Police in 4x4s pulled up next to us as we turned into Three Powers Square in Brasilia.

The ransacked buildings of Congress, the Supreme Court and the Presidential Palace surround us.

They told us we had to clean up the place as the forensic teams were about to start their analysis of the damage.

Other teams are already combing the damaged offices and auditoriums of state institutions.

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What’s going on in the Brazilian capital?

It’s a huge crime scene and they said they needed the team to start their work.

In reality, they have little to do with the outside, but the criminal investigation is in many ways a symbol of the importance that the authorities now realize that a thorough investigation is necessary.

Brazil now contemplates the reality that democracy can be very fragile.

Like the protesters who invaded the Capitol building in Washington DC two years ago on behalf of donald trumpsupporters of the defeated former right-wing leader Jair Bolsonaro believe he is the legitimate president.

Who carried out the attack, who organized it, and what the police did or did not do are all under investigation.

Witnesses to the storming of buildings say Bolsonaro supporters came equipped and determined to get inside early on.

“I saw people in masks, people holding sticks and some with backpacks that looked suspicious,” Matheus Alves, a Brazilian photographer who has covered many of these protests in the capital, told me. .

“Even on their social media and WhatsApp groups they were leaking information and talking about invading Congress and the Supreme Court, so it felt like there was coordination in the planning of these attacks.”

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Photo: Matheius Alves
Picture:
Photo: Matheus Alves

Pointing to the road in front of the presidential palace, Mr Alves explained how the police retreated from the main ramp leading to the palace to a set of traffic lights nearby.

“And that’s when the crowd felt comfortable invading the palace,” he added.

Critics say the response was disjointed and completely absent, and the president Lula da Silva says his government will investigate the behavior of the police that day.

Hundreds of those arrested at the scene and in front of military bases are housed in the gymnasium of the country’s police training academy in Brasilia.

Photo: Matheus Alves
Picture:
Photo: Matheus Alves

Many posted videos on social media, showing row after row of detainees, essentially camping out in the gym.

Outside the building, lawyers, politicians, journalists and some families are waiting for news.

It is understood that as each case is heard, the defendants are then taken to appropriate jails where they will await trial.

Photo: Matheus Alves
Picture:
Photo: Matheus Alves

Bianca Tereza Pires is waiting to find out what will happen to her cousin Arioldo Rodrigues Junior. The 50-year-old was arrested along with others as part of the investigation into Sunday’s incident.

“I think they’re very scared, because they say they might go to jail at some point,” she told me.

Despite her concerns, Pires says she supports her cousin’s actions.

Bianca Tereza Pires waits to find out what will happen to her cousin who was arrested
Picture:
Bianca Tereza Pires waits to find out what will happen to her cousin who was arrested

“We’re fighting here for our freedom, and for the truth, we really only want the truth…and we’re on the side of the facts, and the truth, and I support that.”

Like the protesters, these family members believe Jair Bolsonaro is the rightful president and seem determined to continue demonstrating against the outcome.

And despite everything that’s happened, they still believe the military will come in and take over.

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