Brazil: two alleged coup plotters raided

The Brazilian Federal Police raided the singer’s residences and offices on Friday Sergio Reis and the deputy Paula’s Otoni, both supporters of the far-right president, Jair bolsonaro, by violent and threatening acts against democracy and encouraging a coup. The raids are part of a court case in which the Brazilian president is charged with the alleged spread of false news and an alleged attack against democracy.

For his part this Friday Bolsonaro submitted a letter to Congress requesting the impeachment of Alexandre de Moraes, the judge of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) who investigates him and who ordered the raids of his two supporters.

“Violent and threatening acts”

Reis and de Paula are suspected of “the eventual commission of the crime of inciting the population to carry out violent and threatening acts against democracy, the rule of law and its institutions, as well as against members of the powers”, reported the Federal police through a note that appeared in local media.

According to the note, this instigation took place through social networks where the defendants promoted “the practice of violent and threatening acts against Democracy, the Rule of Law and its Institutions, as well as against members of the Powers“.

The popular singer and agricultural producer Reis promotes the invasion of the Senate and a national stoppage of truckers, to press for the removal of the eleven judges of the Supreme Federal Court.

Paula’s deputy, from the right-wing Christian Social Party, asked the population to mobilize against the judges on September 7, at the events called this Thursday by President Bolsonaro.

According to the first information, the Federal Police agents raided on the morning of this Friday the deputy office in Brasilia and his properties in Rio de Janeiro, in addition to requisitioning the address of Reis in the state of San Pablo.

Dismissal process

In turn, Bolsonaro formally asked the Senate this Friday for the opening of impeachment proceedings against the judge of the STF (supreme court) Alexandre de Moraes, which investigates him in a case about the dissemination of false news and attacks on democracy.

This act of the far-right leader is framed within the institutional arm wrestling with the Judiciary, that in recent weeks has tightened the siege against the ruler and his allies for his campaign of discredit towards the Supreme Court and the electoral authorities.

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An official from the Planalto Presidential Palace was in charge of presenting the petition in the Upper House, signed by Bolsonaro and the State Attorney General, Bruno Bianco, to initiate a impeachment trial against De Moraes.

Last weekend, the president announced that he was going to officially request an ‘impeachment’ against De Moraes and Luis Roberto Barroso, another of the eleven judges of the Supreme Court and current president of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), although it finally gave up on including the latter.

De Moraes is the investigating judge in an investigation in which Bolsonaro appears as a suspect and is trying to find out the origin and financing of a network of “far-right digital militias” that are in charge of spreading false content and attacks against democracy through the internet.

The judicial investigation

This same Friday, the magistrate authorized ordered to search the residences of a dozen people, among them the deputy Otoni de Paula and the far-right singer Sergio Reis, accused of “conspiring” against the institutions. In your writing, Bolsonaro alleged that De Moraes acts in an “inquisitorial” manner, with “partiality” and in a “partisan” manner, being “at the same time an investigator, accuser and judge”.

The fact that a head of state calls for the removal of a Supreme Court judge has strong symbolism, though he would not prosper in Parliament, for the head of the Senate, Rodrigo Pacheco, already announced that it is not the ideal time to discuss the matter in the midst of the serious health and economic crisis.

Tensions

The tensions between Bolsonaro and the Supreme Court and Congress began in the middle of last year, when both powers allowed governors and mayors to adopt isolation measures against the coronavirus pandemic, which the president censures.

This year, the institutional conflict worsened from the aggressive campaign to discredit the president against the electronic voting system that has operated in the country since 1996, which, in his opinion, encourages “fraud”, although he admits that he has no evidence in this regard.

With their popularity ratings in free fall and the latest polls predicting their defeat in the 2022 elections, Bolsonaro has encouraged his supporters to take to the streets next September 7th, when the Independence of Brazil is celebrated, to protest against the Supreme Court and the Electoral Justice.

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