The news that the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was again sentenced to 12 years and 11 months, in the framework of the investigation of the well-known corruption scandal like Lava Jato, generated a stir in the political environment of the country. Now, uncertainty is growing about the future of Brazil’s most famous president and his party.
Lula, who was president twice and left office with a record approval rating, faces his second conviction for passive corruption and money laundering one more of the eight criminal cases he has open with the courts.
In Wednesday, Judge Gabriela Hardt, who was in charge of the investigation after the appointment of ex-judge Sergio Moro as Justice Minister of the Government of Jair Bolsonaro, condemned Lula for receiving bribes from construction companies, such as OAS and Odebrecht, and for accepting favors in the form of works; in particular, a country house in Atibaia, in the interior of the state of São Paulo.
Although the defense of the assured that the property was not in his name, the prosecutors presented evidence that he had occupied it and that in 2010 it had been ceded to the new owner.
The leader of the Workers Party (PT), who is in prison serving another sentence of 12 years and a month for similar causes, argues that all this is about a “political and judicial persecution.”
“The persecution against Lula does not stop,” said Gleisi Hoffmann, president of the PT, on her Twitter account and added that “in memory of people and history, Lula will always be bigger than his executioners.”
For its part, supporters called for mobilizations on Thursday in defense of the former president in some of the most important cities in the country, such as São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Cuiaba and Curitiba. For today, another demonstration is expected in Recife, capital of Pernambuco, the state where Lula was born, under the slogan “Lula libre”.
For Ascanio Seleme, former editor of the Brazilian newspaper O Globo and political columnist, the new sentence against the PT’s top leader complicates his situation. “Lula already appealed to the second instance. However, his situation is more fragile. When sentenced for the second time, the decision of the justice to grant him a house arrest (which could still be appealed this year) becomes almost impossible, “he assured by the news.
Maira Machado, a teacher in São Paulo and leader of the Workers’ Revolutionary Movement (MRT), also said that “the sum of this conviction to the former aggravates the situation of considerably and reinforces Bolsonaro’s idea that there is a fight against corruption, although the intention of justice is really to prevent the freedom of Lula. ”
“At this moment the PT is doing very badly in Brazil. The country is worn out and the party is reduced in Congress, with less than 10%, “says Seleme, for whom the PT should do a mea culpa to improve its image. “Today, the cry of ‘Lula libre’ is an offense to the majority of the Brazilian population and loses its meaning with the second conviction. The abundance of evidence against him is impressive, and I find it difficult for the PT to be the strong party that it was years ago, “he says.
“Those who insist on ‘Free Lula’ do so for a political reason, to politically group people around an ideal that one day, in the most remote past, Lula represented,” he concludes. In total, the top PT leader faces eight cases in the Brazilian justice system, all linked to several corruption issues.
The first conviction, which frustrated his career as a presidential candidate last year, was imposed by Moro, who became a symbol of the anti-corruption struggle in Brazil. In this, he was blamed for massive corruption and money laundering within the state oil company Petrobras.
Another judge from Brasilia accepted, last November, a complaint against and his substitute, Dilma Rousseff, accused of integrating a supposed corrupt network within the PT, in which they received millions of dollars in bribes.
He is also accused of having used his influence to manipulate decisions of the governments of Equatorial Guinea and Angola with the aim of favoring business with Brazilian groups. In addition, it faces complaints about alleged favors to automotive companies.