Brazil’s Top Political Conspirators
An audio reveals the plot. The Brazilian president sent his predecessor a document which appointed him minister to use “if necessary”.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, and her godfather, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are, undoubtedly, the two major conspirators of the current corruption scandal in Brazil. Rousseff announced that her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, denounced for corruption, will be her chief of staff for the remaining of her term.
The measure unleashed a wave of protests in the country as the public understands that the aim of the nomination, according to the president is that her political godfather “strengthens” her government and helps revive the economy. In reality, though, Dilma is simply launching a desperate campaign to save Lula from going to prison, and in doing so, she is interfering with an ongoing investigation against Lula.
Meanwhile, spokesmen of the ruling Workers Party (PT) asked that Lula helps the government regain the support of the coalition government in order to halt the impeachment of Rousseff that is now in the hands of Congress.
Lula’s nomination aroused suspicions, since the post of minister confers the privilege of not being prosecuted for the charges of corruption and money laundering. As things stand now, Lula’s future can only be decided by the Supreme Federal Court, the highest court in the land.
Lula is criminally charged by the State Attorney of Sao Paulo for falsifying documents and money laundering, both alleged crimes linked to a property that Lula would have received as payment for “favors” made to a construction company during the commission of fraud linked to Petrobras.
Sao Paulo prosecutors also requested the detention of the former president alleging that it would have been very easy for Lula to flee the country or for his supporters to interfere with the investigation.
Suspicions were reinforced yesterday after the disclosure of an audio suggesting that the president had send Lula a document that appointed him as minister to prevent is imprisonment.
In the dialogue, Rousseff tells her political godfather that was sending the official document that appointed minister, which gave him the privilege to avoid prosecution. Rousseff asked Lula to use the document only “if necessary”.
“I’m sending you (…) a document for you to use it if you need to. It is the ‘term of office,” said Dilma.
The “term of office” is the document that formalizes the appointment of a person to public office, in this case, it made official Lula’s nomination as Rousseff’s cabinet member.
The dialogue was recorded with the permission of Judge Sergio Moro, who coordinates the processes related to Petrobras corruption case and who has been ruthless with those involved in the abuses at the state agency.
In addition, Moro was the one who authorized Lula’s arrest last Friday so that he would testify before the Federal Police. Lula was interrrogated for his alleged involvement in the corruption scheme that operated in the state oil company.
Both actions, the complaint and the order of imprisonment, were referred to judge Moro, who until now was responsible for defining the fate of the former president. Now, with the nomination of Lula a cabinet position, only the Supreme Court may judge him.
The audio revelation provoked a wave of outrage that brought thousands of Brazilians to the streets to demand the departure of Rousseff and the imprisonment of Lula.
In Sao Paulo, the Paulista Avenue was taken by thousands of people in a human tide which covered about four blocks.
In Brasilia there were also several hundred protesters who gathered in the Plaza of the Three Powers, who even threatened to invade the Planalto Palace.
Some disturbances were reported in the Brazilian capital, which were dispersed by police with tear gas.
Other regional capitals such as Belo Horizonte and Curitiba were the scene of protests, while in Rio de Janeiro and Florianópolis people protested by “panelaços” and honking. There were also demonstrations in many other cities around the country.
Rousseff said that she “vehemently repudiated” the dissemination of audio, which she said, was an “affront to the rights and guarantees of the Presidency of the Republic.”
Dilma also threatened with taking “all judicial and administrative measures” that apply to ensure justice before “the flagrant violation of the law and the Constitution of the Republic, committed by the judge who disclosed the audio”.
The opposition, which had warned it would file appeals against Lula’s nomination as minister, reinforced the position of impeachment against president Rousseff.