The naming of Alexandre de Moraes as justice minister of Brazilian Senate-imposed President Michel Temer has raised fears that the coup will use repression to impose its neoliberal program on the country.
Alexandre de Moraes had previously served as secretary for security for the right-wing government of the state of Sao Paulo before being named justice minister.
In that capacity, de Moraes oversaw several brutal crackdowns on social protest, including an incident on Jan. 13, 2016 that was widely condemned for its excessive use of police force.
Alexandre de Moraes rejected claims the police committed abuses and said demonstrators were to blame for the violence.
Police violence was also widely used against students protesters, and once again de Moraes defended the actions of the police, arguing demonstrators engaged in “hooliganism and crime.”
Brazil's constitution guarantees the right to protest and does not specify that organizers provide a route to police.
In her speech before leaving the Presidential Palace, ousted President Dilma Rousseff warned that the incoming government could resort to repression to implement its policies.
Senate-imposed President Michel Temer has already indicated that he intends to implement a free-market, pro-business program. However, that program was rejected by millions of Brazilians who re-elected Rousseff based on her government's legacy of wealth redistribution and social investment.
Rousseff said the Temer-led government would lack the legitimacy to implement a neoliberal program.
“The biggest risk for the country is to be led by a government that was not elected by a direct vote, that does not have legitimacy, that is born of coup,” said Rousseff.