Brazil on Fire: An Autopsy of Bolsonaro's Failed Coup (Update 3)

The failed January 8 "invasion" of Brasília has united many behind Lula’s agenda to rebuild the country. But the battle for Brazil’s future isn’t over yet.

January 24, 2023

Brazil's National Congress, Brasília, 2009. (Rodolfo Stuckert / Câmara dos Deputados do Brasil / CC BY 3.0)

On January 8, thousands of Bolsonaro supporters stormed Brazil’s capital in a failed attempt to spark a military coup. In scenes that drew instant comparison to the events of January 6, 2021 in the United States, Bolsonaro supporters smashed windows, destroyed artwork, and even climbed on the roofs of government buildings before being rounded up and arrested en masse by security forces.

In this update to Brazil on Fire, Michael Fox examines the significance of the failed coup in scattering pro-Bolsonaro forces and uniting the country behind Lula, who has already embarked on an aggressive agenda to undo his predecessor’s legacy. While Lula may be triumphant for now, the battle for Brazil’s future is far from settled. As Bolsonaro licks his wounds in exile in Florida, the question remains as to how he might scheme with his U.S.-based allies in the future. Historian Kristin Kobes Du Mez returns to the show to delve deeper into the links between Brazil and the United States’ evangelical Right and neofascist movements.


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