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Brazil’s Army Chief Dismissed in Aftermath of Capital Uprising

tomas ribeiro paiva with Brazil president Lula

Only a few days after publicly admitting that certain military personnel encouraged the far-right protests on January 8 in the nation’s capital, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil dismissed the army chief on Saturday.

Gen. Julio Cesar de Arruda was reportedly fired from his position as army chief, according to the Brazilian armed services’ official website. Gen. Tomás Miguel Ribeiro Paiva, commander of the Southeast Military Command, took his place.

When Lula visited Roraima state on Saturday to follow up on the proclamation of a health emergency in the region of the Indigenous Yanomami, he said nothing about the army move.

After supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro broke through government buildings and damaged public property in an effort to maintain Bolsonaro in office, Lula recently directed anger at the military.

The rebellion brought attention to Brazil’s left-right divide.

Although he never named Arruda, Lula said on numerous occasions in public that there were army personnel who undoubtedly permitted the rioting to take place.

Earlier this week, Lula claimed that “a lot of people from the military police and the armed forces were complicit” and had allowed protestors to access the buildings through open doors. He made this claim during a brunch with the press. The president stated that “all the military participating in the coup attempt will be punished, regardless of rank” in another interview.

Hub peek embed with a compressed layout (Jair Bolsonaro) (automatic embed)

After making the remarks, Lula set up many meetings with Jose Mucio, the defense minister, and the leaders of the military forces. Mucio denied that they had brought up the riots on January 8, but he did assert that the military and government relations needed to be improved.

On the eve of Arruda’s dismissal, a video of a speech Paiva gave earlier in the week was made public. In it, he argued that respecting the election results would ensure democracy.

Rioters attempted to have the military intervene and overturn Bolsonaro’s loss to Lula in the presidential election by breaking into the Brazilian Congress, the presidential residence, and the Supreme Court in Brasilia.

On the day of the attack, a colonel is seen in a video released on social media from within the presidential palace attempting to prevent police from apprehending Bolsonaro’s supporters who had entered the structure. He begs the military police, who answer to the federal district’s administration, to be patient.

The disruption, which had many similarities to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the US Congress by rioters who wanted to reverse US President Donald Trump’s election defeat, resulted in the arrest of more than a thousand people both on the day of the riot and the morning after.

A justice of the Brazilian Supreme Court approved including Bolsonaro earlier this month as part of a larger effort to hold accountable those responsible for the rioting in Brasilia.

Justice Alexandre de Moraes granted the request from the prosecutor general’s office, which referenced a video that Bolsonaro uploaded on Facebook two days after the disturbance, according to the language of his decision. According to the film, Lula was not elected to government; rather, the Supreme Court and Brazil’s election body selected him.

By Bolsonaro’s departure, a large number of military officers were left in the government administration, which Lula has been working to eliminate. Since Lula assumed office on January 1, at least 140 military officers have been fired.

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