It was a Friday morning in November 2019, with gray weather in the capital of Paraná, when the Santa Cândida neighborhood received several caravans from all over the country, who arrived to try to see the most famous of the region’s residents. The streets around the Federal Police quickly filled with party flags and popular movements that followed the arrest of former president Lula for 580 days. At around 5:40 pm, Lula leaves prison.
Two years after his release, the former president leads all electoral polls, with a large advantage over President Jair Bolsonaro. He also has an advantage over his tormentor, former judge and former minister Sérgio Moro, who dropped his toga to become Minister of Justice in the Bolsonaro government and left demoralized by the accusations made by the “Vaza-Jato”, of having been biased against Lula at his trials, and broken with Bolsonaro. Moro would still be declared suspect in the processes involving Lula by the Federal Supreme Court (STF).
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For the lawyer and member of the Association of Lawyers for Democracy, Samir Mattar Assad, his release from prison consolidated his understanding of the unappealable decision. “Lula’s departure needs to be analyzed from a legal and democratic point of view as a correction regarding the 2016 decision on the second instance arrest”, he analyzes.
Mattar Assad emphasizes that from the practical point of view of criminal proceedings, there has been a return to the Democratic Rule of Law. “The 2016 decision was given at the height of Operation Lava Jato, provoked by the popular clamor of the time. The legal field has to be preserved and cannot be ruled, nor ruled, by the press, as was proved by Vaza-Jato,” he says.
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In court, Lula had representative victories in the Supreme Court. In April, the STF annulled all the convictions in Lava Jato and declared the Federal Court in Curitiba incompetent in the processes against the former president. Two months later, in June, Moro would still be declared a suspect in the cases of the “Triplex of Guarujá”, the “Sítio de Atibaia” and the donation of land to the Lula Institute.
In other instances, the Court also ordered the shedding of other investigations. “The Lava Jato put the rule of law in check by making awards that were known to be unreasonable with the clear objective of reaching and annihilating pre-defined targets”, quotes Cristiano Zanin, Lula’s lawyer.
from vigil to elections
Roberto Baggio, member of the national leadership of the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), spent a good part of the 580 days at the Lula Livre Vigil, which was located in front of the PF building in Curitiba. Baggio believes that the vigil played a fundamental role in Lula’s defense. “We broke the media blockade and counteracted the laundry in the narrative, it was a victorious fight in defense of democracy and against coup”, he says.
Baggio reckons that, two years later, with the revelations that Moro interfered politically in the processes against Lula and the weakening of the pocket narist bloc, the situation is better than two years ago for the popular camp.
“Moro tries to navigate the polarization scenario, but he is the coup candidate and represents foreign geopolitical interests. Lula’s candidacy, on the other hand, manages, at this moment, to unify various popular sectors with all their diversities”, he points out.
According to the latest survey by Genial/Qaest, Lula leads in all the analyzed scenarios, both in the first and in the second round.
Source: BoF Paraná
Edition: Frédi Vasconcelos and Lia Bianchini