January 23, 2022

Social movements and other allies from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe condemn the political persecution and threat of imprisonment against Lula

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Brazilian Government
Brazilian Politics Society and Economy

From Friends of the MST

Social movements and other allies from the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Europe condemn the political persecution and threat of imprisonment against Lula, the leading candidate in Brazil’s October presidential election. Brazil’s weakened democracy is at stake.

The intensifying political persecution of former Brazilian president Luiz Ignácio Lula da Silva escalated to a full-scale crisis yesterday following a high court decision that likely disqualifies his candidacy in the fall presidential contest, and clears the path for his imprisonment on trumped up corruption charges. Lula’s candidacy is supported by mass based support movements, labor and progressive organizations and public figures, and tens of millions of Brazilians. If Lula is sent to jail, his popular candidacy will be derailed.

This political prosecution against President Lula da Silva further weakens Brazil’s already fragile democracy. Recent electoral polls show that Lula da SIlva is the leading candidate in the next presidential election, scheduled for October. Brazil’s right wing and neoliberal political class seek to prevent the popular ex-president from recapturing the presidency, which would threaten their current repressive, pro-corporate policies. This agenda includes privatization of energy and Brazil’s strategic resources, elimination of the federal government’s civil rights divisions, and the upward transfer of wealth to Brazil’s elite and foreign investors. Under these policies, Brazil is suffering dramatic increases in poverty and violence and the loss of national sovereignty.

Yesterday, we witnessed the Brazilian Supreme Court rule against the most basic of human and constitutional rights, the right to be treated as innocent unless proven guilty. President Lula da Silva is accused of crimes in absence of any hard evidence against him. Yet, a narrow majority of the Supreme Court denied his petition of Habeas Corpus, a decision that goes against the 1988 National Constitution. Lula now faces a twelve-year jail term and disqualification from the presidential contest.

The high court’s  decision follows a direct threat of military intervention by a retired general of the Brazilian Army, and an aggressive campaign  by Rede Globo, Brazil’s largest television network. The New York Times and other US corporate media suggest that Lula’s prosecution advances the anti-corruption cause.  However, Brazil’s unelected President Michel Temer and several of his political allies who are accused of graft and other crimes have received softer treatment from Brazilian prosecutors. Despite hard evidence against Temer, Senator Aecio Neves, and other supporters of the 2016 institutional coup against democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff, these politicians are not facing imminent incarceration. The prosecution of Lula is a politically driven intervention in the forthcoming presidential contest and a severe blow to Brazil’s already weakened democracy.

We stand alongside our brothers and sisters in defense of former President Lula da Silva’s right to justice under the law, against interference by the military, and in defense of free and fair elections. At stake is not only the freedom of a leading champion of democracy in Brazil, but the future of Brazilian democracy itself.


  1. US Friends of the MST  (Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement), United States
  2. Brazilians for Democracy and Social Justice, Washington DC, United States
  3. Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts Chapter, United States
  4. Defend Democracy in Brazil – New York, United States
  5. Climate Justice Alliance, United States
  6. Friends of the ATC (Nicaragua’s Rural Workers Association), United States
  7. Sociedad Cientifica Latino Americana de Agroecologia (SOCLA) – Section North America, United States
  8. Organic Consumers Association, United States
  9. Forum of Sao Paulo of Washington DC – Maryland – Virginia, United States
  10. Community to Community, United States
  11. US Food Sovereignty Alliance, United States
  12. Hidden Acres Farm, United States
  13. Alliance for Global Justice, United States
  14. Sustainable Agriculture Louisville, United States
  15. Food Chain Workers Alliance, United States
  16. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, United States
  17. Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), United States
  18. Labor Network for Sustainability, United States
  19. Pesticide Action Network, North America, United States
  20. Community Global Justice Alliance, United States
  21. Latin America Solidarity Committee, United States
  22. Quixote Center
  23. National Association of Rural and Indigenous Women (ANAMURI), Chile
  24. Coletivo Boston Contra o Golpe, United States
  25. National Lawyers Guild – International Committee, United States
  26. Carlos Marentes Sr., Border Agricultural Workers Project, United States-Mexico
  27. Alastair Iles, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California at Berkeley, USA.
  28. Maywa Montenegro, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, USA
  29. M. Jahi Chappell, Ph.D., Adjunct Faculty, Washington State University, United States
  30. Johanna Jacobi, Project Coordinator, Project Towards Food Sustainability in Africa and South America, Switzerland
  31. Hannah Wittman, Associate Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia, Canada
  32. Antonio Roman-Alcalá, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands.
  33. Rafter Sass Ferguson, Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow, Environmental Studies, Haverford College, Haverford PA, United States
  34. Rebecca Tarlau, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania, United States
  35. Nikhil Aziz, Human Rights activist, United States
  36. Claudia Tamsky, Partido dos Trabalhadores – Boston, United States
  37. Molly D. Anderson, Professor of Food Studies, MIddlebury College, United States
  38. Anni Bellows, Professor Food Studies, Syracuse University, United States
  39. Magha García Medina, Pachamama Bosque Jardìn, Puerto Rico
  40. Dorinda Moreno, Fuerza Mundial, United States
  41. Michael Leon Guerrero, United States
  42. Aline Piva, Deputy Assistant Director, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, United States
  43. Saulo Araujo, WhyHunger, United States
  44. Diana Bell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  45. Tarso Ramos, United States
  46. Jovanna Garcia Soto, United States
  47. Omar Angel Perez, United States
  48. Lydia Joels Simas, United States
  49. Catherine Badgley, Professor, University of Michigan, United States
  50. Luciana Coelho, Coletivo Boston Contra o Golpe, United States
  51. David Crump, United States
  52. Betania Ramos Schroder, Germany
  53. Elsa Nunes-Ueno, United States
  54. Paulo Nunes-Ueno, United States
  55. Maria Luisa Mendonca, Network for Social Justice and Human Rights, Brazil-United States
  56. Otoniel Figueroa-Duran, United States
  57. Alexander Main, Senior Associate of International Policy, Center for Economic and Policy Research.
  58. Laura Valdes, United States
  59. Cheryl LaBash, retired City of Detroit inspector, United States
  60. Roger D. Harris, Task Force on the Americas, United States
  61. Dawn Belkin Martinez, United States
  62. Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin CODEPINK: Women for Peace, United States
  63. Melissa Cox, grassroots organizer, United States
  64. Charlotte Casey, United States
  65. Jose Bravo, Just Transition Alliance, United States
  66. Hayat Imam, United States
  67. Soya Jung, United States
  68. Tammy Bang Luu, United States
  69. Kathleen McAfee, Professor of International Relations, San Francisco State University, United States
  70. Carmen Vega-Rivera, United States.
  71. Banbose Shango, National Network on Cuba, (USA); All-African People’s Revolutionary Party (GC), United States
  72. Elizabeth Yeampierre, Executive Director, UPROSE, United States
  73. Suren Modliar, Encuentro 5, United States
  74. Rob Wallace, Institute for Global Studies, University of Minnesota, United States
  75. Joan Ramos, United States
  76. Cindy Domingo, United States
  77. Scot Nakawaga, United States
  78. Juliana Moraes, American University, United States
  79. Kathia Aviles-Vazquez, Organizacion Boricua de Agricultura Ecologica, Puerto Rico 

SOURCE: http://mstbrazil.org/news/social-movements-other-allies-united-states-canada-caribbean-europe-condemn-political

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