Brazilian housing movements that are part of the People Without Fear Front (Frente Povo Sem Medo) occupied today (16) the beachside apartment ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is falsely accused of owning, even though no evidence of his ownership has ever been found during the investigations of Operation Car Wash, which have led to his trial and later conviction. Lula turned himself in to the Federal Police on April 7th, after judge Sérgio Moro issued an arrest warrant for him, and, since then, Brazil's former president has been held as a political prisoner.
The protesters have hung banners on the balcony of the R$2.2-million (US$640,000) beachside apartment in the city of Guarujá, São Paulo. “This is to denounce the judicial sham that has led to Lula’s imprisonment. If he owns the apartment, the people are allowed to stay there. If he doesn’t, then they have to explain why he is in prison,” said Guilherme Boulos, coordinator of the Homeless Workers’ Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Teto - MTST) and presidential pre-candidate for the Socialism and Liberty Party (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade - PSOL).
According to MTST national coordinator Josué Rocha, approximately 150 people took part in the occupation. “We want to question that there is no evidence [in the trial] that Lula owns the estate. We have occupied the apartment to promote this debate,” he said.
Despite being imprisoned, Lula is the clear front-runner in the polls on the country's presidential elections, scheduled for October. The latest poll published by Datafolha indicates that the former president has 30 to 31 percent of voter intention, double the rate of the candidate in second place.
Edition: Juca Guimarães | Translated by: Aline Scátola