground readingWhat drove a mass attack on Brazil’s capital? Mass delusion.The riots in Brazil had echoes of Jan. 6 in the United States. The comparison is inevitable and useful but here are some major differences. There are a lot of ways to listen to The Daily. Here’s how.We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.Jack Nicas More

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    Headlocked: inside the 13 January Guardian Weekly

    Headlocked: inside the 13 January Guardian WeeklyWhat’s the matter with the US Republican party? Plus: Britain’s battle royal
    Get the magazine delivered to your home address Two years after the Capitol riot, the toxic legacy of Donald Trump’s big election lie has been fully evident this week, not just in the US but also in Brazil.In Washington, the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives took 15 attempts just to fulfil its primary duty of appointing a speaker. Kevin McCarthy eventually squeaked through by four votes, after quelling a days-long revolt from a bloc of far-right conservatives. But, with a wafer-thin majority, and few powers, Nancy Pelosi’s successor looks set to be one of the weakest speakers in history.For our big story, Washington bureau chief David Smith examines the chaos within Republican ranks and what it means for the party. It’s a theme picked up for this week’s cover by illustrator Justin Metz, who took the traditionally harmless-looking motif of the Republican elephant and turned it into something altogether more confrontational.In Brazil, meanwhile, supporters of the former president Jair Bolsonaro stormed congress buildings in scenes eerily reminiscent of Washington on 6 January 2021. Latin America correspondent Tom Phillips reports on a dark day for Brazilian democracy, while Richard Lapper considers the potential fallout for the new president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and a deeply fractured nation.There’s a feast of great writing elsewhere in this week’s magazine. British food writer Jack Monroe, who taught us how to eat well on a shoestring, opens up to Simon Hattenstone about her struggles with addiction.And Chris Stringer, who has received a CBE for his work on human evolution, tells how his remarkable quest as a young researcher transformed understanding of our species.Get the magazine delivered to your home addressTopicsRepublicansInside Guardian WeeklyUS CongressUS politicsKevin McCarthyDonald TrumpBrazilReuse this content More