Brazilian police raided the home of Bolsonaro’s nephew as part of a coup investigation

Brazilian police raided the home of Bolsonaro's nephew as part of a coup investigation
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BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazilian federal police on Friday searched the home of former President Jair Bolsonaro’s nephew on Jan. 2. Eight extreme right-wing protesters stormed government buildings in the capital.

Police said Leonardo Rodrigues de Jesus, known by Bolsonaro supporters as Leo Índio, was one of the targets of a series of raids that led to 11 arrests in different states. It was the first time a member of Bolsonaro’s family had been included in investigations into the uprising in Brazil, which underscored Brazil’s political polarization.

Police said those under investigation could be tried for crimes against democracy and organized crime.

On the day of the uprising, De Jezus posted his picture on the social network next to the entrance of the Congress building. Bolsonaro’s nephew later accused leftists of infiltrating the protest to attack government buildings. Police investigations found no evidence to support this claim.

De Jesus has a close relationship with one of Bolsonaro’s sons, Carlos Bolsonaro, a member of the Rio de Janeiro city council. The two were often seen together at the presidential palace in Brazil when the far-right president was in office. Their visits were kept secret by the Bolsonaro administration after criticism from the opposition.

Carlos Bolsonaro is the former president’s head of digital operations and a key member of Bolsonaro’s failed re-election bid.

De Jesus was one of Carlos Bolsonaro’s assistants in Rio and moved to Brazil in 2019. He joined the senator’s Cabinet team and later joined Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party team as a Senate adviser. He was fired after local media revealed he was a “ghost worker”—someone who didn’t show up for work but was still paid for the position.

In 2022, he ran for Federal District Councilor, but did not get enough votes.

De Jesus has been under investigation by Rio de Janeiro’s judicial authorities since 2021 when one of Bolsonaro’s sons, Flavio, allegedly received transfers from the Cabinet while on the city council. It is alleged that public money was also used to pay De Jesus’ rent.

The Supreme Court had already requested the preventive detention of De Jesus in connection with the January events. 8 organized the attack, but police said no arrests have been made yet. De Jesus may appeal the order, but he has said he does not have the funds to pay his lawyers’ fees.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva vouched for what happened in January in a meeting with state governors. He calls the coup attempt that 8 will not happen again

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