Wednesday, October 23rd. A sign in the Free Lula Vigil, a few feet from the Federal Police headquarters in Curitiba, reads: 564 days of resistance. That’s the number of days Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has been deprived of his freedom, as a result of a prosecution he constantly calls “a lie,” a case spearheaded by the then judge Sergio Moro and the state prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol.
The Brasil de Fato team filed a request to interview the ex-president more than six months ago. After a decision by Carolina Lebbos, the deputy judge overseeing Lula’s case after Moro stepped down, Lula decides to whom he grants interviews.
Our meeting with the ex-president lasted two hours and took place on the same day the country’s Supreme Court started a debate about whether it is constitutional to arrest individuals who have a criminal conviction upheld in an appeals court, but before exhausting all remedies. The country’s top court was expected to issue a ruling by the end of the same day, but the justices adjourned the session and resumed discussions on the next day. Now, the final ruling may be adjourned until November.
The Supreme Court ruling can define the future of Lula and 5,000 other prisoners around Brazil.
Even before the interview started, the ex-president mentioned the Supreme Court’s potential ruling. During the interview, he also talked about land reform, attacks against public policies, pension reform, sovereignty, the challenges for the left, his own life, books, and culture.
Read excerpts from the interview translated into English here.
Subtitles: Aline Scatola