Lula dismisses army chief of staff two weeks after Brasilia riots

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sacked Army Chief of Staff Julio César de Arruda two weeks after riots in Brasilia, where several thousand supporters of the former leader State Jair Bolsonaro sowed chaos on January 8.

Julio César de Arruda had assumed this function on an interim basis since December 30, two days before the end of the mandate of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, and had been confirmed there in early January after the transfer of power. He will be replaced by the southeastern military commander, Tomas Ribeiro Paiva, the armed forces say on their website.

Tomas Ribeiro Paiva said in a public speech on Wednesday that the army would continue “to guarantee democracy”. “It is the regime of the people, of alternation in power. It’s the vote. And when we vote, we have to respect the outcome of the polls”he said, according to a video posted by the G1 news site.

No direct military involvement

Julio César de Arruda took part in Lula’s first meeting with members of the general staff on Friday. These latter “accept” that sanctions be taken against members of the armed forces involved in the riots, Defense Minister José Mucio said after the meeting, while emphasizing that the riots were not strictly speaking discussed . He had also assured that there had been no“direct involvement” of the Army.

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The relationship with the armed forces is one of Lula’s greatest immediate challenges, according to analysts, who point to the significant military presence in the previous administration. The Head of State has started a “deep review” of the military apparatus after expressing his distrust of certain officials responsible for his security.

A total of 53 of them were fired this week, thirteen of whom were part of the Cabinet of Institutional Security (GSI), a government body responsible for assisting the president in his national security and defense policy.

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The World with AFP

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