BRASILIA (AP) — Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said Wednesday that his intelligence services had failed on January 8, when supporters of far-right former president Jair Bolsonaro stormed buildings in Brasilia.

The new comments come as Lula’s criticism of the military has increased, with the commander-in-chief condemning them in recent days for failing to act against rioting Bolsonaro supporters.

«We made an elementary mistake: my intelligence did not exist (that day),» Lula told GloboNews television channel in an interview. “We have Army intelligence, Air Force intelligence, ABIN (Brazilian Intelligence Agency); none of them warned me.

Lula had previously said he suspected the collusion of «people from the armed forces» in the insurrection, during which several thousand Bolsonaro supporters invaded and looted the congress building, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court.

“I had the impression that it was the beginning of a coup,” Lula said of the riot.

The president stressed that he would like to maintain civil relations with the Brazilian armed forces, but noted that they should not become politicized. He is scheduled to meet with Army, Navy and Air Force commanders later this week.

“I don’t want to have problems with the forces, nor they with me. But those who want to get involved in politics should take off their uniform, resign from office and then enter politics,» Lula said.

Earlier this week he fired more than 50 soldiers guarding the presidential residence and the office of the National Security Adviser, expressing their distrust in them after the insurrection in Brasilia.

In the interview, Lula reiterated that he would meet US President Joe Biden in Washington on February 10, after receiving an invitation when the leaders of the two largest democracies in the Western Hemisphere spoke by phone about the riots in Brasilia.

The Brazilian insurrection resembles the January 6, 2021 attack on the United States Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

Reuters exclusively reported last week that US and Brazilian lawmakers were seeking ways to cooperate in an investigation into the violent protests that have swept Brasilia.

“I want to discuss with Biden how democracy is doing in the world, what is happening here and there,” Lula said, adding that he would also ask his American counterpart how he, Biden, was dealing with the strength of the security forces. right.

The Brazilian president said he will also meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Brazil later this month, as Reuters first reported last month.