Brazil marks first anniversary of January 8 riots

Today marks the first anniversary of tumultuous riots in Brazil’s capital city Brasilia.

On January 8, 2023, following the results of an October 2022 presidential election, tens of thousands of supporters of ousted right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro stormed government buildings in Brasilia. Criminal trials against the perpetrators are ongoing and Bolsonaro was barred in June by the country’s highest electoral court from running for political office again until 2030. The incident has been likened to the January 6 riot in the US.

Akin to how Democrats in the US have marked the two anniversaries of the January 6 incident, expect 2022 election victor President Lula da Silva to use the first anniversary of the January 8 turmoil in Brazil to garner political support and attack his political opponents. In speeches and ceremonies today, expect Lula to frame the January 8 incident as an assault on democracy and liken support for Bolsonaro to Brazil’s over twenty-year military dictatorship. In the short-term, expect this messaging to be highly polarizing in Brazilian politics. In the medium to long-term, anticipate further legal efforts to prosecute rioters and uphold the judicial decision to keep Bolsonaro off all ballots.


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