Lula Defiant After Corruption Conviction: They Want Me Out, I’m Still In

    Lula during a rally - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

    Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said on Thursday that his prosecution, which he claims is based on unsubstantiated evidence, is politically motivated.

    During a televised press conference, the 71-year-old Workers’ Party (PT) leader said the move is intended to destroy his group’s reputation ahead of the 2018 elections.

    “We have to understand this as a political dispute,” Lula said.

    “They don’t want to condemn Lula. They want to condemn our political project.”

    Lula was sentenced on Wednesday to nine years and six months over corruption charges in the Operation Car Wash investigations.

    He was condemned for passive corruption crimes and money laundering, as well as allegedly receiving bribes of about US$ 1.15 million. However, prison time has not been applied as the prosecution awaits an appeal.

    The PT leader added that the investigation and charges were based on news reports that provided no substantial proof and a blank document without any names or signatures that prosecutors want to pass as evidence of corruption.

    “They want to eliminate me from the political game. If they think that this will leave me out, know that I’m still in the political game,” Lula said.

    “As my enemies are defying me, I’m calling on them to present one piece of solid evidence against me. There isn’t any proof that I committed such crimes.”

    PT President Gleisi Hoffmann echoed Lula’s statements, claiming the conviction was “eminently political” and serves as a “provocation to democracy.”

    The recently-elected party leader said her group will team up with social movements across the country to continue protests against the ruling.

    Social Movements

    Protesters are holding rallies in several Brazilian cities following the sentencing of the nation’s former President.

    Sergio Moro, the lead judge in the multi-billion dollar corruption probe known as Car Wash, sentenced Lula to nine and a half years in jail. But his lawyers say he is innocent and accuse Moro of being politically motivated.

    The prosecution will not enforce the sentence yet pending an appeal.

    Lula’s Workers’ Party says the ruling is an “attack on democracy.” Party leaders called on supporters to organize protests across the country.

    One demonstration took place in São Paulo’s main Avenue Paulista. Crowds shouted “Lula is innocent” and accused Judge Moro of having made a “political decision.”

    “When the judiciary behaves as a political party, something is going badly wrong in the country, and that’s what’s happening in this process,” Guilherme Boulos, the head of the Homeless Movement said.

    Boulos later told the crowd that he had just spoken to Lula, who says he is feeling strong and won’t let Moro’s verdict bring him down.

    Another organizer of the protest in São Paulo, Matheus Assunção of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), said that, “The political agenda of the coup which includes Judge Sergio Moro, is part of an agenda of removing workers’ rights, as happened yesterday when the Senate approved one of the cruelest labor reforms in Brazil’s history.”

    He added, “What’s more, there are indications that Judge Sergio Moro collaborates with the interests of North American imperialism and the financial system.”

    Expressions of support for Lula also came in from around Latin America. The Bolivian president, Evo Morales, tweeted, “A judicial coup against our brother Lula, a potential candidate who would guarantee the victory of the Brazilian people. All our solidarity.”

    The Argentine Nobel laureate, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, said, “Coup mongering is striking down labor rights and political rights. The people will not go without Lula.”

    Social media users urged Lula’s supporters to gather under the hashtag #Lulainocente in São Paulo, Brasília, Salvador and Porto Alegre within hours of the sentencing.

    The ruling could bar him from running for president in the upcoming 2018 elections, despite having the highest approval ratings of all likely candidates.



    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *


    You May Also Like

    Brazil to Teach World How to Fight Corruption

    The United Nations will make use of Brazil’s experience in fighting municipal corruption as ...

    Lula Invites Brazilians to See on Site How Money Is Being Spent

    In his TV address to the nation, yesterday, June 23, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio ...

    People showing their adoration for Lula - Ricardo Stuckert/Inst. Lula

    Lula’s Answer to His Conviction for Corruption: Launching Candidacy to President

    The former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva responded defiantly to his conviction ...

    Brazilian Army captain Willian Pina Botelho

    Students Prison in Brazil Had Help from Infiltrated Army Captain

    The Brazilian man accused of infiltrating a group of students opposed to the government ...

    Lula talks to the crowd at Avenida Paulista - Ricardo Stuckert/Instituto Lula

    Despite Street Protests Brazil President Goes Ahead with Pension Reform

      Brazil’s president Michel Temer and senior lawmakers are still unwavering in their support ...

    Lady with a sign: Out with Temer - Paulo Pinto/Ag. PT

    Is Brazil on the Brink of Political Chaos? Quite Possibly

    It is a nail-biter in Brasília: After the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff ...

    Street market in São Paulo, Brazil

    Elections and Uncertainty About Pension Reform Lower Brazil’s Credit Rating

    Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s cut Brazil’s credit rating further below investment grade as ...