Brazilian police have arrested a supporter of incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro who tried to use explosives to create "chaos", a week before the inauguration of President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, local press reported on Sunday.
The man, identified as George Washington de Oliveira Sousa, was arrested on Saturday. He had planted an explosive device in a tank truck near Brasilia airport. Lula's inauguration ceremony is due to take place in the Brazilian capital on January 1.
His goal, according to his statements to the police published by the local press, was to "trigger chaos" and "the intervention of the armed forces" in order to "prevent the establishment of communism in Brazil".
It was the truck driver who alerted the police after finding the explosive device on Saturday morning.
Although there was an attempt to activate it, the device did not explode, Robson Candido, a senior Brasilia police official, said at a press conference, quoted by the site. information G1.
"The serious events that occurred yesterday in Brasilia prove that the camps of the so-called 'patriots' have become incubators for terrorists", tweeted Flavio Dino, appointed Minister of Justice in the next Lula government.
The arrested person clarified that the plan was conceived with other Bolsonarists who demonstrated for days after the announcement of the defeat of the outgoing president in front of the army headquarters in Brasilia.
The idea was to place at least two explosive devices at strategic locations, with the aim of achieving the "declaration of a state of siege in the country" and, from there, "provoking the intervention of the forces armies,” Oliveira Sousa told police, according to the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper.
Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro blocked roads and demonstrated outside barracks across the country, after Lula's narrow victory in the October 30 ballot with 50.9% of the vote against 49.1%.
Months later, there are still pro-Bolsonaro demonstrations outside some army barracks. In the apartment where Oliveira Sousa, an employee of a Para gas station (north), lived, the police found a large quantity of weapons.
Oliveira Sousa said he was "inspired by the words of President Bolsonaro" to acquire the weapons, worth an estimated 160,000 reais (about 31,100 dollars), details Folha de S. Paulo.
Mr Bolsonaro has claimed in public statements that “an armed people will never be enslaved”.
According to his confession, the detainee planned to distribute the weapons to people camping in front of the barracks.
Lula, 77, president of Brazil between 2003 and 2010, will take power for the third time, during an imposing ceremony organized in the capital.