A President Jair Bolsonaro follower was arrested during the weekend for planning an attack to prevent President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva from taking office on Jan. 1.
I decided to draw up a plan with the demonstrators at the Army Headquarters to provoke the intervention of the Armed Forces and the declaration of a state of siege to prevent the establishment of communism in Brazil, said Businessman George Washington de Oliveira Sousa, who was formally charged with terrorism after confessing to building the explosive device that was placed in a fuel tanker truck.
The artifact was defused Saturday by the explosives brigade before the vehicle reached Brasilia's international airport.
De Oliveira, 54, was arrested on Saturday. When authorities raided his property they found a sizeable arsenal consisting of two shotguns, a rifle, two revolvers, three pistols, 1,000 rounds of ammunition, camouflage uniforms, and five explosive emulsions used in mining and similar to the one used in the device defused Saturday.
According to parts of the interrogation to which he was subjected, released Sunday by the Civil Police of the Federal District, the defendant admitted other Bolsonaristas were involved in his plan: they are camped in front of the Army headquarters in Brasília to ask for a coup d'état to prevent Lula's inauguration. The intention was to start a chaos that would force the authorities to declare a state of siege that would spark the military uprising.
Sousa, who reportedly lives in the Amazon state of Pará, has been in Brasília since Nov. 12 with groups of Bolsonaro supporters camped out in front of the Army barracks who negate Lula's victory in the October presidential election.
Saturday's serious events in Brasilia prove that such 'patriotic' camps became incubators of terrorists, Lula's future Justice Minister Flávio Dino said. There is no political pact possible and there will be no amnesty for terrorists, their supporters, and financiers, he added.
Dino also pointed out that in light of these events, all security measures regarding Lula's inauguration will be reviewed and vowed that the ceremony will take place in peace.
The fight against terrorists and troublemakers will be intensified. Democracy has won and will win, Dino also pointed out on social media.
Dino also said he would recommend that the Public Prosecutor's Office constitutes special groups to combat terrorism and irresponsible armament, while underlining that the rule of law is not compatible with these political militias.
At least 17 heads of state or government, including the King of Spain and the Presidents of Germany, Portugal, Argentina, and Uruguay, are expected to attend the Jan. 1 inauguration, in addition to some 300,000 people who are to participate in a music festival marking the beginning of Lula's third term.