Brazilian authorities have seized the passport of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, effectively barring him from leaving the country.
Bolsonaro’s passport was taken away amid investigations into his potential involvement in a failed coup attempt following his 2022 election loss.
Bolsonaro, a far-right politician often compared to former US president Donald Trump, was at his beach house when his residence was searched by federal police.
The former Brazilian president is being investigaded for allegedly drafting a decree to overturn election results, pressuring military leaders to support a coup and plotting to arrest a Supreme Court justice.
Local media reports suggest that in November 2022, Bolsonaro’s aides drafted a decree to nullify the election outcome, including warrants for the arrest of Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes.
This followed the storming of Brazil’s presidential palace, Congress and Supreme Court by hundreds of party workers shortly after the election results were announced. The incident mirrored the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
Interestingly, Bolsonaro had left the country before the attack on the Brazilian Congress. He reportedly told the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo: “Leave me. I am no longer running the country.”
This situation appears to be part of a larger political struggle between Bolsonaro and his current rival, President Lula da Silva, who previously served jail time for corruption charges.
Over 2,000 individuals have been arrested for the Brasilia riots, with 30 convicted so far on charges including attempted coup, facing sentences of up to 17 years.