Brazil: Statement by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the attack on democratic institutions

On Sunday 8 January, supporters of ex-president Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia invaded the buildings of the Brazilian Executive, Legislative and the Supreme Court, leading to riots and an open attack against the democratic institutions of the country. These acts of vandalism happened just a few days after the inauguration of the democratically elected president of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

The European Union condemns firmly these shocking acts of political violence, and the unacceptable attack against democracy they represent. We express our solidarity with President Lula and the Brazilian institutions in their defence of democracy, and support the measures adopted to restore order and respect for the rule of law. We welcome the ongoing efforts to investigate those responsible for the attacks on Brazil’s democracy and for acts of vandalism against public property and historic national heritage.

The EU recalls that the exercise of democratic rights and freedoms must take place with respect for the Constitution and democratically elected institutions. Political differences cannot justify criminal acts or call into question the results of democratic elections.

The EU reiterates its trust in Brazil’s democracy and in the strength of its institutions. Our conviction is that they will prevail over violence and extremism.

We reinforce our commitment to work together with the newly formed Brazilian government in order to strengthen our mutually beneficial strategic partnership and to defend our common values.

We look forward to deepening and broadening our relationship with Brazil in defence and promotion of democracy, rule of law and human rights. We also look forward to enhancing our work together in favour of inclusive, just and sustainable development as well as on other areas of mutual interest. In pursuit of these goals, the EU is ready to step-up its engagement with Brazilian authorities and to further support the role of civil society.