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News > Brazil

Bolsonaro Knew About The Coup Attempt, Gen. Freire Gomes Admits

  • Former President Jair Bolsonaro (2L).

    Former President Jair Bolsonaro (2L). | Photo: X/ @DaisySalzedas

Published 5 March 2024

The former Brazilian president had direct contacts with high military commanders to prevent Lula da Silva's presidential investiture.

On Tuesday, Marco Antonio Freire Gomes, the Brazilian Army's former commander, revealed that former President Jair Bolsonaro participated in a meeting where actions related to the January 2023 coup in Brasilia were planned.


Bolsonaro Remains Silent When Testifying About 2023 Coup Plan

Last week, Gen. Freire Gomes underwent a seven-hour interrogation at the Federal Police's headquarters in Brasilia, where he answered around 250 questions.

He admitted that he presented the coup project to Bolsonaro, which was also confirmed by former Air Force Commander Carlos Baptista Junior.

In the conspiracy were also Bolsonaro’s former advisor Mauro Cid and the commanders of the branches of the Brazilian armed forces. Among them was Navy Commander Almir Garnier, who was the only senior officer to support the coup.

The text says: "The evidence is accumulating. The testimonies of Gen. Marco Antonio Freire Gomes and Brigadier Carlos de Almeida Batista Jr. confirm that it was former President Bolsonaro himself who presented the coup plan draft."

On that occasion, Bolsonaro requested that the civilian camps in front of the barracks not be eliminated. They were organized by far-right activists who had been openly and incessantly pushing for a coup to prevent Lula da Silva's inauguration as president.

From those camps, Bolsonaro supporters organized and carried out the coup actions of January 8, 2023 in Brasilia, where they destroyed the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial headquarters, the Brasil de Fato outlet recalled.

Previously, on Nov. 11, 2022, the commanders of the three branches of the Brazilian armed forces issued a statement in support of demonstrations led by Bolsonaro supporters.

"Possible restrictions on rights by public agents, as well as possible excesses committed in demonstrations that may restrict individual and collective rights or jeopardize public safety, are reprehensible," their statement said, tacitly supporting the far-right militants.

Nevertheless, a few days later, on Nov. 24, Gen. Freire Gomes had threatened Bolsonaro with arrest if he carried out the coup actions, according to former presidential advisor Cid.

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