Brazil’s federal police arrested the country’s former public security chief on Saturday on charges of collaborating with rioters who stormed the presidential palace, Supreme Court and Congress on January 8.
Anderson Torres, who was in charge of security in the capital at the time of the riots, was taken into custody at Brasilia airport. according to a statement from the Brazilian Federal Police.
Police arrested Torres after Brazil’s Supreme Court issued a warrant for his arrest last week, accusing him of failing to act in his role as security chief.
“The omission was sufficiently demonstrated by the predictability of the behavior of the criminal groups and the lack of security that allowed the invasion of public buildings,” said Supreme Court judge Alexandre de Moraes. according to the BBC.
Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said presidential palace guards were complicit in allowing rioters into government buildings, but Torres, who was former president Jair Bolsonaro’s security chief, insisted he is innocent.
Torres was fired from his job shortly after the revolt by the governor of the Federal District, Ibanez Rocha.
Police also reportedly found a document at Torres’ home that they linked to an attempt to overturn the October election results, but Torres said the document was taken out of context.
Torres was on vacation in Florida before his arrest, but returned after current Justice Minister Flavio Dino said authorities would give Torres until Monday to return to Brazil or face extradition.
The arrest came a day after the Supreme Court agreed to include Bolsonaro in its investigation into the riots.
Prosecutors said Bolsonaro may have started the unrest by refusing to concede defeat after the election and openly questioned the legitimacy of the election.
“Public figures who continue to cowardly conspire against democracy … will be held accountable,” de Moraes said.