Brazilian president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva used the January 8th riots to the best of his advantage, in the first days of his third mandate, trying to silence any and all critics of his heavily disputed election.
This was similar to the tactics used by the DC elites against Trump and his supporters following the January 6 protests.
Now, the reality of that fateful day may be coming back to haunt him, so he is using all the power of his administration to keep this from happening.
‘[Opposition congressman] Ubiratan Sanderson says he received information that the Lula administration offered to release around R$ 60 million in budget amendments made by parliamentarians who accept to withdraw their names from the application for the installation of the CPMI [Congressual investigation] on the acts of 8 of January.’
(For context: in Brazil the executive power can withhold money from budget provisions made by congressmen.)
Opposition congressmen and senators struggle to install a Joint Parliamentary Inquest Commission (CPMI) ‘in order to investigate actions and omissions of the Executive in the invasions of the buildings of the Three Powers.’ The request for the CPMI was filed with the signatures of 189 house members and 33 senators.
Through social networks, Congressman Sanderson has vowed to take appropriate measures to hold those involved accountable.
‘I received information that emissaries of Lula are offering 60 million reals in amendments to whoever withdraws the signature from the application for the installation of the CPMI on January 8th. If confirmed, I will seek to hold those involved responsible for the practice of active and passive corruption.’
Senator from Lula’s support base, Humberto Costa said that the federal government “will invest heavily” to prevent the installation of a Joint Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPMI) on the acts of January 8th.
‘The government is going to invest heavily so that parliamentarians are convinced that it is not the best path and, if the instrument is the withdrawal of signatures, so be it.’
It is perhaps unsurprising that Costa, who chooses to have a ‘business as usual’ attitude towards what would amount to bribery, was accused to have received one million reals from corruption money from Brazil’s Oil giant Petrobras.
Not all Lula da Silva supporters are as ‘faithful’ as Costa. In fact, he is reportedly being ‘blackmailed’ by deputies from his own Congressual base, who are threatening to investigate his government with the CPMI of January 8th.
The parliamentarians indicate that, if Lula does not appoint their chosen names for the administration positions that they claim, the CPMI will have their support.
But why is the Lula administration so afraid of the investigation into the January 8th riots? Besides the fact that the truth about the facts in January 8th could disrupt the narrative for his lackluster administration, there may also be a very clear legal trouble ahead.
It has surfaced, even in mainstream media, that the plan for the defense of the palaces in the capital Brasília was only activated after the vandals occupied the Planalto Palace.ESTADÃO: GSI dismissed reinforcement of guard in Planalto 20 hours before the invasion of coup plotters‘About 20 hours before the invasion of the Planalto Palace, the Institutional Security Office (GSI) dismissed the 36-man platoon of the Presidential Guard Battalion in writing. […] Sunday, however, dawned on the Esplanada with the headquarters of the federal government with only the normal guard, almost devoid of civil disturbance control equipment, such as shields, gas bombs and rubber bullets. Most of the troops only had rifles with lethal ammunition.[…] It was only in the early afternoon that the Planalto Military Command (CMP), on its own initiative, contacted the GSI and sent the platoon back to the Planalto.’
Senator do Val: ‘Lula knew’
Former military officer and Swat instructor, Senator Marcos do Val is part of the Congress’ Joint Commission for Control of Intelligence Activities, that supervises intelligence agencies.
Senator do Val claims that to have received ‘information that the demonstrations would not be peaceful’ and tried to speak with [Lula’s] Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino.’
He now publicly accuses Dino and Lula of having been remiss and to have used the confusion for their political ends.
While Congressual investigations in Brazil, much like anywhere else, don’t usually have ‘teeth’ in terms of judicial prosecutions, it is also true that the ‘Postal Service CPI’, in 2005 did a world of damage to Lula and kept him for a good part of his two firs mandates, in complete defense mode, as the ‘Mensalão Scandal‘ rocked the Brazilian political world.
It was then revealed that – tired of having to negotiate administration positions and budget amendment releases ofr each and every important vote in the Parliament, Lula and his team started bribing congress members with a fixed monthly sum of money.
It is perhaps telling that now, beginning his third mandate, Lula da Silva is once again releasing budget money and appointing politically-backed names to key posts in his administration. All this to keep the truth from emerging – be it about election integrity, be it about the January 8th riots.