His Holiness warned, during an audience with members of the diplomatic staff accredited to the Holy See, this Monday, that the “weakening of democracy is due to the growing political and social polarizations, which do not help to solve urgent problems of the citizens.”
Francis stated, “I am thinking of the diverse political crises in several countries of the American continent.”
After mentioning the January 8 extremist acts that occurred in Brasilia, he talked of the current situation in Peru, where President Pedro Castillo was recently deposed, and the instability in Haiti.
On Sunday, hundreds of extremist supporters of former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro attacked the Planalto Palace, the seat of the Brazilian Executive, the premises of the Supreme Court and the National Congress, an action described as terrorist and part of a coup attempt in that South American country.
Few hours after those events, the authorities managed to control the situation.
Several sources stated that some 300 people linked to the vandalistic acts have been arrested while investigations are ongoing.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva stated that “whoever did this will be found and punished. Democracy guarantees the right to free expression but demands that those institutions are respected. There is no precedent in the history of Brazil for what they have done today. That is why they must be punished.”