Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva speaks during a press conference during his visit to the municipality of Sao Paulo on Monday to assess the damage caused and provide the necessary support for assistance and recovery work. Photo by Brazilian President Press Office/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The Brazilian government continued to dismantle camps of rioters supporting former President Jair Bolsonaro that stormed government office buildings and the presidential palace on Sunday, calling the demonstrations "terrorist acts" and those involved "criminals."
Security forces have taken about 1,200 into custody since the far-right riots that saw demonstrators ransack the Congress building, the presidential palace, and Supreme Court on Sunday.
Brazil's health secretary said at least 70 people were injured, with six sustaining severe injuries, although no deaths were immediately reported, the federal district health secretary's press team told CNN. The Union of Professional Journalists of the Federal District said that 12 journalists had been assaulted or robbed while covering the demonstrations.
A Supreme Court judge ordered that the camps outside the army's headquarters in the capital of Brasilia and other locations be dismantled.
"The powers of the republic, defenders of democracy and Constitutional charter of 1988, reject terrorist acts, of vandalism, criminals and scammers that happened in yesterday afternoon in Brasilia," the Brazilian government said Monday in its official statement.
"We are united so that institutional measures are taken, pursuant to Brazilian law. We call on society to maintain serenity, in defense of peace and democracy in our homeland. The country needs normality, respect and work for the progress and social justice of the nation."
Supporters of Bolsonaro began to leave Monday morning after being threatened with imprisonment by police. The demonstrators were seen packing up their tents and walking toward buses parked outside Brazilian military headquarters.
The riots drew comparisons to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump while Congress worked to confirm his election loss to President Joe Biden.
The rioters attacked Brazil's seats of power, vandalizing offices and the presidential palace a week after the inauguration of Lula da Silva, who defeated the controversial Bolsonaro in a close runoff election on Oct. 30. Bolsonaro, like Trump, said the election was tainted because of election fraud and he was the true winner.
Officials said the cabinet room where Lula works was not damaged in the riots.
"President Lula's room has got extra shielding and they couldn't get in," Paulo Pimenta, chief minister of communications, told reporters.
Lula, a left-wing politician who previously served as Brazil's president from 2003 to 2010, blamed Bolsonaro for the riots, saying he gave "several speeches" encouraging the actions of his supporters.
In the October runoff, Lula won 50.9% of the vote compared to 49.1% for Bolsonaro.
Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes ordered authorities to remove protesters' camps, pitched outside the army's headquarters in Brasília and at other sites across the country. In turn, demonstrators have called for the military to intervene and take over the government.