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LATIN AMERICA | 13-06-2024 09:23

Brazil asks Argentina for help in locating Bolsonaro coup fugitives

Brazil has asked Argentina for help in locating the possible presence of more than 140 individuals it says are fugitives from justice.

Brazil has asked Argentina for help in locating the possible presence of more than 140 individuals it says are fugitives from justice.

Authorities in the neighbouring country are seeking individuals, followers of the far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro, who took part in the infamous attack on Brazil’s three branches of government in 2023.

According to a Foreign Ministry spokesperson in Brazil, the justice system has sent a request to Argentina’s Foreign Ministry asking it to “verify whether 143 fugitives from justice are located in Argentine territory.”

The request was made via the country’s diplomatic representation in Buenos Aires. 

Brazilian police have arrested hundreds of alleged vandals, financiers and inciters of the assaults that took place in January 2023, a week after the inauguration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Some have received convictions for crimes such as attempting a coup d'état and have been handed sentences of up to 17 years in prison.

Thousands of pro-Bolsonaro activists invaded the presidential palace, Congress and the Supreme Court in January 2023, demanding the intervention of the Armed Forces to depose Lula and denouncing alleged fraud in the elections.

Last week Brazil's Federal Police announced the recapture of some 50 people linked to the invasion of the seats of power who had failed to comply with their court injunctions.

But it said another 159 “convicted or under investigation” were considered “fugitives” and may even have fled to other countries, including neighbouring Argentina, according to Brazilian media reports.

The Federal Police told the AFP news agency last Friday that it will include on Interpol's wanted lists “the convicts who are possibly in Argentina” and request their extradition, in coordination with the Foreign Ministry and the Supreme Court.

Argentine officials on Saturday denied any knowledge of fugitives on national soil.

“We still have no information of this kind, we have no red alerts on these people ... no request has arrived to the Security Ministry, neither from Interpol, nor of people, names or lists,” said Security Minister Patricia Bullrich in an interview with Radio Mitre.

Brazilian authorities are investigating whether Bolsonaro fomented a "coup attempt" to prevent his 2022 election opponent and current President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from assuming office in January 2023. 


– TIMES/AFP

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