Bolsonaro aide proposed coup d’etat – police
A close adviser to former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro sought advice on how to stage a coup d’etat to prevent the handover of power following last year’s presidential elections, federal police in the South American country alleged on Friday.
Citing information obtained from a cell phone belonging to Bolsonaro aide Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Cid, Brazilian police claimed that Cid had “gathered documents with the objective of obtaining ‘legal and juradicial’ support for the execution of a coup d’etat.”
The report further alleges that Cid investigated methods of potentially stopping the transfer of power from Bolsonaro to current president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva – commonly known simply as Lula. It also states that he looked into “the possibility of using the armed forces” to achieve the objective.
Cid – who stayed on as an aide to Bolsonaro after he left office – was arrested last month on suspicion of falsifying the former president’s Covid-19 vaccination card.
The allegations set out by Brazil’s federal police come amid various investigations headed by Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes into claims of improper conduct by Bolsonaro and some of his domestic political allies before and after October’s presidential election.
Among the documents allegedly discovered on Cid’s cell phone was a blueprint detailing plans to object to Lula’s January 1 presidential inauguration by claiming that Brazil’s judiciary and its media had unfairly backed Lula ahead of the election.
The alleged plan discovered by police also suggested the appointment of an “intervener,” which would control Brazil’s armed forces and various other public security agencies. Members of the judiciary who objected, including Supreme Court justices, would be removed from their positions, it added. A court would then be established to oversee new elections.
It is not clear if the plans the police say they found on Cid’s phone were ever seen by Bolsonaro. A statement posted to social media on Friday by Bolsonaro’s lawyer, Fabio Wajngarten, said “President Bolsonaro never participated in any conversation about a possible coup d’etat.”
Brazil’s army, meanwhile, said in its own statement that “any individual conduct judged to be irregular will be dealt with in court.”