The Edge of Democracy: Lula Is Freed in Brazil in Victory for Movement to Resist Bolsonaro

The Powers that Be in Brasil – Supreme Court Justices – has wisely decided it was best to release Ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from prison after 580 days of imprisonment for a crime he never committed. He could be returned back to prison at anytime the Senate decides to over-rule the Brasilian Supreme Court which, in Brasil, is entirely possible.. WTF?!  But today is a day to celebrate!! 


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We begin today’s show in Brazil, where former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was freed from prison Friday after 580 days behind bars. Lula’s surprise release came after the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled to end the mandatory imprisonment of people convicted of crimes who are still appealing their cases. Lula has vowed to challenge Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro in the 2022 elections. During a rally on Friday soon after his release, Lula warned about Bolsonaro’s ties to violent militias.

LUIZ INÁCIO LULA DA SILVA: [translated] Bolsonaro was democratically elected. We accept the result of the election. This guy has a mandate for four years. Now, he was elected to govern the Brazilian people, and not to govern the militia in Rio de Janeiro. … I want to build this country with the same happiness that we built it when we governed this country. My dream isn’t to solve my problems. Today I’m a guy that doesn’t have a job, a president without a pension, not even a television in my apartment. My life is totally blocked. The only thing I’m certain of is that I have more courage to fight than ever before.

AMY GOODMAN: Lula was serving a 12-year sentence over a disputed corruption and money laundering conviction handed down by conservative Judge Sérgio Moro, an ally of current far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. After that, he became the justice minister. Lula has long maintained his innocence. Earlier this year, The Intercept revealed Moro aided prosecutors in their sweeping corruption investigation, known as Operation Car Wash, in an attempt to prevent Lula from running in 2018 election. This cleared the path for Bolsonaro’s victory. At the time of his imprisonment in April 2018, Lula was leading the presidential polls.

Well, for more, we’re joined by the Brazilian filmmaker Petra Costa. Her new documentary, The Edge of Democracy, chronicles the imprisonment of Lula, the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff and the story of the dictatorship and the democracy — about the same age of our guest, the Brazilian filmmaker Petra Costa.


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