Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has declared a state of emergency in the Federal District of Brasilia after thousands of supporters of his right-wing predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, overran the Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidential Planalto Palace.
The leftist leader, inaugurated just last week, gave the order on Sunday, appointing justice minister Ricardo Garcia Capelli to lead the ‘federal intervention’. Lula’s order gives Capelli the power to ask both civil and military bodies for “the necessary means to achieve the object of the intervention.”
After hours of clashes using tear-gas and water cannons, riot police managed to regain control of the government buildings by Sunday evening. Auhotities announced that at least 300 people were detained, as the Justice Minister warned that the arrests would continue throughout the night, as authorities are trying to identify everyone involved in what he dubbed an act of “terrorism” and an attempted “coup.”
However, the emergcy order remains in effect until the end of the month. The scope of the order is limited to Brasilia’s Federal District, and its stated aim is to “end the serious compromising of public order in the State in the Federal District, marked by acts of violence and invasion of public buildings.”
To achieve that goal, Capelli may call upon “the financial, technological, structural, and human resources of the Federal District” – including, but not limited to, the military and police – as needed.