Police in Brazil said Friday they arrested a man for saying he planned to shoot President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and carried out a raid against another for threatening the left-wing leader online.
Both cases were in the northern state of Para, where Lula will arrive later Friday and host a summit of South American leaders next week on protecting the Amazon rainforest.
Federal police said they arrested a man in the city of Santarem after he went into a store to buy drinks Wednesday and said he planned to “shoot the president in the stomach.”
“He reportedly asked those present if they knew where (Lula) was staying when he traveled to the city” Friday, police said in a statement.
The man was arrested Thursday after a witness reported him to police.
Police said the man told investigators he was a farmer and former wildcat gold miner and confessed to taking part in the January 8 riots in Brasilia by supporters of far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022).
They said he had confessed to invading the badly damaged Green Room in Congress that day, when a mob of far-right hardliners stormed the building, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court in a failed bid to overturn Bolsonaro’s election loss to 77-year-old political veteran Lula.
They raided two properties linked to the man Friday, investigating crimes including a possible assassination plot, they said.
In Belem, the state capital — where Lula will host next week’s summit — police said they carried out another raid targeting a suspect accused of publishing “threatening images of attacks against the president” on social media.
The suspect, a security guard, possesses a firearm, they said.
Highly polarized by Lula’s defeat of Bolsonaro in last October’s elections, Brazil remains on high alert for political violence.
Bolsonaro was himself stabbed in the abdomen during his successful 2018 presidential campaign, by an attacker later deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.