Hivos strongly condemns the January 8 storming of government buildings in Brasilia

January 11, 2023

Hivos strongly condemns the assault on Brazil’s democratic institutions and sacking of its government buildings on January 8, 2023, by thousands of Bolsonaro supporters who refused to accept the outcome of the October 2022 presidential elections.

Both rounds of voting were held peacefully in a legally instituted process and supervised by more than a hundred entities, including political parties, courts, police and councils.

The rioters vandalized public buildings, destroyed priceless works of art, and cut down trees. But Sunday’s attack on the seat of government was also an attack on democratic values and an attempt to undermine the will of the Brazilian people. The right to protest does not protect violent attacks on the rule of law itself.

All those involved, whether perpetrators or instigators, must be investigated and punished in accordance with the law. This includes the authorities who neglected their legal duty to maintain order on that day.

It is unacceptable for a violent and antidemocratic minority to impose its will on the rest of Brazil’s society, putting at risk constitutional guarantees and the democratic rule of law achieved in 1988.

In the wake of this sad and shameful event, Hivos joins the Brazilian and international community in expressing solidarity and support for the Brazil’s democratically-elected government and its efforts to uphold and defend the rule of law. Democracies worldwide must firmly reject antidemocratic forces and clearly state their commitments to freedom and justice.

Hivos will continue its mission to defend the democratic rule of law, and individual and collective freedoms, through our work to strengthen civil society and spaces, safeguard civil rights and free expression, protect gender equality, diversity and inclusion, and fight for climate justice.