Published: Sat, April 07, 2018
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Brazil braces for looming arrest of former President 'Lula'

Brazil braces for looming arrest of former President 'Lula'

The case for the habeas corpus was decided this time by Minister Felix Fischer, 70, rapporteur of the anti-corruption operation Lava Jato in that court and judge for 23 years at the Public Ministry of Parana, the same state from which Lula's arrest was ordered yesterday by federal judge Sergio Moro.

It was not clear if the higher court would intervene before a 5 p.m. (2000 GMT) deadline for the former president to start serving time for bribery and money laundering.

Sen. Lindbergh Farias from the Workers' Party said vigils would be organized nationwide beginning on Friday.

Alckmin lamented the prison order against a former president but added in a Twitter message: “I believe this reflects an important change underway in Brazil: the end of impunity.

It's unclear whether da Silva will present himself in the city of Curitiba, about 260 miles (417 kilometers) southwest of Sao Paulo, or perhaps instead force police to come and get him. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share internal deliberations being discussed. Many remained camped outside the building early on Friday. The people that have stuck by Lula through all the scandals are mostly the ones who have been with him through his political career - not the upper-middle class and economic elite that helped elect him more than 15 years ago.

"We're here to fight the great injustice of convicting without any proof the best president we ever had", Joraci de Barros, a retired 74-year-old social worker, said in front of the union building.

Demonstrators for and against the arrest of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are taking to the streets across Brazil. He also said a special cell away from other inmates had been prepared for da Silva at the jail in Curitiba, where Moro ordered da Silva to present himself.

Brazil's second-highest court rejected Lula's request to stay out of jail until exhausting all appeals against his corruption conviction.

Such technicalities "were simply a pathology that should be eliminated from the judicial world", Moro said in his statement.

"We are here to show that the workers will resist this attack against democracy", said Jorge Nazareno, a union leader who said he had met briefly with Lula on Friday morning.

Born in the hardscrabble northeast, da Silva rose through the ranks of the union in the country's industrial south.

"Lula" continues to be hunkered down at a metallurgical union in the Sao Paulo suburb of Sao Bernardo do Campo. However, da Silva could appeal such a decision, though doing so from jail would be more complicated.

Since leaving office, things have steadily gotten worse for da Silva, who has been charged in several corruption cases.

Da Silva's upcoming arrest will mark a colossal fall from grace for the man who led Latin America's most populous nation between 2003 and 2010, and left office with approval ratings over 80 percent.

Former U.S. President Barack Obama once called da Silva the "most popular politician on Earth".

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