Bullrich denies Brazil coup rioters seek asylum in Argentina

The minister also dismissed reports that Brazil’s Supreme Court requested information on potential fugitives, saying it’s a ‘propaganda issue’

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich denied that supporters of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro were seeking asylum in Argentina after participating in the country’s attempted coup in 2023.

Sources close to the matter told the Herald that the Brazilian Supreme Court sent an information request regarding potential fugitives to the Argentine Foreign Ministry through its embassy in Buenos Aires. The Argentine government has yet to answer the petition which, the source stressed, is not an extradition request.

“We don’t have any confirmation that they entered [Argentina]. Brazilian people enter the country every day,” Bullrich said. “There has to be an official request by the Brazilian Foreign Ministry or Interpol. For now, it remains a propaganda issue, not a valid legal procedure.”

On January 8, 2023, following Jair Bolsonaro’s defeat in the 2022 presidential elections, a mob of his supporters attacked three federal government buildings in Brasilia, seeking to overthrow the newly elected Lula Da Silva. Bolsonaro is being investigated as part of the plot and has been barred from public office until 2030.

Brazilian Federal Police told CNN Brazil on Friday that 143 people who allegedly participated in the January attacks remain at large and that at least 48 of them are in Argentina.

However, Bullrich denied receiving red alerts or information from the Brazilian Federal Police or Interpol. “It is one thing if Brazil asks for them and another if they have a process or a conviction to request an extradition,” the minister said on Saturday during an interview with Radio Mitre.

The Herald reached out to spokespersons of the Argentine Security and Foreign ministries but did not receive a response.

CNN also reported that the Federal Police will suggest to the Supreme Federal Court that it begin the process of extraditing the fugitives.

Brazilian authorities learned that some of the fugitives are allegedly in Argentina after some of them gave interviews. A Brazilian lawyer posted a video on Instagram outside Argentina’s National Refugee Commission saying he filed a refugee status application for a woman involved in the attacks.

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Eduardo Bolsonaro, a right-wing congressman and Jair’s son, briefly visited Argentina 10 days ago to participate in a panel about “censorship and human rights in Brazil” alongside members of Milei’s coalition, La Libertad Avanza, in Congress. Milei was visiting the United States and Bolsonaro did not meet with any Argentine government official or minister.

“If I go out on the street in Brazil and murder someone, I will not be 17 years in prison for nothing,” he said in an interview with Tiempo Argentino, apparently referencing the sole 17-year sentence handed down to a Bolsonaro supporter for the attempted coup. “Why then would people who have never set foot in a police station do it?”

Bolsonaro is linked to an investigation against the chief digital strategist for Milei’s presidential campaign Fernando Cerimedo in Brazil. Earlier this year, Cerimedo was named as a co-conspirator by the Brazilian judiciary in its investigation into the 2023 attempted coup for spreading fake news. He alleged in a November 2022 live stream that ballot boxes had been manipulated to favor Da Silva in the election — many who stormed Brazil’s Congress, presidential palace and Supreme Court cited Cerimedo’s claims as the reason for their actions.

Twenty days before the stream, Cerimedo met Eduardo Bolsonaro in Buenos Aires, although he denies both things being related. Before advising Milei, Cerimedo worked for former president Bolsonaro’s campaign and became a visible face of the movement.


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