Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Thursday completed his future cabinet with the appointment of 16 ministers, just three days before his official swearing-in ceremony.
As expected, Lula chose Amazon activist Marina Silva as his environment minister. He also announced that his planning minister will be Simone Tebet, a former rival who became a valuable ally during the election campaign.
An indigenous woman, Sônia Guajajara, will lead the country’s first-ever ministry to indigenous peoples. In total, Lula has appointed 11 women to his future government, which will take office next year – more than any previous government.
“After a lot of work, after a lot of tension, talks and adjustments, we’ve finished putting together the first tier of government,” said Lula, who spent weeks appointing all 37 future ministers.
To win a particularly close election against incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, the former left leader had to seek allies outside of the Labor Party he founded four decades ago, which promised a “broad front” against the far right.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro has remained silent as police said on Thursday they were looking for more than 30 of his supporters accused of trying to break into federal police headquarters in Brasilia earlier this month.
Authorities said in a news conference on Thursday that the suspects, most of whom are Bolsonaro supporters, also vandalized a police station and set several vehicles and buses on fire.
Police said officers were serving 11 arrest warrants and 21 search and seizure warrants as part of “Operation Nero” in several states, including Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. They’ve made four arrests so far.
Brazilian authorities faced eruptions of violence following Bolsonaro’s defeat in October. 30. Election of President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Angry supporters of the far-right leader, who refuses to acknowledge his defeat, have blocked roads and highways, torched vehicles and camped outside military buildings to urge the armed forces to intervene.
Authorities said dozens of people tried to break into Brasilia police headquarters on the night of December 11. December with the aim of rescuing a pro-Bolsonaro tribal leader who had been arrested earlier that day. After they were thwarted, the mob spread throughout the city and committed a series of acts of vandalism.
Authorities made no arrests that night and have been investigating those involved ever since, under the supervision of the Supreme Court, which has jurisdiction over the case.
Police said most of those targeted by Operation Nero at some point visited the pro-Bolsonaro camp outside military headquarters in Brasilia.
Lula’s future justice minister, Flávio Dino, called on the authorities to crack down on the protests in Brasilia ahead of Sunday’s inauguration, calling them “terrorist incubators”.
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