Protesters storm Brazil's government calling for military takeover
CHICAGO (CBS) -- In Brazil, supporters of former President Jair Bolsanaro, who lost his election last year, stormed the capitol Sunday.
This comes a week after the new president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in.
Government officials said Sunday night they had regained control of their three main government buildings and that they had at least 400 people in custody.
Massive crowds defaced government property, including buildings belonging to three branches of the Brazilian government all in defense of a former president. The former president's party called this a "sad day for the Brazilian nation."
What started off as a peaceful protest, Brazillian officials say ended anything but peaceful. Demonstrators refused to accept the transfer of power from former President Bolsonaro to newly sworn in President Lula.
They climbed on roofs, smashed windows and defaced the buildings lining Brazil's Three Powers Square, overwhelming the center of Brazil's democratic government -- the Supreme Court, congressional building and presidential palace -- for hours.
"Once they entered the chamber, some of the very same actions they took were comparable to what we saw in Washington, D.C. in 2021," said Stephen Maynard Caliendo, professor of political science at North Central College.
CBS 2's Sabrina Franza asked Caliendo if this speaks to people having less faith in democracy.
"It's hard to say," he said. "There's always been people who have less faith in democracy, and it's not just people from the ideological right. This was a right wing movement, similar to what we saw in the United States, but folks on the left have been concerned about democracy in various ways as well.
President Lula called demonstrators "fascist fanatics" while former President Bolsonara reportedly remains in Florida where he flew for the inauguration.
Bolsonaro did not explicity concede the runoff election but did say he would cooperate with a transfer in power. He tweeted Sunday that peaceful protest is part of democracy, but this is "exceptions to the rule."
"He came out immediately and distanced himself and condemned it, which is very different than what Former President Donald Trump did in 2021," he said.
President Biden weighed in on Twitter as well saying, "I condemn the assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power in Brazil."
The results of the election in Brazil were legitimized by politicians across the political spectrum, though they were close -- less than two percentage points in a runoff election.
It was not clear Sunday night if there were any injuries, though all three buildings were believed to be largely empty on the weekend.
for more features.