Freeing Lula strengthens confrontation against neoliberalism in Latin America

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BRASILIA – Federal Deputy Alexandre Padilha (PT [Workers Party]-Sao Paolo) said that the freedom of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva represents “a strengthening of the confrontation of the neoliberal agenda throughout Latin America.”

The former minister of health also assesses that the release of the PT leader will mark a “profound change and a major turnaround in the Brazilian political conjuncture”.

The former president left the Federal Police Superintendence in Curitiba in the late afternoon on Friday, where he had been arrested since April 7, 2018. Speaking outside the venue, he said he would “circulate around Brazil.

The defense asked for his release after the Supreme Court (Supreme Court) decided to bar the arrest after conviction in the second instance. The court’s understanding is that, except in cases of provisional and pre-trial detention, the defendant can only be detained when all remedies have been exhausted.

“Lula being free means he will be able to move around the country doing what he does best, listening to people, getting closer to the suffering of our people. He has a facility of direct communication with the population. It means a great strengthening of the democratic and centralist field of the left in Brazil,” said Padilha.

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The trial prompted a group of senators and deputies to launch a campaign to vote on a PEC (Amendment to the Constitution) allowing the arrest soon after conviction in the second instance.

This Friday, Senator Alessandro Vieira (Citizenship-SE) filed with the General Secretariat of the Senate Bureau Bill (PL) that disciplines and allows the arrest in the second instance. The congressman said that the measure could reduce the “ghost” of impunity.

‘Tear up the Constitution’

In addition, the chairman of the Senate Constitution and Justice Committee (CCJ), Simone Tebet (MDB-MS), decided to put PEC on the agenda to allow arrest after conviction in the second instance.

Padilha believes the theme “will be part of the political dispute, confrontation and polarization”. However, the former minister does not believe that the agenda will advance in Congress.

“It will be ruled, but I think there is no majority to make this change and tear what is written in the Constitution,” he said.

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