When his supporters stormed Brazil’s congress and presidential offices on Sunday to protest the allegedly stolen election, Jair Bolsonaro was believed to be thousands of miles away.
Faced with various investigations from his tenure, Mr. Bolsonaro flew to Florida in late December with the intention of staying there for at least a month. He was in Orlando, living in a rented house owned by a professional mixed martial artist a few miles from Disney World.
Mr Bolsonaro has long questioned the reliability of Brazil’s electoral system — without evidence — and he refused to admit in unequivocal terms when he lost in October to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who took office on January 1.
But before heading to Florida in the closing days of his presidency, Mr Bolsonaro urged his supporters to avoid violence and suggested moving on.
“We live in a democracy or not,” he said in a recorded statement. “Nobody wants an adventure.”
On Sunday, the former president initially did not comment on the storming of the presidential office.