The politically motivated conviction and imprisonment of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is an offensive against the Brazilian people and their right to democratic self-determination. Lula is Brazil’s leading candidate — and if elections were held today, he would be its next President. The crooked crop of politicians that are currently in power fear Lula’s popularity. His sentence opens serious questions about the independence of judges and the integrity of Brazil’s justice system more broadly.
At stake is the legitimacy and stability of the region. An election without Lula will hurt Brazil’s democratic legitimacy and promote unrest in a country that already lacks the capacity to guarantee the safety of its prominent social leaders, as the brutal assassination of Marielle Franco told the world.
You cannot defeat a politics through the persecution of one leader, and we wish courage to all those fighting to truly represent the needs and wishes of the Brazilian people at this time. But the persecution against Lula must end, his political rights as a presidential candidate must be restored, and a serious investigation into the political motivations of his arrest should be launched promptly, to restore democratic order to Brazil.
Renata is a member of DiEM25’s Coordinating Collective. You can also follow her on Twitter.
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