By: I. Maluf
Sérgio Moro - the infamous judge that commanded most of Lava Jato’s corruption investigations - ordered ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s arrest, claiming that out of “dignity”, Lula could surrender himself in three days time after the Supreme Court issued the warrant. Lula surrendered himself to the police 26 hours after Moro’s declaration.
Before going into police custody, Lula gave a 55 minute speech alleging innocence, claiming that he was incentivized to exile himself in another country or in some foreign embassy elsewhere in the world. Lula also make sure to emphasize his disdain towards the Brazilian Supreme Court in his speech.
After surrendering, Lula was transferred from São Bernardo do Campo (São Paulo) to Curitiba, where he’ll serve his 12 year sentence. He’s going to be placed in a special cell in the federal police’s building which will leave him isolated from the rest of the prisoners. Despite of this, Lula will receive the standard treatment of the penitentiary; there will be no favors granted to him.
Lula was going to participate in the 2018 elections and try to be elected as president for the third time. Lula had a promising position in the polls and many believed that he could become the next leader of the country in October. After his arrest PT, Brazil’s Worker’s Party, has received a blow as their strongest contestant has been eliminated from the elections, leaving the other parties stronger in the race to elect the next president.
Lula is the first president to ever be arrested because of a common crime, his condemnation including the crimes of corruption and money laundering. With Lula’s arrest, Brazil’s political future is uncertain. According to The Economist, “Despite his conviction, 37% of Brazilians say they would vote for him in October’s election, making him the most popular candidate by far”. Jair Bolsonaro is behind with the support of 16% of the voters but he’s the right-wing opposite of Lula, therefore it isn’t probable that the imprisoned politician’s voters will choose him as the next president. The political atmosphere in Brazil is tense, and nobody can predict the outcome of the fast-approaching election.