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Former President Bolsonaro returns to Brazil after three months in Florida

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters from a window at the Liberal Party headquarters in Brasília on Thursday after arriving back in Brazil on a commercial flight from Orlando, Fla.
Evaristo Sa
/
AFP via Getty Images
Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro greets supporters from a window at the Liberal Party headquarters in Brasília on Thursday after arriving back in Brazil on a commercial flight from Orlando, Fla.

Former far-right President Jair Bolsonaro arrived back in Brazil on Thursday after three months in Florida.

Hundreds of supporters had gathered in Brasília, the capital city, to greet Bolsonaro when he landed, but he was escorted out a side exit. Bolsonaro went directly to his Liberal Party's headquarters and was greeted by more supporters to chants of "the captain has returned."

While in Florida, Bolsonaro frequently met with supporters, largely Brazilian expats, and conservative groups.

Bolsonaro narrowly lost his bid for reelection last October to leftist Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. He never conceded defeat and left Brazil for Florida just days before Lula's inauguration.

Echoing election denial claims in the U.S., Bolsonaro claimed that Brazil's electronic voting system was prone to fraud, and his supporters have claimed the election was rigged.

On Jan. 8, his supporters stormed Congress, the Supreme Court and the presidential office. Bolsonaro condemned the attacks on Twitter and denied bearing any responsibility for them.

In Brazil, the former army captain faces more than a dozen investigations, six of which are criminal probes, complicating his political future and possible run for president.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Carrie Kahn is NPR's International Correspondent based in Mexico City, Mexico. She covers Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. Kahn's reports can be heard on NPR's award-winning news programs including All Things Considered, Morning Edition and Weekend Edition, and on NPR.org.
Kaitlyn Radde
Kaitlyn Radde is an intern for the Graphics and Digital News desks, where she has covered everything from the midterm elections to child labor. Before coming to NPR, she covered education data at Chalkbeat and contributed data analysis to USA TODAY coverage of Black political representation and NCAA finances. She is a graduate of Indiana University.