Police Seize Bolsonaro’s Passport and Arrest Aides in Alleged Coup Attempt
Brazil’s Federal Police Initiates Operation to Confiscate Bolsonaro’s Passport and Detain Close Associates
On Thursday, Brazil’s federal police sought to confiscate former President Jair Bolsonaro’s passport and arrest some of his closest aides as part of an investigation into an alleged coup attempt following his defeat in the 2022 election.
Operation Targets Bolsonaro, His Family, and Allies
The operation reflects a tightening net around Bolsonaro, his family, and some of his powerful allies for actions before and after his unsuccessful reelection effort.
Former President’s Passport Seized
The confiscation of his passport is particularly concerning for Bolsonaro, who has already been ruled politically ineligible until 2030 for spreading election falsehoods and faces several other criminal probes.
Mounting Legal Woes for Bolsonaro and His Son
Last week, federal police searched properties linked to Bolsonaro’s son, Carlos Bolsonaro, who is suspected of using data illegally collected by a spy agency to attack his father’s rivals.
Police Visit Bolsonaro’s Beach House
Police visited Bolsonaro’s beach house on Thursday and instructed him to hand over his passport, a move that he will comply with, according to a family spokesman.
Targets of the Operation
Search warrants were also issued for properties linked to several individuals, including Bolsonaro’s former running mate, former national security adviser, former defense minister, and former justice minister, among others.
Involvement of Bolsonaro’s Former Advisor
Bolsonaro’s former international affairs advisor is one of four people arrested in the operation, according to sources.
Response from the Targets
Reuters attempted to contact the targets of the police operation and their lawyers but received no immediate response.
Allegations of a Coup Attempt
According to the federal police, the targets of the operation formed a group in 2022 spreading claims of electoral fraud “even before the election took place” to “legitimize a military intervention.”
President Lula’s Response
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who defeated Bolsonaro in the 2022 election, emphasized the need to investigate the coup attempt to prevent it from happening again.
Incident Following Lula’s Inauguration
A week after Lula took office in January 2023, Bolsonaro supporters camped outside army headquarters invaded and vandalized government buildings in Brasilia, calling for a military takeover.