The police operation launched this Thursday in Brazil against the former far-right president Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022) and his circle for an attempted coup against the current president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, includes around thirty names, from former ministers to high-ranking military officers. The Federal Police carried out 33 search warrants and 4 preventive detention orders in a dozen Brazilian states against the coup plot, which sought before and after the 2022 elections to keep Bolsonaro in power, according to the investigation.
These are the main objectives of the operation:
The former president was forced to hand over his passport and is prohibited from coming into contact with others investigated by order of the Supreme Court. After losing the election, he refused to recognize the results. During the January 8, 2023 attacks in Brasilia he was in the United States, but the police investigation previously places him in multiple meetings with advisors and the military to discuss the possibility of a coup. Last June, he was disqualified by the Superior Electoral Court for abuse of power, by questioning the electronic ballot boxes used in the elections.
The former Navy commander is the subject of a search warrant. After Bolsonaro's electoral defeat, the admiral participated in a meeting with the then president in which he was in favor of a coup, as Bolsonaro's former aide-de-camp Mauro Cid confessed to the police, cited in the magistrate's order. Supreme Court Alexandre de Moraes, responsible for the investigation.
Federal police officers leave the Liberal Party headquarters during an operation targeting some of former President Jair Bolsonaro's top advisors in Brasilia. AFP Photo
Walter Braga Netto:
The former Chief of Staff and Minister of Defense is the subject of a search warrant. Reserve general, he was chosen by Bolsonaro as a candidate for vice president in the 2022 elections. After the defeat, Braga Netto ordered pressure on the military who opposed the coup, according to the Police. Last November, he was disqualified for eight years for abuse of power, by converting the commemorations of the Bicentennial of Independence into an electoral event.
Paulo Sérgio Nogueira:
Bolsonaro's last Defense Minister after the departure of Braga Netto is the subject of a search warrant. After the elections, this general sent a report to the Superior Electoral Tribunal in which alleged “risks” of the electronic ballot box system were pointed out.
The reserve general is the subject of a search warrant. He was Bolsonaro's main advisor on security issues. Magistrate Alexandre de Moraes points to him as “responsible for collecting information” that could help Bolsonaro in carrying out the coup.
General Augustus Heleno. AFP Photo
Bolsonaro's former advisor for International Affairs has been one of the four suspects detained preventively. De Moraes cites him as the person in charge of delivering to the former president a draft “coup d'état decree” that would later be discussed with the military leadership and other members of the Government.
Valdemar Costa Neto:
The former deputy is the subject of a search warrant, according to the local press. He is the president of the Liberal Party, to which Bolsonaro belongs. After the electoral defeat, the party submitted a report to the electoral court about alleged irregularities at the polls. The court rejected the accusations as false and fined the party 22.9 million reais (about $4.6 million).