April 25th, 2024

Brazilian military leaders told police Bolsonaro presented a plan to reverse the 2022 election

By Mauricio Savarese, The Associated Press on March 15, 2024.

Former President Jair Bolsonaro addresses supporters during a rally in Sao Paulo., Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. Bolsonaro and some of his former top aides are under investigation into allegations they attempted plotted a coup to remove his successor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

SAO PAULO (AP) – Top Brazilian military leaders declared to police that former President Jair Bolsonaro presented to them a plan to reverse the results of the 2022 election he lost, but they refused and warned him that they would arrest him if he tried it, according to judicial documents released Friday.

The testimonies of Bolsonaro’s former Army and Air Force commanders before the police, and released by the Supreme Court, is the first direct mention to the right-wing leader as the person planning a move to change the results of the 2022 election won by his rival, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The statement by Bolsonaro’s commanders add to his legal woes as prosecutors seek to find links between the far-right leader and the Jan. 8, 2023 riots that trashed government buildings in capital Brasilia one week after Lula’s inauguration.

A federal police report said former army commander Marco Antônio Freire Gomes testified that he and other top military leaders attended several last-minute and unscheduled meetings at the presidential palace after the second round of the 2022 elections “in which then President Jair Bolsonaro offered possibilities of using legal tools… regarding the electoral process.”

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