Lula Fires Army Chief in Response to Uprising

President had said some in military assisted the insurgents
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 21, 2023 4:25 PM CST
Brazil Removes Army Chief After Lula Blames Military
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks Monday during the swearing-in ceremony of Tarciana Medeiros, the first woman to preside over the Banco do Brasil, one of the country's main public banks, in Brasilia.   (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva fired Brazil's army chief on Saturday, days after the leftist leader openly said that some military members allowed the Jan. 8 uprising in the capital by far-right protesters. The official website of the Brazilian armed forces said Gen. Julio Cesar de Arruda had been removed, the AP reports. He was replaced by Gen. Tomás Miguel Ribeiro Paiva, who was head of the Southeast Military Command. Lula made no comments about the army change Saturday, when he visited Roraima state to follow up on the declaration of a health emergency in the Indigenous Yanomami's region.

In recent weeks, Lula targeted the military with criticism after supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed through government buildings and destroyed public property in an attempt to keep Bolsonaro in office. Lula said several times in public that there were people in the army who allowed the rioting to occur, though he never cited Arruda. During a breakfast with the press, Lula said earlier this week that "a lot of people from the military police and the armed forces were complicit" and had allowed protesters to enter the buildings with open doors. In another interview, the president said that "all the military involved in the coup attempt will be punished, no matter the rank."

(More Brazil stories.)

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