Brazil: Lula denounces the bankruptcy of the intelligence services on January 8

by Ricardo Brito

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Wednesday national intelligence services failed on Jan. 8, a day marked by riots led by supporters of far-right ex-President Jair Bolsonaro who invaded and ransacked places of power in Brasilia.

These new comments from the left-wing president come amid heightened criticism of the military for its laxity in dealing with pro-Bolsonaro protesters.

“We made a basic mistake: my intelligence services did not exist (that day). We have the military intelligence service, the air intelligence service, the national intelligence service; none of them warned me,” Lula said in an interview with GloboNews television.

Returning to power on January 1 following his victory in the presidential election last October against Jair Bolsonaro – who did not recognize his defeat – Lula has in the past expressed his suspicions of a collusion between ” people in the army” and the protesters.

On January 8, several thousand pro-Bolsonaro invaded for nearly three hours and ransacked the Supreme Court, Congress and the presidential palace. “I feel like it was the start of a coup,” said Lula, who was in Sao Paulo at the time.

Expressing his desire to maintain cordial relations with the army, the Labor leader stressed that the army should not be politicized, as supporters of Jair Bolsonaro demanded that it intervene to reverse the result of the poll presidential.

“Those who want to get involved in politics must take off their uniform, leave their post and then enter politics,” Lula said, days after dismissing more than 50 army officers who were part of the device protection of the presidential palace and the office of the national security officer.

(Report Ricardo Brito and Gabriel Araujo; French version Jean Terzian)

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