Investigated due to a coup attempt, Bolsonaro summons supporters to a manifestation in São Paulo

Former president says he called the act to “defend himself”; “despair”, “loudmouth” says people online

Translated by: Ana Paula Rocha

Brasil de Fato | São Paulo |
Military officers close to Bolsonaro were recorded planning a coup - Douglas Magno/AFP

Former President Jair Bolsonaro (Liberal Party), who is under investigation due to a coup attempt, summoned a manifestation on Paulista Avenue, São Paulo, to be held on February 25. He made the call on Monday night (12) through a video posted on social media platforms. “God, homeland, family and liberty,” he added at the end of the video. 

According to Bolsonaro, the act will be “peaceful” and aims “to defend the Democratic State of Law”. He asked his supporters to wear in green and yellow. “I want to defend myself from all the accusations attributed to me in recent months," he said.

The demonstration was called by Bolsonaro four days after the Federal Police launched an operation that revealed a plan to keep him in power after his defeat in the 2022 elections. The strategy would also involve arresting the president of the National Congress - Rodrigo Pacheco - and ministers of Brazil’s Supreme Court, known as STF. 

Jurist Pedro Serrano, PhD in State Law from the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo (PUC-SP, in Portuguese), stressed that the former president has the right to speak out. However, this does not have the power to change the course of investigations. "The fact is that there was a sequence of serious crimes," Serrano said. See other comments below (in Portuguese):




Investigations are getting closer to Bolsonaro

Operation Tempus Veritatis was the largest offensive by justice so far against Bolsonaro’s aides and former aides, as well as high-ranking military officers who supported the former president.

The police inquiry that gave birth to the operation is the one investigating the so-called digital militias, a broad investigation opened by the Federal Police to investigate the actions not only of groups that spread disinformation and attacked public institutions during the Bolsonaro government but also to identify the use of the state structure to supply this network and guarantee political gains for the former president and his allies.

Headed by Alexandre de Moraes, the investigation has spared no effort to get to the heart of Bolsonaro's closest group of allies, and has at least two other lines of investigation that are advanced and could cause more headaches for the former president. Above all, the source of Bolsonaro’s current problems is information found with his former aide Mauro Cid, who signed a plea bargain with the Federal Police after being arrested.

On Cid's electronic devices and in the cloud of his personal email account, investigators found compromising conversations on messaging apps, photos and the controversial video of the ministerial meeting on July 5, 2022 which, according to investigators, made clear the "dynamics" of the coup plot hatched from within the Bolsonaro government.

Edited by: Nicolau Soares