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Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman January 9, 2023

Viral photo of copycat ‘QAnon shaman’ in Brazil wasn’t taken during 2023 riots

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  • The image — which shows a bare-chested man with green and yellow face paint donning a horned fur cap — wasn’t taken during the Jan. 8, 2023, attack on Brazil’s congress.

  • The photo is from a September 2021 rally in São Paulo. 

Chaos descended on Brazil’s capital Jan. 8 as supporters of the country’s far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed key government buildings in protest of leftist President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was sworn into office the week before. 

The invasion has spurred comparisons with the Jan. 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol. On both occasions, rioters scaled buildings and broke windows because they falsely believed the elections were rigged. 

Now, social media users are claiming the two groups even dressed alike.

Shortly after the riot in Brazil began, a photo started appearing on social media that showed a shirtless man in green and yellow paint (Brazil’s national colors) and a horned fur cap — similar to the so-called "QAnon shaman," an infamous Jan. 6 protestor. 

"#Brazil is having their own Jan6 moment," one post on Twitter said. "Bolsanaro's supporters have stormed government buildings. They even have their own QAnon Shaman!" 

It was a reference to Jacob Chansely, a Jan. 6 rioter and conspiracy theorist who was sentenced to 41 months in prison after pleading guilty to his role in the siege. He is a known QAnon supporter who gave himself the moniker "Q Shaman."

The photo from Brazil is real and was taken in the country, but it isn’t from the recent attacks in Brasília. 

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A reverse-image search revealed that the photo was first posted online in September 2021.

Ian Bremmer, founder of political risk research and consulting firm Eurasia Group, shared the image on Twitter on Sept. 7, 2021, Brazil’s independence day.

A Sept. 7, 2021, story by Brazilian news site Diário do Centro do Mundo, headlined, "Bolsonarista wears costume inspired by Capitólio’s ‘Viking’ in coup act," confirmed that images of the horned man were taken at a rally in São Paulo.

A BBC journalist also noted on Twitter that the photo is not current.

"Seeing pictures of ‘the Brazilian QAnon Shaman’ being shared as people compare the scenes currently unfolding in Brazil with the Jan 6 Capitol riot. These pictures are from a rally by Bolsonaro's supporters in September 2021, not today," Shayan Sardarizadeh tweeted Jan. 8. 


We rate the claim that this photo shows a copycat ‘QAnon shaman’ at the attack on Brazil’s capital False.

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Viral photo of copycat ‘QAnon shaman’ in Brazil wasn’t taken during 2023 riots

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