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The judge’s indictment against Jair Messias Bolsonaro — the retired Army captain who governed Brazil from 2019 until 2022 — is devastating. The 135-page document is based on the confession of a witness with privileged access to the former president. It includes screenshots of compromising WhatsApp conversations between the suspects, including the former Minister of Defense.

No country uses the encrypted messaging app as intensely as Brazil. Hence, it’s not surprising that WhatsApp was one of the means of communication used to cook up an attempted coup d’état. The Supreme Court and the Federal Police accuse former president Bolsonaro, four generals, an admiral and around 20 civilians of concocting the plot.

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