by Fausto Freire
Lula da Silva was convicted of corruption and money laundering, initially, to nine years in prison, but the sentence was increased by a court composed of three judges from nine to twelve years. This is just one of the many processes that are being examined by the justice against the former president. There are dozens of witnesses accusing the leader of the Workers’ Party of commanding a gigantic corruption system that was installed in all the companies controlled by the Federal Government, as well as states and municipalities, during the 13 years of his government.
One of the main witnesses is Marcelo Odebretch, former CEO of the largest contractors in Brazil, who operated in several countries in Africa and Latin America, where the influence of Lula da Silva and his party contaminated governments in the same scheme of corruption mounted in Brazil. Marcelo Odebretch denied, for more than a year, his participation in the scheme of Lula da Silva, but finally pleaded guilty and accused the former president of being the head of the scheme.
Lula da Silva and his lawyers have always known that there was no way to avoid convictions. Therefore the defense at no time tried to prove the innocence of the accused. Instead, the strategy adopted by the defense was to attack the judges, witnesses and evidence, while promoting a great political campaign, supported by a very expensive marketing structure insisting on the thesis of political conspiracy against Lula da Silva, with the support of judges.
Apparently, Lula da Silva and his lawyers had a turnaround in the process when it reached the Supreme Court, where most of the justices were nominated during the governments of the Workers’ Party. This tactic seems to be working. In the last meeting of the Supreme Court, seven judges supported the petition of “Habeas Corpus” of the defense of Lula da Silva, pointing to a probable change in the course of the proceedings against corruption, which was led by Judge Sergio Moro, in Curitiba, State of Parana, called Operation Lava Jato or Car Wash.
The position of the Supreme Court justices opens new hope, not only for Lula, but also for all the corrupt politicians already condemned, some of whom have already been arrested. The highest court in Brazil is one step away from destroying four years of investigations, accusations and condemnations of politicians and corrupt businessmen, in the largest multinational bribe scheme in Brazilian history. There is a lot of money circulating in underhand dealings. It would not be a surprise for any Brazilian to know that in addition to politicians and executives, also judges were being bribed by the Lula da Silva scheme.
There are many ways to buy a judge and a member of the Supreme Court, through family members linked to the legal system, or other people willing to lend their names to receive bribes. With so many proofs, witnesses and evidences against Lula, his eventual acquittal and of his accomplices would be the definitive demoralization of the Brazilian legal system., something barely seen in the dark years of Colombia, when Pablo Escobar controlled the country with his scheme of corruption and intimidation, which became known as “Plata o Plomo” (silver or lead).
Lula da Silva has tried to show explicitly what some opinion polls are affirming in numbers, in other words, that Lula has support from the population as a future candidate. However, what has been shown is that the caravan that supports the former president, as it runs through the interior of Brazil, has been harassed in the cities through which it passes. These spontaneous manifestations of indignant citizens show that polls favorable to Lula can be part of another farce mounted by the former president who, today, is only a criminal protected by a conspiracy of corrupt people installed in all sectors of political power.