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Lula fires Brazil’s top Army Chief Arruda after riots in capital


Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva fired the nation’s top military commander on Saturday, two weeks after rioters stormed public buildings in the capital Brasilia.

Julio Cesar de Arruda will be replaced by Tomas Miguel Ribeiro Paiva, currently the army commander in the southeastern region of the country, according to local media. Paiva has released a video of the official Southeast Regional Command YouTube on Friday, in which he said the results of the presidential election should be respected.

The decision to replace Arruda was made a day after Lula met him and other armed forces commanders in Brasilia. The president is seeking to punish those he believes failed to stop the January 8 riots, even risking damaging already fragile ties with the military.

The dismissal contrasts with the softer approach adopted by Lula’s defense minister, Jose Mucio, who has spoken of “turning the page” on the riots. Mucio told journalists after Friday’s meeting that Lula believes in the work of armed forces commanders.

This story has been published from the electronic agency’s feed without any modification to the text.

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