Brazil's ex-president Lula da Silva defies police

Katrina Barker
April 7, 2018

In his order on Thursday, federal judge Sergio Moro said the 72-year-old had to present himself before 5 p.m. on Friday at the federal police headquarters in the southern city of Curitiba.

A Brazilian federal judge on Thursday issued a warrant [arrest warrant, PDF] for former president Luiz Inacio da Silva's arrest.

He is staying at a metalworkers' union headquarters in the Sāo Bernardo do Campo area of São Paulo, accompanied by growing groups of supporters. They talked about the state of anonymity because they weren't licensed to share inner deliberations being shared.

"The intention is not to force compliance at any cost, but rather follow the order the best way possible, with tranquility and without a media show", Luis Antonio Boudens, president of the federal police, said in a statement. Early Friday, da Silva waved to supporters from a window at the union but did not speak.

Demonstrators for and against the arrest of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are taking to the streets across Brazil.

Today, 11 Brazilian ministers, almost a third of the presidential cabinet, are expected to resign to campaign for congressional seats ahead of October's general elections.

Headed by Moro, the investigation has become one of the world's biggest corruption battles, tackling business empires like Brazil's Odebrecht construction group and reshuffling the political deck ahead of this year's presidential election.

In late January, an appeals court unanimously upheld the corruption and money laundering charges against him, and he was handed the prison sentence. The former president denies any wrongdoing in this case or in a lot of other corruption circumstances that have to be tried.

Lula himself had not addressed the crowd almost 24 hours after arriving at the building, although union leaders said in a statement posted on their website that he would speak to the crowd late Friday afternoon.

Born inside the hardscrabble northeast, da Silva rose through the ranks of this union inside the nation's industrial south. Gleisi Hoffman told reporters in Sao Bernardo.

Lula served as president between 2003 and 2011.

Lula left office in 2010 with record high approval ratings of more than 80%, having presided over a growing economy fed by a commodities boom, and implemented social policies that lifted millions of people out of poverty.

Since leaving office, things have steadily gotten worse for the leader, who has been charged in several corruption cases. He's consistently asserted his innocence while continued to effort across the united states the year.

Universally known as Lula, Lula da Silva is a founding member of Brazil's only socialist political party, Partido dos Trabalhadores, the Workers' Party.

Technically, the Supreme Federal Tribunal's decision doesn't keep da Silva off the ballot.

The decision as to whether Lula can stand for president will rest with the Superior Electoral Court (TSE).

In theory, once someone has been convicted and lost a lower court appeal, he or she is barred from running for office under Brazil's clean-slate law.

Brazilians were riveted by the drama on Friday amid uncertainty about when and how da Silva, once a lion of Latin America's left, would be taken into custody. On the last four years, Brazilians have experienced near weekly police operations and arrests of their elite, from leading politicians to businessmen like former Odebrecht CEO Marcelo Odebrecht.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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