See you at GBTA! Come meet the Riskline team at GBTA San Diego booth 2713

January 25, 2023 / Riskline Informer

Uncertainty pervades aftermath of attempted uprising by Bolsonarista groups

After the attempted Bolsonarista uprising of 8 January, the Lula administration will continue to face a popular movement that is greater than former president Bolsonaro himself, currently in self-imposed exile in the US.
Brazil riot police

By Paul Mutter


On 8 January, thousands of supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro stormed and trashed the Palácio do Planalto, National Congress and Supreme Federal Court (STF) in Brasília before security reinforcements from the military and neighbouring states’ police forces restored order and began arresting hundreds of rioters, who erroneously believed that the soldiers had come to support their uprising.

Since Bolsonaro’s narrow run-off election loss to Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in October 2022, he refused to accept the defeat and encouraged his supporters to strike and rally nationwide to overturn the results.

Though Lula’s supporters feared an organised attempt to hold onto power by Bolsonaro, pressure from the international community as well as the open refusal of the military and National Congress leaders, including that of Bolsonaro’s allies, to countenance such an extrajudicial effort meant that no such attempt transpired. Lula was inaugurated without incident on New Year’s Day, his third term in office after previously being elected in 2002 and 2006.

The rioters had missed their moment, and this meant that Lula moved swiftly in conjunction with the courts to establish direct federal control over Brasília and give Justice Minister Flávio Dino the power to pursue the instigators and financiers of the uprising, both at home and abroad.

The other major difference was, despite recriminations and delays among US security agencies in failing to secure the Capitol, their constitutional loyalty was not seriously questioned by elected officials. Such concerns are much more apparent in Brazil, particularly with respect to the police, but also the armed forces, despite their demonstrated constitutional loyalty to date.

In Brazil, where a military dictatorship existed from 1964 to 1985, the question of loyalty is much more fraught and will continue to nag at elected leaders as they respond to the aftermath of the failed uprising.

Political-military divide remains

The response to the riot further demonstrates the distrust between elected leaders from rival parties and between the federal government and security services. Federal District Governor Ibaneis Rocha was suspended from his duties and Public Security Secretary Anderson Torres fired, later arrested, for their tepid response to the initial violence; both men are supporters of former president Bolsonaro and have denied any wrongdoing.

The latter’s arrest was prompted by the discovery of a draft document in his possession, written last year, that provided a legal framework for overturning the rulings of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).

And while Defence Minister José Múcio remains in office, Army General Júlio César de Arruda has been dismissed in response to reports that the military delayed the clearing out of the Bolsonarista encampments in order to allow ex-soldiers and family members of active-duty service members to leave their main sit-in outside Army Headquarters in Brasília without being arrested.

While direct participation from the High Command of the Armed Forces in the acts of 8 January is unlikely to be proven, the new government will be extra wary amid the feeling of distrust as multiple members of security forces have been arrested or are being investigated for allegedly taking part in the incident.

For now, Lula and his administration have the advantage of widespread public disapproval over the storming of the capital. This has been further evidenced by nationwide pro-rule of law rallies held immediately after the riot, with tens of thousands of people participating, while calls for anti-Lula counter-protests and roadblocks quickly fizzled out.

However, polls also showed that 38 percent of voters fully or somewhat approved of the rioters’ actions and 29 percent believe Lula will be unable to govern after the clashes.

Although the former president may have catapulted the anti-PT and anti-left sentiment, many of those who still resist Lula’s presidency have already begun to dissociate their goals from the image of Bolsonaro, a sign that proves that the movement is more resilient than anticipated. With the National Congress run by Bolsonaro’s coalition, which holds 61 out of 81 seats in the Federal Senate and 341 out of 513 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, Lula cannot act unilaterally and will face new challenges in the weeks and months to come as the investigations continue.


The abortive storming of Brazil’s capital by supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro and the questionable response of the security services presents President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva with significant challenges going forward, as well as an opportunity to consolidate democratic institutions to prevent further destabilising incidents.

Paul Mutter is our US-based Head of Global Coverage.


Of voters condemn the riot
Foresight 2023
Share This
Continue Reading

Protect your organisation’s assets

Complement your expertise with our comprehensive risk reports
You can concentrate on protection strategies because we’ve already done the initial research. Riskline has risk reports for over 225 countries and regions around the world, and city safety reports for over 250 cities. We follow developments around the world everyday so you can stay focused on protecting your assets.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Power your data-driven insurance

Risk intelligence that helps you manage loss ratios and generate new revenue
Improve the accuracy of your underwriting and dynamic pricing models with our suite of destination risk reports and 24/7 global alerts. We follow developments around the world everyday so you can take comfort that your product decisions reflect up-to-date risk information. Our data can also be integrated as a value-added service by providing pre-travel advice and risk alerts that keep customers updated wherever they are in the world.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Manage COVID-19 disruptions

Your single trusted source for COVID-19 risk and restrictions around the globe
Stay updated with our up-to-the-minute information on testing, vaccination and quarantine requirements, COVID-19 infection rates and trends, and local restrictions. You can easily integrate our data directly into your systems through our dedicated COVID-19 API and TravelCheck widget, or get detailed reports in one place through the Microsite.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Offer travellers vital trip information

Offer your clients a full package of travel services
You’re the experts in bookings, itineraries and expenses, let our experts take care of destination risk assessments and real-time travel alerts. In this increasingly volatile world, you can offer your customers the best view of where it’s safe for them to travel, and what to expect on their trip.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Make decisions quickly with verified information

Ensure duty of care for employees and stay updated
When responding to a crisis you want to stay up-to-date with accurate information. We take care of providing up-to-date risk alerts so you can focus on planning and acting. Our destination risk reports ensure your employees are well prepared when they travel to high-risk areas, with detailed analysis of on-the-ground risks and baseline operating conditions.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Travellers are safer when they stay informed

Riskline Alert Messaging operates all day, every day. Each alert contains essential intelligence, practical advice and precise geographic data about risks to traveller safety or impacts on travel plans. When we are able to get advanced warning, notices are also issued for events happening in the future.
Riskline Informer
Keep informed of key developments around the world.

Helping travellers manage Covid-19 disruptions

We have closely tracked developments associated with COVID-19 since late 2019, gathering detailed information on entry and exit requirements, You can get our real-time COVID-19 intelligence via alerts, API, microsite, and the TravelCheck widget.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Risk ratings you can build a travel policy around

Riskline has detailed assessments for more than 225 countries and territories around the world. Each report has an easy-to-understand Risk Level™ that can be integrated into travel policies and other business operations. Risk assessments include an overview of the security and travel safety situation in a country, and detailed analysis of the political, terrorism, conflict, unrest, crime, natural, health and local transport risks.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Know more about where you actually go

We assess the safety of more than 250 global cities, assigning each a clear Risk Level. In addition to city-specific threats and other local knowledge, every report has a map of important locations down to street level.
Use Cases
See how our City Safety Reports can help keep your travellers safe.

People make better decisions when they have the full picture

Advisories are detailed assessments of ongoing security situations and travel issues. We publish reports for high-risk geographic areas, political and security crises, persisting travel disruptions and major upcoming events, such as elections and international sporting competitions.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Everything your travellers need to know before they travel

Riskline’s TravelPrep provides important safety information directly to travellers, empowering them to travel safer and smarter.
Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

Get prepared before you travel

Riskline Pre-Travel Advisories (PTAs) are exactly what a traveller needs to know about their destination before they leave home. Each report is a concise summary of the security and travel safety situation for any destination, and can be sent straight to travellers’ emails.

Let our experts show you how Riskline can keep you informed.

The right guidance for specific needs

Not all travellers are the same. Riskline’s Specific Traveller Advice includes country-specific information tailored for LGBTQ+ travellers, female travellers and tech-dependent travellers.

Riskline Informer
Keep informed of key developments around the world.

Covid-19 travel advice at your fingertips

Don’t let COVID-19 confusion get in the way of your customers’ decisions. Give them a tool at their fingertips that lets them see the implications of Covid on their travel plans and how best to prepare for their trip. TravelCheck displays up to date risk and infection scores, at-a-glance information on their destination and need-to-know information on departure, in-flight and arrival.

It’s easy to customise your widget with your own brand colour and poster image, to seamlessly integrate it into your website.

Our simple Javascript installation will get you up and running in no time. A few lines of code is all it takes to install the widget, with 2 display modes available – inline for embedding into a single page, or modal for a floating, site-wide travel assistant.

Interested in trying our TravelCheck widget? Get in touch.

Keep Informed

Get the latest Riskline Informer news delivered to your inbox.