The coup of January 8

Image: Kelly


The historical truth is that a coup d'état was preached and attempted under the inspiration and direction of Jair Bolsonaro

The path to the construction of the January 8 coup began with the support of the Armed Forces for the legal-parliamentary coup against President Dilma Rousseff and was paved by the military's support for the election of Jair Bolsonaro in 2018, due to their strong presence in his authoritarian government. and denialist, and due to the connivance of military leaders with the camps in front of the barracks after Lula's election.

We can say, without any doubt, that the coup of January 8th was a natural consequence of the cycle that opened with the return of the military to politics, a historical vocation unresolved in the democratic transition and the 1988 Constituent Assembly. -be preserved within the military institution since the military were not tried and held responsible neither for the 1964 coup nor for the crimes and human rights violations committed in the name of the State during the dictatorship they commanded.

Thirty years after the reestablishment of democracy in Brazil, the invisible hand of the military was present in the parliamentary-judicial coup that deposed constitutional president Dilma Rousseff. It was personified in the figure of General Sergio Etchegoyen, guarantor of vice-president Michel Temer's inauguration and delegate of the Armed Forces to the presidency. He began the process of reorganization and control of State Intelligence, later completed by his colleague in arms, General Augusto Heleno.

In an interview, Sergio Etchegoyen listed the three reasons for the deposition of President Dilma Rousseff: installation of the Truth Commission, promotion in the Armed Forces and education in military schools. In other words, he said verbatim that the Armed Forces did not accept the initiatives to submit military power to civil power as required by the Constitution, since the president or president of the Republic is the supreme commander of the Armed Forces.

Then, another military intervention in the country's political life: the tweet by the then Army commander, General Villas Boas, suggesting (more than a suggestion, a commanding voice) to the STF not to grant a habeas corpus to President Lula, unjustly arrested in a summary and exceptional political process promoted by Lava Jato. From a legal point of view, it is worth remembering that the habeas corpus it was Lula's clear and certain right.

In the wake of these events, the Armed Forces resumed their illegal and unconstitutional activities, with the aim of returning to direct the destinies of Brazil. They supported and supported Jair Bolsonaro's candidacy, despite the fact that he was prosecuted and tried for violating his military oath, in practice a white expulsion. After his election to the Presidency of the Republic, a large part of the four-star generalship went to the government and thousands of reserve and active officers gained public positions, demonstrating the military character of the government.

During his four years in office, Jair Bolsonaro set up his coup and authoritarian strategy either with the explicit support of the Armed Forces or, at least, with their complacency. It was no different during the Covid-19 epidemic, when the military supported or turned a blind eye to Jair Bolsonaro's criminal activities, his denialism and obscurantism. It was no different when Jair Bolsonaro launched a campaign with the aim of discrediting and demoralizing electronic voting machines and the democratic process.

Despite the resistance of opposition parties to attacks on democracy, the repeated complaints about the politicization of the military forces – Military Police, Federal Police, Federal Highway Police, Abin and the Armed Forces – and the increase in their power, the National Congress and the STF were timid in their responses. Shy and lukewarm. The only exception was the immediate action of the STF in the pandemic.

Paved path

This script paved the way for Jair Bolsonaro to build the January 8 coup, with the support of businesspeople, mainly from agribusiness; of sectors benefited by your government; of deputies and senators, parties and governors. The preparation for the coup explains the escalation of acts and mobilizations across the country during the election year and, after Jair Bolsonaro's defeat and Lula's victory, the camps in front of the Army barracks, a decisive factor in the success of the 8th of January with the occupation and destruction of the headquarters of the Three Powers of the Republic.

A separate chapter was the action, on social media, of the financiers and controllers of various accounts and profiles and dozens of media outlets that supported Jair Bolsonaro since the 2018 campaign.

Although camping in military areas, barracks or any other military installation is a crime, military leaders have made no move to prevent their installation or demobilize them. On the contrary, they viewed the camps with tolerance and benevolence, which encouraged their stay. Thus, the civil and criminal responsibility of the military leaders is more than evident and their negligent attitude towards the camps, not to say complicity, was decisive for the mobilization of January 8th and for strengthening the confidence of the protesters that they would have military support. for a coup d'état.

The history of January 8th – the day of infamy – cannot be recorded without holding the Armed Forces and their leaders and chain of command responsible. In other words, those in the government and in the Brasília Military Police, in the Federal Police and in the Federal Highway Police openly supported the coup. Coup that was defeated thanks to the lack of support for the coup plotters in other parts of the country outside Brasília, the prompt response of the STF and the TSE, the immediate action of President Lula and his government, the Ministry of Justice at the head, the presidents of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate, which found strong support in civil society, in the majority of political parties and governors, in part of the Armed Forces, in the media and in the international community.

What society wants to know is whether everyone involved in this crime of betrayal of the Constitution and democracy in our country, whether they are civilians or military, popular or business people, responsible for social media, politicians or not, will receive the sentences they deserve. We will only have the answers with the conclusion of the inquiries and processes legitimately conducted by Minister Alexandre de Moraes.

The historical truth is that a coup d'état was preached and attempted under the inspiration and direction of Jair Bolsonaro. All those responsible, regardless of their origin and status, must be prosecuted. And those who are convicted must be prevented from participating in the country's political life.

* Jose Dirceu he was Minister of the Civil House in the first Lula government. Author, among other books, of Memories – Vol. 1 (Geração editorial, 2018, 496 pages.). []

Originally published on the portal congress in focus.

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