Brazil’s democracy under threat? Lula vows post-riot crackdown on far-right supporters

Scenes of open revolt in Brazil - protestors invaded the Presidential palace and the Supreme court in the capital Brasilia. An angry mob of supporters of the defeated presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. The far-right mob caused huge damage to the headquarters of the three Powers in Brasília: the Palácio do Planalto, the Congress, and the Federal Supreme Court.

Brazil's ministry of justice says there are 300 people under arrest, independent estimates are far higher. President Lula da Silva was visiting flooded areas near Sao Paolo at the time, and he wasted no time calling the mob "fascists" and promising those responsible will be punished. Bolsonaro, the outgoing president, lost to the left-wing candidate Lula da Silva back in October.

The margin of victory was slim - 50.9% to 49.1% and Bolsonaro immediately called fraud and refused to concede. The lack of respect for the democratic process has festered into a rotten wound in the heart of Brazilian society. Which perhaps mirrors a similar rejection of democracy in other places: notably the United States.

Produced by Charles Wente, Juliette Laurain, Sara Ayach and Imen Mellaz.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English