Brazilian activists occupy apartment at centre of Lula corruption case
Brazil Brazilian activists occupy apartment at centre of Lula corruption case
- Ex-president in jail for allegedly corruptly acquiring the property
- âIf itâs Lulaâs the people can stay. If not, then why is he in jail?â
Leftwing housing activists in Brazil have occupied the beachfront triplex apartment at the centre of a corruption case against former president Luiz InÃ¡cio Lula da Silva, who was jailed last weekend on corruption charges.
Prosecutors say that Lula was promised the beachfront apartment in the seaside town GuarujÃ¡ in return for helping the construction company OAS secure lucrative contracts with Brazilâs state oil firm Petrobras. He is still appealing against the conviction.Lula begins prison sentence in Brazil after giving himself up to police Read more
On Monday morning, around 50 members of the homeless workers movement (MTST) occupied the apartment for several hours, hanging flags from the balcony and roof. Another hundred gathered outside the building, chanting slogans in support of Lula.
The movement often occupies unused privately owned land and buildings, in SÃ£o Paulo and across Brazil to ca ll for more affordable housing. Such occupations are permitted in Brazilâs constitution.
The MTST leader Guilherme Boulos, who was beside Lula when he gave a fiery speech to supporters before handing himself in to federal police last weekend, posted on social media: âIf [the apartment is] Lulaâs, the people can stay. If not, then why is he in jail?â
In an interview with the Guardian on Sunday, Boulos, claimed Lulaâs imprisonment was part of a calculated plot to prevent him winning Octoberâs election.
âAs I see things, Lulaâs conviction was unjust and political â¦ [and] clearly designed to remove him from the electoral process. Today he is in prison because of a judicial farce,â said Boulos, who is himself preparing a run for Brazilâs presidency for the leftist Socialism and Liberty party (PSOL).
Boulos admitted Lula had made mistakes during his two terms as president: â[But] what we are talking about here is an attack on democr acy and the lynching of a figure of Lulaâs importance.â
Boulos vowed to hand a pardon to Brazilâs jailed former leader if he was elected. âCertainly, from our point of a view a pardon would be an appropriate measure,â he said.
According to opinion polls released yesterday by polling institute Datafolha, Lula continues to lead the presidential race with more than twice the voting intention of his closest rival, the rightwing former army captain Jair Bolsonaro, who was last week charged by Brazilâs prosecutor general with hate speech against black, indigenous and gay people.
Lulaâs defence say that there is no material evidence linking him to the apartment and that the prosecutionâs case rests on the testimony of the OAS executive LÃ©o Pinheiro, who entered a plea bargain to receive a reduced sentence for corruption and money laundering.Topics
- Luiz InÃ¡cio Lula da Silva
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