Supporters of former president Jair Bolsonaro smashed their way into Supreme Court, Congress and the presidential palace.
Crowds of people wrapped in Brazilian flags were seen breaking windows and flooding parts of Congress with a sprinkler system.
One official showed the extent of the damage done to his office in the presidential palace.
The scenes were a grim echo of the attack on the U.S. Capitol two years ago by fans of former President Donald Trump.
Many of Bolsanaro’s supporters dispute the result of October’s election where he was defeated by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
It’s been over a week since the left wing leader was inaugurated on Sunday he vowed to punish those responsible for the riot.
He also blamed Bolsanaro for peddling the false claim that Brazil’s electronic voting system was prone to fraud, spawning a violent movement of election deniers.
“Like true vandals, destroying what they found in front of them. We think there was a lack of security and I wanted to tell you that all those people who did this will be found and punished. They will realize that democracy guarantees the right to freedom and free speech, but it also demands that people respect the institutions created to strengthen democracy.”
Some three hours after initial reports of the invasion, security forces had managed to retake the capital’s most iconic three buildings.
Lula announced a federal security intervention in the capital lasting until the end of the month.
Bolsonaro was silent for nearly six hours about the chaos before posting on Twitter that he “repudiates” Lula’s accusations against him.
He flew to Florida 48 hours before the end of his mandate and was absent from Lula’s inauguration.
The invasions were condemned by leaders around the world, including U.S. President Joe Biden who called the events an “assault on democracy and on the peaceful transfer of power.”
Supporters of Brazil’s far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro invaded the country’s Congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court, in a grim echo of the U.S. Capitol invasion two years ago by fans of former President Donald Trump https://t.co/zJJuyg0aQb
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 9, 2023