Incoming Brazilian Justice Minister Says Election-Denying Protesters Are ‘Incubators Of Terrorism’

Justice and Public Security Ministry nominee Flavio Dino attends a press conference where
AP Photo/Ton Molina

Flavio Dino, Brazilian president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s nominee for the office of Minister of Justice and Public Security, on Sunday declared the peaceful protesters who have challenged the results of October’s presidential election by setting up camp near military bases are “incubators of terrorism.”

The protesters have held nationwide rallies for nearly two months against the nation’s top court Supreme Federal Tribunal (STF), and its electoral authority, the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), as well as protesting against the results of Brazil’s October 30 presidential runoff election – in which corrupt socialist and convicted felon Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva narrowly beat incumbent conservative Jair Bolsonaro by less than two percentage points. 

Lula da Silva, who had previously served as Brazil’s president between 2003 – 2010, is slated to take office on January 01 for a new four-year term.

Dino’s comments come hours after Brazil’s police arrested 54-year old Brazilian citizen George Washington de Oliveira Sousa in the Capital city of Brasilia on Saturday, after he allegedly planted explosives in a fuel truck as part of a plan to “sow chaos” and “prevent the establishment of communism in Brazil.” 

Oliveira Sousa, now accused of terrorism, remains detained by Brazil’s police authorities.

“Yesterday’s serious events in Brasilia prove that the so-called “patriotic” camps have become incubators for terrorists,” Dino said through a post on his personal Twitter account on Sunday. “Measures are being taken and will be expanded as quickly as possible.”

In another tweet, Dino mentioned that the corresponding security arrangements for Lula da Silva’s upcoming January 01 inauguration will be re-evaluated.

“President Lula’s inauguration will take place in peace. All procedures will be reassessed, with a view to strengthening security,” the tweet reads. “And the fight against terrorists and rioters will be intensified. Democracy has won and will win.”

Additionally, he mentioned through his Twitter account that he would propose the creation of “special groups to combat terrorism.”

“I will propose that the Attorney General of the Republic and the National Council of the Public Ministry constitute special groups to combat terrorism and irresponsible weaponry. The rule of law is not compatible with these political militias,” Dino tweeted.

Prior to his upcoming position as both Minister of Justice and Public Security and Senator of the northeastern state of Maranhão, Flavio Dino served as the governor of Maranhão between January 2015 and April 2022.

This is not the first time Dino has threatened action against the pro-Bolsonaro protesters. In an interview given on December 19 to the São Paulo-state owned TV Cultura public television network’s Roda Viva show, Dino stated that asking for the help of Brazil’s Armed Forces — within the context of the peaceful protesters that are rallying against the presidential election results — is a “crime” He said judicial measures could be used against protestors who have set up camp near military bases.

Similarly, Dino claimed in an interview given to Brazil’s Workers’ TV (TVT) network on October 20 that calling then-presidential candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva a “thief’ was also a crime.

“Those defamers, slanderers, who say ‘Lula is a thief’ are committing a crime,” Dino said. “Because there is no condemnation, zero, against former president Lula. It’s pure prejudice. It is a phrase supported by no fact. Therefore, these people are criminals.”

In reality, Lula da Silva had been convicted and sentenced to over two decades in prison for allegedly taking bribe money during his presidency as part of a broad anti-corruption investigation known as Operação Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash). 

Brazil’s top court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal (STF), overturned Lula da Silva’s multiple convictions, allowing the hardline socialist to run for president again in 2022.

President Jair Bolsonaro, alongside the Liberal Party (PL) that he is part of, formally questioned the integrity of the nation’s 2022 presidential elections on November 22. Bolsonaro cited irregularities in the internal logs and software inconsistencies allegedly discovered on electronic voting machines manufactured before the year 2020 that were used during the election.

One day later, Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE), STF minister (justice), and anti-“fake news” crusader Alexandre de Moraes denied Bolsonaro’s request, imposing a ‘bad faith litigation’ fine of 22.9 million Brazilian reais ($4.27 million) against Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party.

Brazil’s armed forces conducted their own audit of the 2022 presidential election in November. The Armed Forces’ report neither confirmed nor denied the existence of irregularities in the electoral process — but emphasized that the report did not “exclude the possibility of fraud.”

Additionally, Brazil’s armed forces reaffirmed their support for democracy and the democratic rule of law through a joint statement released on November 11, in which they described the pro-Bolsonaro protests as legitimate while condemning any “possible excesses.”


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.