Authorities retake Brazil presidential palace from Bolsonaro supporters

Brazil police retook control of the country’s presidential palace late on Sunday (January 8), after supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro had invaded and defaced it.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries from their rampage, but the invaders left a trail of destruction, throwing furniture through the smashed windows of the Planalto Palace in Brasilia.

The uprising, which lasted a little over three hours, underlined the severe polarisation that still grips the country days after the inauguration of leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who defeated Bolsonaro in the October election.

The president’s allies have also raised questions about how public security forces in Brasilia were so unprepared and easily overwhelmed by rioters who had been planning on social media for days to gather for weekend demonstrations.