The Election Riots in Brazil



People gather during a protest held by supporters of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro against President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who won a third term following the presidential election run-off, at the Army Headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil, November 15, 2022. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

On January 6th, 2021, the capital of the United States of America was stormed by Trump supporters attempting to overthrow the 2020 election results and former President Donald J. Trump’s loss. On January 8th, 2023 mirrored the January 6th insurrection as the capital of Brazil was stormed by former President Jair Bolsonaro’s supporters.

To understand why the capitol was stormed we have to look back to the 2022 election. On October 2nd 2022, Brazil’s incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro faced former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the presidential election. The election was close and Silva did win the majority. However, he did not reach the 50% threshold needed to win the election. So, the race was brought to a runoff on October 30th.

After October 30th, Silva did win the race and passed the 50% threshold by a percentage of 50.9% as he took home 60,000,000 votes. However, not everyone accepted Silva’s win. After beliefs of widespread election fraud, fueled by Bolsonaro, rioters began to push back against the results. From road blockades to attacking other citizens, Bolsonaro supporters tried their best to overthrow the election.

However, Bolsonaro’s supporters could not overthrow the election and on January 1st, 2023, Silva was sworn in. But, the riots were not over because one week after Silva was sworn in rioters stormed Brazil’s capital.

Thousands of supporters stormed the capitol and its capital buildings. The riots went on for days and after hundreds of people were detained the riots were finally brought to an end.

The riot mirrored the US’s January 6th insurrections which raises the question, will far-right politicians like Donald Trump and Bolsonaro (who was nicknamed the Trump of the Amazon) continue to deny elections and will we see more riots in the near future?