When supporters of Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the capital’s seat of government on Sunday, everyone’s mind flashed back to the events of Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. The two assaults on democracy were driven by many of the same forces, with similar ideologies, similar playbooks—and some of the same players.
The arrest of Luis Camacho, a prominent opposition leader, for his role in the alleged coup following Bolivia’s contested 2019 presidential election has aggravated political polarization. Government supporters view it as belated justice, while the opposition says it is a sign of the country’s slide toward authoritarianism.
The inauguration of Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva on Jan. 1 was a moment of triumph and an opportunity to play regional leader and global statesman, a symbol that Brazil is back on the world stage. However, as this weekend’s riots in Brasilia make clear, it was just the opening of what will be a long four years.