March 15, 2021

The annulment of sentences against Lula and his first speech following the decision of judge Edson Fachin triggered strong repercussions on the international press.

Among news, articles and stories, there were over 150 publications in the mainstream media outlets of the Americas, Europe and the Middle East, which counted with news from Al Jazeera and the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Some of those publications gained main spot on the news websites around the world.

It is the case of The New York Times, which brought the headline story on the same day judge Fachin ruled the lack of jurisdiction of the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba to rule processes involving the ex-president. Just like other media as the Foreign Policy, Bloomberg, the Associated Press, The Washington Post and CNN, the newspaper from New York highlighted the potential effect of the annulment of sentences against Lula da Silva might have to transform the political future of Brazil.

NY Times headlines: “Lawsuits are overturned and Lula can run for office again”

The Portuguese morning newspaper Público points out to a positive change in the Brazilian political scene in the article written by Manuel Carvalho. For the journalist, with the rehabilitation of Lula’s political rights, “Brazil cleans a stain in its rule of law. And in so doing, it says that its democracy resists”. Besides, he argues that “Lula’s case interests all who, on the left or on the right, being defenders or critiques of the “lulopetismo”, believe that the equality of citizens before the law is the ground of democratic societies.”

As it has become clear since the scandal of Vaza-Jato (Leak Express), ex-president Lula was not given the right to be treated equally before the law. To the contrary, the way the trial took place was very unfair and partial, both on the part of the prosecutors whom, according to Der Spiegel, “violated all norms characteristic of an independent judiciary” creating intrigues and feeding “deliberately the press with half truths and manipulated testimony” and on the part of then presiding judge Sergio Moro, who worked with the prosecutors to “convict the ex-president before he could run in the last presidential elections”, as reports the Argentinean Clarín.

As stated in the editorial published by Le Monde: “For years, the press reported the irregularities accumulated by the anti-corruption operation Car Wash. Revelations from the investigative website The Intercept confirm: Lula was convicted and incarcerated without concrete proof of the corruption acts of which he was accused, at the end of a process which was in many aspects illegal, and presumably aimed at his exclusion from the political stage”.

In Spain, the newspaper El País remarked that “the decision is a victory for Lula, who filed for habeas corpus at the Supreme Court over two years ago, as soon as Moro announced he would take the invitation to be Justice minister for Bolsonaro’s extreme right government”, which whom Lula da Silva would have disputed elections in 2018 had it not been by actions of Sergio Moro himself, who issued an arrest order against Lula in april of the same year. Still ongoing, the ruling on the habeas corpus was resumed by the Supreme Court last week.

Besides El País, other European media reported Lula´s legal victory, among them the Spanish El Mundo and El Diário, and the French Le Monde, Courrier International and Le Figaro, and important publications in Germany such as the Deutsche Welle, Suddeutsche Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemein. The matter has also made headlines in Italian newspapers of great circulation such as Repubblica, Faro di Roma and Corriere della Sera.

Title of La Repubblica: “Brazil, Supreme Court overturns Lula’s sentence: ex-leader can become candidate for 2022”. The story informs that “Lula has always declared to be innocent, but left the prison with the head held high when he was conceded the right to respond to the lawsuits in liberty.”

The decision of judge Fachin has also made the headlines of the traditional Financial Times, The Economist, BBC and The Times of the United Kingdom. The Guardian brought up the economic and sanitary crisis Brazil is going through. “Monday’s ruling was an unmistakable turning point and potentially positive for those who wanted to see the back of Bolsonaro, under whose highly controversial watch more than 265,000 Brazilians have lost their lives to Covid-19”, affirmed the political scientist Thomas Traumann to the British newspaper.

In Latin America, newspapers La Razón (Bolívia), El Espectador (Colombia), El Universo (Ecuador), La Tercera (Chile), and the Argentinean Clarín, La Nación, Perfil and Página/12 published stories. In Mexico, the La Jornada launched three publications during the week in which Fachin´s decision was announced. The articles covered the annulment of convictions, the end of operation Car Wash and the barbaric acts carried out by the legal power in the region.

Title of La Jornada: “Brazilian judge overturns all convictions against Lula da Silva”

In the story published on 8th March, the newspaper remarks the lack of jurisdiction of the 13th Federal Court of Curitiba, headed by Moro. “The defense of ex-president (2003-2010), insisted, for nearly five years, that ex-judge Sergio Moro did not have jurisprudence to handle the denunciations against Lula, since the so called operation Car Wash should be restricted to acts of corruption of the state oil company Petrobras”, informed the journalist Eric Nepomuceno.

International solidarity
Personalities of influence, social movements and political parties celebrated the monocratic decision made on 8th of March by the judge Edson Fachin. Among them, presidents and ex-presidents of Latin American countries, as Alberto Fernández (Argentina), Evo Morales (Bolívia), Rafael Correa (Equador), Miguel Díaz Canel-Bermúdez (Cuba), Ernesto Samper (Colombia), Ricardo Lagos (Chile) and Andrés Manuel López Obrador (Mexico).

Evo Morales posted: “At last justice was made to the brother @LulaOficial, victim of cruel persecution with political ends. The Supreme Court of #Brasil annulled the sentences pending against him, and thus restored his political rights. Great joy in the Patria Grande”.

In Germany, the ex-president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz publicly stated supporting Lula: “Two years ago I met with the ex-Brazilian president in Curitiba – in his prison cell. The Supreme Court reinstated yesterday all his political rights and he should run for elections in 2022! He would have my support”.

Nobel Peace Prize Adolfo Pérez Esquivel has also stood in solidarity: “Bravo my dear @LulaOficial by your staunch commitment with the truth, justice and democracy. Our brothers in Brazil deserve respect and to be able to choose a candidate with that integrity”.

The mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, from whom Lula received the title of honorary citizen of the city, and the leader of France Unsubmissive Jean-Luc Mélenchon have also celebrated.

Hidalgo published: “Very happy! Justice made for @LulaOficial”.

Mélenchon has also taken the social media: “After five years of persecution, all the lawsuits against @LulaOficial were overturned! Lula is free. The ‘judge’ Moro and his gang repudiated. The Brazilian judiciary refuses dirt work”.

Overall there were over 50 manifestations of solidarity across the world that can be viewed on this link.

Translated by Mauricio Pupo.