Open letter in solidarity with Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva

Da Carta Maior, 14 de março, 2016
Por Fórum 21

We hereby express our full solidarity with former President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who has, along with his family, been submitted to a smear campaign and been witness to how part of the Brazilian Judicial System violates his basic rights.

This manhunt culminated on February 4 with a political detention with broad media coverage, an operation that forcefully took the former president to the airport of São Paulo to testify, something absolutely unnecessary, since Lula had never failed to comply with Justice. On this occasion, his presence had not been previously requested as dictated by protocol.

The abuse perpetrated in this operation was criticized even by Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Marco Aurélio Mello, and also by internationally acclaimed Brazilian lawyers such as Fábio Konder Comparato, Celso Bandeira de Melo, and José Gregori – the last one, despite his being the former Minister of Justice in the cabinet of Fernando Henrique Cardoso, a historical political rival of Lula’s –, in addition to magistrates who are members of the Association of Judges for Democracy, of Brazil, who stated in an official release, “one cannot combat corruption by breaking with the Constitution”.

The whole action had full and privileged coverage by the conservative press, previously informed of every step planned by the arrest operation of the greatest Brazilian popular leader. One of the country’s top newspapers – Folha de São Paulo – started reporting from outside the apartment building where the former president lives at 5:15 of that Friday morning. The Federal Police officers only arrived 25 minutes later, at 5:40.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is one of the world’s most important leaders and his administration as president of Brazil is a milestone in the fight against hunger and poverty, having emancipated more than 40 million Brazilians during his two consecutive terms from 2003 to 2010.

The social programs that made such a feat possible were acclaimed by the United Nations and the FAO, and were replicated in a number of countries.

The siege to Lula is an integral part of a broader movement that can be seen all over Latin America at present. The long crisis of the global economy has made class struggle more evident in the economies hard hit by the contraction of foreign trade.

The Brazilian leader bothers the mighty for he is the symbol of an agenda disputed by the elites and champions ideas rejected by the financial markets: development with a universalizing of social rights and broader democracy in State decision-making. 

Historical figures like Lula are a great legacy to humanity. 

We urge the Brazilian government officials to make true justice, cease the ongoing hunt against Lula, his family, and his associates, and stop the violation of their rights.

Signed by

Alba Carosio (Universidade Central da Venezuela)
Angel Quintero Rivera (Universidad de Puerto Rico)
Aníbal Quijano (Sociólogo, Peru)
Arturo Escobar (Universidade da Carolina do Norte, EUA)
Atilio Borón (sociólogo argentino)
Baltazar Garzón (Juiz aposentado, Espanha)
Boaventura de Sousa Santos (Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal)
Carmen Beramendi (Diretora da FLACSO, Uruguai)
Daniel Filmus (Ex-ministro da Educação, Argentina)
Domênico Losurdo (Filósofo italiano)
Eduardo A. Rueda (Professor da Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colômbia)
Eduardo Rinesi (Ex-reitor da Universidade de General Sarmiento, Argentina)
Fernanda Saforcada (Diretora Académica do Clacso, Argentina).
Fernando Mayorga (Universidad Mayor de San Simón, Bolivia)
Florencia Saintout, (Universidade Nacional de La Plata, Argentina)
Gabriela Diker (Reitora da Universidad de General Sarmiento, Argentina)
Gerardo Caetano (Universidad de la República, Uruguai)
Horacio A. López. (Subdiretor Centro Cultural de la Cooperación, Argentina.)
Ignacio Ramonet (Jornalista, França)
Jorge Beinstein (Economista, Argentina)
Juan Carlos Monedero (Universidade Complutense, Espanha)
Julian Rebon (Membro do Comitê Diretivo do Clacso, Argentina)
Leonardo Padura (Escritor Cubano)
Leticia Salomón (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras)
Luciano Concheiro (Universidad Autónoma de México)
Mario Burkun (Economista, Argentina)
Nicolás Trotta (Reitor da UMET, Argentina)
Pablo Gentili (CLACSO, Argentina)
Pablo González Casanova (Universidad Nacional Autónoma do México)
Partito della Rifondazione Comunista (Partido italiano)
Raúl Zaffaroni (Ex-juiz da Suprema Corte de Justiça, Argentina)
Rita Segato (Intelectual feminista, Argentina)
Suzy Castor (CRESFET, Haití)

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