• Categories
  • Archives

Brazil’s Trial of the Century Might Prevent Lula from Running for Prez a Third Time

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Seven years after a corruption scandal rattled the government of former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s Supreme Court began on Thursday a landmark trial that could mar the wildly popular leader’s legacy. Brazilians still don’t know the extent of the infamous “mensalão” scandal, an alleged scheme to pay legislators a monthly retainer in exchange for their support in Congress.

If prosecutors get their way, though, they could convict as many as 38 former officials and associates of the ruling Workers’ Party (PT), several of whom were senior aides to Lula at the time, including three former ministers.

The affair has little bearing on the day-to-day dealings of President Dilma Rousseff, who was hand-picked by Lula to succeed him and won the election with his strong support.

But the trial, expected to last over a month, will be closely watched across Brazil and is the subject of magazine covers, front-page spreads, and heated conversations in living rooms, bars and street corners.

At stake is the legacy of Brazil’s most popular politician in the last half century. He was sluggish in his initial response to the scandal, defending some of the accused, but is still beloved after an eight-year administration during which Brazil’s economy grew by an annual average greater than 4%.

Though re-elected for a second term one year after the scandal toppled trusted deputies, details that may emerge during the trial could cast doubt on Lula’s longstanding denials that he knew about alleged payments.

They could also impact any plans he harbors to return to the presidency, a remote possibility he has acknowledged should Rousseff decide against seeking re-election in 2014.

On Wednesday citizens in São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, spelled “mensalão” in candles along a central avenue. In Brasília, security guards in black suits and sunglasses lined the perimeter of the colonnaded Supreme Court building.

Corruption is still a major problem in Brazil, from small town councils all the way to the federal Congress, where many lawmakers are experts at back-room deals and often rat each other out to reporters.

“It’s often said that there is no punishment in Brazil,” former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso said in a video by his centrist party, the PSDB (Party of the Brazilian Social Democracy), the chief opposition to the ruling populist Workers’ Party, PT. “Now we have an important moment, a moment for Brazilian history.”

Mercopress

Tags:

  • Show Comments (3)

  • Jim

    ….
    Might prevent him from running a third term? I would think the brasilian constitution would prevent that first. durrrrr

  • giselle

    Ok..so if he had not paid those people to support him on congress what would be happened? A big fight in congress? Nothing had not be approved … I believe all those congress men should be on this trial..and bring back all the money they had received..the amount and who got paid should be revealed to whole society..Lula has to pay for joining the corruption circle of this country…..What ashamed? He might had his reasons..but there were not reasons to join the corruption congress men .. What about this money? Where did they come from?

  • giselle

    What is fair?
    So? What about those people who received the money? Are they going to the trial as well?

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

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Need for Fertilizer Boosts Brazil’s Chemical Imports by 200%

Imports of chemical products by Brazil from the countries in the League of Arab ...

Brazil About to Master Whole Uranium Industrial Cycle Processing

According to Brazilian military sources, Brazil will be ready to control the whole industrial ...

LatAm Countries Gather in Brazil to Discuss Plight of 19 Million Jobless

Around 19 million workers are unemployed at present in Latin America. This total corresponds ...

Brazilian sugarcane cutter

Japanese Biofuel Project in Brazil Creates 50,000 Direct Jobs

The project is of colossal dimensions. It is the largest irrigation work in northeastern ...

Following Disastrous World Cup Campaign Coach Parreira Gets Fired

Brazil’s CBF (Brazilian Football Confederation), the maximum soccer authority in the country announced today, ...

Brazil’s Chief of Staff Scolds Inflation-Mongers

The head of the Presidential Civilian Advisory Staff, Minister José Dirceu, criticized some people’s ...

Death Threats and Lawsuits Can’t Silence This Lone Brazilian Journalist

Death threats, physical assaults and 32 lawsuits – this is what freelance journalist Lúcio ...

Brazil Calls for Total Ban on Nuclear Weapons

“As long as you do not have complete disarmament, which is what Brazil favors, ...

Brazilian Scientist Develops in California Technique to Reduce Dengue Mosquitoes

A method developed by a Brazilian researcher at the University of California, Irvine, Dr ...

A 20-Year Program to Offer Every Brazilian the Education They Need

Discussion of Brazil’s National Salary Floor for Teachers has centered upon its amount, 950 ...