Bolsonaro’s aide Mauro Cid has been accused of “collecting documents” to support a coup against Brazilian President Lula.
Brazil’s federal police released a report detailing the involvement of an aide to former President Jair Bolsonaro in a campaign following the far-right leader’s defeat in the 2022 election. Plans for a military coup.
The report, published on Friday, said the aide, Lieutenant Colonel Mauro Sid, “gathered documents with the aim of obtaining ‘legal and judicial’ support for the execution of the coup”.
The documents, reportedly recovered from Cid’s phone, outline possible steps to prevent a transfer of power to Bolsonaro’s successor, current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Bolsonaro’s narrow defeat proved divisive, sparking far-right protests and threats of violence in the weeks leading up to Lula’s inauguration. A week after Lula was sworn in, supporters of Bolsonaro gathered in the capital, Brasilia’s Plaza de Tripower, on Jan. 8, attacking government buildings in an apparent attempt to spark a military coup.
Friday’s report was the latest revelation that some of Bolsonaro’s inner circle was involved in opposing or undermining the peaceful transfer of power.
Bolsonaro himself has never publicly conceded defeat, and he suggested, without evidence, that votes would be marred by fraud long before the first votes opened.
Within a month of Bolsonaro’s defeat, his far-right coalition attempted to “invalidate” electronic voting machine ballots, claiming a “glitch” that was ultimately never proven.
Brazil’s top electoral court chief, Alexandre de Moraes, ultimately dismissed the coalition’s challenge, calling the effort “malicious.” The league was also fined $4.3 million for “absolutely no evidence whatsoever.”
Still, far-right groups continued to reject the election results, which marked Lula’s third successful run for president, following victories in 2002 and 2006.
Leftist Lula has publicly accused Bolsonaro of being involved in the coup attempt, saying in February: “I am sure that Bolsonaro is actively involved and is still trying to do so.”
But Bolsonaro and his lawyers insist the former president is innocent. Bolsonaro is currently facing multiple investigations, including that he may have “incited” the Jan. 8 attack.
Friday’s report echoed similar allegations against Anderson Torres, who served as Bolsonaro’s justice minister. Police raids on Torres’ home in January uncovered a draft ordinance proposing steps to “correct” October’s election results, according to current Justice Minister Flavio Dino.
Documents purportedly recovered from Cid’s phone similarly recommend steps to overturn the election, including declaring a “state of martial law” to restore a “democratic state of law.”
According to the documents, an “interventor” will be appointed to lead Brazil’s armed forces and federal security agencies during that period.
Another step proposed in the document is the investigation and possible removal of several Supreme Court ministers, including De Morais, who has encouraged efforts to prosecute the alleged Jan. 8 conspirators and attackers.
De Moraes authorized the declassification of Friday’s report after parts of it were revealed by Brazilian media. Veja magazine first reported this story.
Cid is currently under arrest as police investigate his alleged involvement in another scheme: falsifying COVID-19 vaccination records for Bolsonaro.
The far-right president and former Army captain has vowed never to get vaccinated, but health reports released in February showed he had, prompting another federal investigation.