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The Case for Lula

He Deserves a Fair Trial, Not Persecution

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in Santo Andre, Brazil, August 15, 2016. Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, known simply as Lula, remains one of Brazil’s most popular politicians. An uneducated lathe operator turned union leader, Lula helped found Brazil’s Workers’ Party, in 1980, before winning the presidency in both 2002 and 2008 with large majorities. Under Lula’s governance, Brazil became a major power, was awarded the honor of hosting the 2016 Olympic Games, and lifted 40 million of its people out of poverty. The most recent opinion poll shows that he remains the favorite in the 2018 presidential race. Since 2016, however, he has been under investigation as part of the anticorruption campaign known as Operation Car Wash, and a conviction would disqualify him from running.

Lula has denied all the accusations against him. He believes that the investigation is politically motivated, and many of his compatriots agree: according to a poll conducted by Instituto Paraná Pesquisas, a market research firm, 42.7 percent of Brazilians agree

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