Police foil bomber attempting to disrupt Brazilian presidential inauguration

Policia Federal Brazil - Image Policia

The police in Brazil have foiled a would-be bomber attempting to disrupt the country’s presidential inauguration in scenes reminiscent of those in the U.S. on January 6.

According to news reports on Monday, December 26 the police found the device on Christmas Eve ahead of the January 1 inauguration ceremony for President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The police allege the man, who is now in their custody, placed explosives in a fuel truck which he aimed to detonate prior to the event. George Washington de Oliveira Sousa, a far-right supporter of outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro, was arrested on terrorism charges.

Bolsonaro like former U.S. President Donald Trump claims the election was stolen resulting in his supporters taking to the streets to protest the result.

It is understood that despite attempts to activate the device it did not explode according to a Civil Police General, Robson Candico.

Speaking at a press conference he said that Oliveira Sousa has confessed the bomb was part of a plan to “start chaos” and ‘”prevent the establishment of communism in Brazil.” He is believed to have told authorities that the plan was hatched with other Bolsonaro supporters who have been protesting outside the army headquarters in Brasilia.

They have been calling for a military intervention to prevent Lula from assuming power.

Oliveira Sousa said the intention was to force authorities to declare a state of emergency and therefore the intervention of the armed forces, by placing at least two bombs in strategic locations.

He claimed further that he was inspired to acquire the weapons “by President Bolsonaro’s words.” The outgoing president is a strong supporter of gun rights and has previously stated that “an armed people will never be enslaved.”

Lula is a 77-year-old socialist who was president from 2003 to 2010. Once he has been inaugurated he will assume office for the third time.

Unlike Trump Bolsanaro has kept a fairly low profile since losing the election, however, his supporters remain on the street although the numbers have dwindled since October when it was announced that he had lost.

His rhetoric during the election is believed to be what has driven many Brazilians to take to the street in protest over his loss, and in this case, prompting at least one person to go to the extreme by attempting to disrupt the Brazilian presidential inauguration with a bomb.

The latest is that the Policia Federal are conducting checks throughout the city and in all areas where Lula will appear, as more bomb threats surface.

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Written by

Peter McLaren-Kennedy

Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]