Jair Bolsonaro, the former president of Brazil, was hospitalised in Florida on January 9 due to stomach issues while 1,500 of his followers were detained in Brasilia for breaking into important government facilities over the weekend.
After defeating Bolsonaro in the election of October 2022, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a politician with a left-leaning political philosophy, assumed office on January 1. He vowed to prosecute those responsible.
Lula charged that the rioters were attempting to topple democracy and questioned why the army had not put an end to calls for a military takeover outside their barracks.
On Sunday, angry mobs of Bolsanaro’s supporters stormed through Congress, the Supreme Court and presidential offices, smashing windows, furniture and artwork in the worst attack on state institutions since Brazil’s return to democracy in the 1980s.
Bolsonaro, who flew to the United States days before his term in office ended, went to a hospital in Orlando, Florida on Monday complaining of intestinal pains related to a stabbing he suffered during the 2018 election campaign. His doctor said he has an intestinal blockage that was not serious and would likely not need surgery.
In an interview with CNN Brasil on Monday, Bolsonaro said he had planned to stay in the United States until the end of January, but now plans to go back to Brazil sooner to see his doctors.
“I intend to bring forward my return because in Brazil the doctors already know about my problem of intestinal obstruction due to the stab wound,” Bolsonaro said.
Bolsonaro faces several investigations before the Supreme Court in Brazil and his future in the United States, where he traveled with a visa issued to heads of state, diplomats and other government officials, is being questioned by Brazilian and some US politicians .
U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said a person who entered on a visa for foreign officials must depart the country within 30 days or apply for a change of immigration status if they are no longer engaged in official business.