Jair Bolsonaro
Brazil Riots Map: Where Did Bolsonaro Supporters Protest in Capital? Photo by: AFP/Mauro Pimentel

Brazil’s federal police reportedly conducted a search at the home of a nephew of former President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday, Jan. 27.

Leonardo Rodrigues de Jesus, known by Bolsonaro supporters as Leo Índio, a nephew of former President Jair Bolsonaro, was one of the targets of a series of raids that led to 11 arrests in different states. The raids were conducted in connection with the Jan. 8 storming of government buildings in the capital by far-right protesters, Associated Press News reported.

It was the first time a member of Bolsonaro’s family has been included in the investigations of the uprising in Brazil. According to officers, those under investigation could be tried for crimes against democracy and criminal association.

On the day of the uprising, De Jesus posted his picture near the entrance of the Congress building on social media. Later, Bolsonaro’s nephew accused leftists of infiltrating the protest to attack government buildings. However, the police investigations have found no evidence to back up this claim.

De Jesus has a close relationship with one of Bolsonaro’s sons, Carlos Bolsonaro, a city council member in Rio de Janeiro. The two often appeared together at the presidential palace in Brasilia. However, their visits were kept secret by the Bolsonaro administration following opposition criticism.

Carlos Bolsonaro was the head of the former president’s digital operations. He was also a key member of Bolsonaro’s failed reelection bid. Meanwhile, De Jesus was one of Carlos Bolsonaro’s aides in Rio and moved to Brasilia in 2019. He later joined a senator’s Cabinet team and later Bolsonaro’s Liberal Party group as an adviser at the Senate.

However, he was later fired after it was revealed that he was a “phantom employee” — someone who did not show up for work but still was paid for the post.

In 2022, De Jesus also ran as a Federal District councilor but didn’t gather enough votes.

De Jesus has been investigated by Rio de Janeiro’s judicial authorities since 2021 after it was alleged that he received money transfers from the Cabinet of one of Bolsonaro’s sons, Flavio. It was also alleged that public money was used to pay De Jesus’ rent.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had already requested De Jesus’ preventative arrest in connection with the Jan. 8 attacks. However, the police said he had not been detained yet.

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