Former steelworker and shoe polisher in the misery of his childhood in the north-east of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva At 76, he has a new challenge: to applyn third presidential termAgainst Jair Bolsonaro.
A favorite in elections, Lula, the most popular president in Brazilian history and a symbol of the Brazilian left, announced his candidacy in So Paulo on Saturday: “We are ready to work not only for the electoral victory, but for the reconstruction and reconstruction of Brazil.” change,” he said.
Workers’ Party (PT) leader Lula returned to the ring after being found guilty of corruption, imprisoned for a year and a half and disqualified for the 2018 presidential elections.
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In March 2021, he regained his political rights after the Supreme Court quashed his conviction, which allowed him to attempt a fresh attack on the presidency, 12 years after leaving power with an 87% favorable opinion. gives.
Lula was involved in “Lava Jato”, Largest anti-corruption campaign in the history of the countryAbout the vast network of bribes around the state oil company Petrobras.
Anti-corruption judge Sergio Moro sentenced him to nine and a half years in prison in 2017 for receiving triplexes on a beach from a construction company in exchange for public contracts.
He was jailed in April 2018 on charges of corruption and money laundering, following media incursions into the metallurgical union in So Bernardo do Campo, in the industrial area of So Paulo.
But this did not mean that he lost his influence in the party or Brazilian politics, although the scandal made him a leader rejected by a large section of the population.
Lula has always declared himself innocent and considers himself the victim of a political conspiracy in favor of the far-right Bolsonaro, who masquerades as a scarecrow to win him the support of the middle class and with an anti-corruption speech in 2018. used.
A thesis that gained strength was when Bolsonaro, barely elected, appointed Moro as Minister of Justice.
Finally, Lula was released in November 2019.
After being re-eligible, the former trade unionist was at first sensible and kept his candidacy in suspense for a while, while he cared for his international image with tours abroad.
But as the months passed, he increased his public appearance to the tone of a candidate for Planalto Palace and multiplied his missteps with clumsy statements about abortion, the police, or the war in Ukraine.
Lula, who Barack Obama described as a “man,” added personal tragedies to his political and judicial setbacks since the death of his second wife, Marissa Leticia, in February 2017.
Already in prison, he lost a brother and a seven-year-old grandson. Earlier, in 2011, he had faced a cancer of the larynx,
But he managed to overcome everything, as he did since he was born in the poor and arid North-East.
The seventh son of an illiterate couple from the Northeast, like millions of countrymen, was abandoned by his father before the family moved to industrial So Paulo.
He was a street vendor and shoeshin boy. At the age of 15, he began his training as a lathe operator, losing a little finger while manipulating a machine, and in the late 1970s, as metalworkers’ union leader, he held a historic strike. Led the leader who challenged the dictatorship (1964–1985).
In 2003 he became the first Brazilian head of state to break out of the working class, after three frustrated attempts, and gained enormous international reputation as a pilot of Brazil’s economic “miracle”, pushed by the wind in favor of higher prices for crude. Material.
He won re-election after overcoming the “Menslaw” scandal, an illegal million-dollar account set up by the PT – a party he co-founded in 1980 – to buy the support of congressmen.
During his administration, some 30 million Brazilians came out of poverty, something he hopes to repeat after his return to power.
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Making his candidacy official for 2022, he declared, “We fought the biggest battle against hunger and we won. Today I know I need to fulfill that mission again.”
Lula crowned his double stint by winning the venue for the 2014 World Cup and the Rio-2016 Games. He appointed his successor, Dilma Rousseff, president until 2016, when she was the subject of an ‘impeachment’ that ended 13 years of leftist governments.
After being his second widow, Lula finds a new love, Rosangela da Silva, nicknamed “Janja”, the sociologist and PT activist, whom he will marry this month.