Part of the fun of following Latin American news is that they are stranger than fiction. For instance, I first came across this headline at Panam post: Former Brazilian President Lula “Prepared” To Run Again in 2018.
They, in turn, got it from El Nuevo Herald: Lula dice estar “preparado” a ser candidato presidencial en 2018.
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
So I checked Brazilian media, and, sure enough, Lula da Silva pronto para voltar a disputar a Presidência. Antigo presidente brasileiro diz que os seus “adversários estão muito nervosos”. [Lula da Silva ready to run for President. Former president says his “adversaries are very nervous.”]. In an interview with Radio Meio Norte, Lula declared,
“Quero dizer que, se necessário, se o Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) precisar eu estou disposto a voltar a disputar para ser Presidente”
[my translation:] “I want to say, that, if necessary, if the “Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party, or PT) needs me, I am ready to run for President”
In another interview (link in Portuguese), Lula looked back nostalgically to his years as president and sighed, “I think the country needs to find its way, to be happy again, to live democratically.”
Lula was indicted five times on corruption-related charges just last year alone. That doesn’t count the evidence presented in court this week, any new charges, or the indictments against his children, his wife, or his associates. As Sabrina Martín correctly points out,
Lula is under investigation in connection with the Lava Jato operation. One investigation is allegedly claims that payments were made for a former Petrobras director’s silence; another is for Operation Zelotes, a framework that favored companies that did not pay taxes, as well as an investigation into influence peddling, and finally for money laundering which allegedly included an apartment on the coast Of Sao Paulo as one of the inducements.
Likewise, Lula is accused of participating in the project of rerouting between 2% and 3% of the value of the contracts signed between state-owned Petrobras and the construction company Odebrecht.
Let’s hope the Brazilian people stay the course fighting corruption and don’t get Lula back on the campaign trail.