Videos make it impossible to build an alternate reality

Thanks to the cameras on the internal circuits of buildings in Brasilia, the old saying that in wars the first victim is always the truth expired on January 8th. When the headquarters of the Three Powers were invaded by the Bolsonarist mob, the lenses of the surveillance systems presented history with definitive records. In them, truth has a much more incredible appearance than fiction. The late release of the Planalto videos reinforces the perception that it is impossible to invent any alternative reality in relation to the biggest attack on Brazilian democracy since redemocratization.

In the case of Planalto, the cameras caught two undeniable truths. The first is that the Lula government, installed a week ago, suffered a coup attempt by Bolsonaro. The second is that the Presidency’s security apparatus oscillated between the incompetence of General Gonçalves Dias, then head of the Institutional Security Office, and the complicity of the military with the invaders. Soldiers that GDias, as Lula’s friend general is called, inherited from his predecessor Augusto Heleno and did not have the foresight to replace.

The other scenes help compose the picture: the door to the Planalto open to the invaders, the dumbfounded general among the criminals, the subordinate serving water to the coup plotters, a Bolsonarist patriot trying to break into an ATM, Lula inspecting the wreckage, Flávio Dino exposing with brusque gestures his civil disagreements with the uniform manager José Múcio… The cameras heighten the constraints. But they do not provide material for those who wish to rewrite history.

Bolsonaro and his legislative militia saw in the hide-and-seek to which the Lula administration submitted the Planalto videos an opportunity to build a less embarrassing fiction. Planalto saves its general from criticism and unifies positions around the most convenient versions. The CPI to be installed in Congress will be transformed into a disinformation war. In this environment, Brasília’s closed circuit cameras teach that the best thing to do is to be suspicious. The truth opened up by the free view of surveillance cameras works as a vaccine against fantasies.

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