By Anthony Faiola, Samantha Schmidt
and Marina Dias
January 14, 2023
BRASÍLIA — As security forces cleared supporters of defeated former president Jair Bolsonaro from Brazil’s Congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court last Sunday, the insurrectionists retreated to a place they had made their sanctuary: the lawn outside the national headquarters of the army.
The bolsonaristas had camped on the sprawling green space since the right-wing leader’s October election loss to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. They, like Bolsonaro himself, refused to recognize Lula’s victory, even after the leftist was sworn in Jan. 1. For weeks, they had called on the military to stage a coup to keep Bolsonaro in power.
It was an idea that observers in and out of Brazil saw as far-fetched. But when top Lula administration officials arrived at the army headquarters Sunday night with the aim of securing the detention of insurrectionists at the camp, they were confronted with tanks and three lines of military personnel.
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