The former heads of the Brazilian Army and Air Force have confirmed that Bolsonaro proposed a coup to them

Two of the three members of Brazil’s military leadership whom then-President Jair Bolsonaro had tried to persuade to join him in a coup in late 2022 have refused. Army commander General Marco Antonio Freire Gomes and Air Force chief Carlos Baptista both confirmed in police interrogations conducted in recent weeks that the far-right politician called them on several occasions and proposed various formulas. Legal measures that were intended to serve as a guarantee to prevent the winner of the election, Brazilian leftist leader Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, from returning to the presidency. The testimony of the two soldiers became known this Friday when the investigating judge in the case against Bolsonaro for coup conspiracy declassified part of the summary.

It is the first time that Bolsonaro has been directly accused of participating in a conspiracy to ignore election results and perpetrate constitutional violations, although this has been wrapped up in decrees to give the appearance of legality. The testimony of the two generals further worsens the judicial position of the former far-right president, who has several open cases against him. Bolsonaro declared himself innocent.

Army and aeronautics commanders told their interrogators how they opposed the plans of Bolsonaro, who had a career reaching the rank of captain in the army before entering Congress as a deputy. The first of them also told the then head of state that he would arrest him if he continued with his plan to “attack democratic governance”. Instead, the Chief of Naval Staff embraced the far-right effort and placed himself at his disposal.

The two generals have been questioned as part of an investigation into people who plotted an attack on the country’s institutional heart in Brasília on January 8, 2023, a week after Lula became president. Last February, federal police accused the former president of writing the order to cancel the elections. And the judge banned him from leaving the country and confiscated his passport after searching the summer house where Bolsonaro was with his family.

The testimony of Generals Freire Gomes and Baptista corroborates the confession of Bolsonaro’s personal secretary, Lieutenant Mauro Cid, which is the fundamental piece in the case. He was the one who pointed out his former boss and about 30 of his associates, including several generals and former ministers.

The former head of the army told the agents who interrogated him that Bolsonaro, as president, had presented the entire military leadership and Defense Minister General Paulo Sérgio Nogueira with various legal instruments designed to stop Lula . Inauguration as President. Bolsonaro lost by less than two points in a series of meetings called at the last minute after the second round of elections. The then-President also mentioned the possibility of ordering a state of siege.

The leftist takes over as head of state on January 1, 2023, after an election campaign marked by Bolsonaro’s systematic attacks on the security of electronic ballot boxes.

Following Bolsonaro’s defeat, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters camped outside barracks across Brazil to demand military intervention, convinced (falsely) that their leader had been stripped of election victory. Although there was not a single sign that pointed in that direction.

The ultra former president insists that, without tanks or weapons on the streets, any coup is not worth it. He recently united thousands of people in a show of strength in Sao Paulo. In any case, he is declared ineligible to contest elections till 2030.

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(Tags to translate)America(T)Latin America(T)Brazil(T)Jair Bolsonaro(T)Lula da Silva(T)South America(T)Politics(T)Armed Forces(T)Armed Forces Brazil(T) )Election Brazil 2022

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