I’m going to resist commenting too directly on yesterday’s events in Brazil because it is far outside any expertise of mine. But allow me a few observations. The parallels to the January 6 insurrection in the U.S. are obvious and uncanny. To some degree that seems to have been intentional. But there is at least one key difference. On January 6, 2021, the American insurrectionists were trying to disrupt a specific constitutional process essential to the transition of power to the new president. That doesn’t seem to have been the case here. Lula is already president. The Brazilian Congress wasn’t in session. And Lula was in another part of the country.
Even in Brazil there seems to be some real question about just what the plan was and just how far into the military and state security services support for the insurrection went. Watching press reports yesterday there were a number of key governmental officials who are suspected of either being part of the insurrection or passively supporting it who then made showy efforts to arrest perpetrators once things got out of hand. From a distance it looked like something went wrong, like it became clear that whatever was intended wasn’t working and then players who had been taking a wait-and-see approach made hasty efforts to distance themselves from violence. All this said, Brazil is a different country with internal politics I have little understanding of and a very different history from the United States.