Don’t be mistaken, what is underway in Brazil is an attempt at a coup.
Following the illegal tapping by the Federal Police of a private conversation between President Dilma Rousseff and former President Lula, at the orders of lower court judge and selectively disclosed by the media, we hereby express our deepest concern about the erosion of the rule of law in Brazil. Today’s events are extremely serious and have a real potential to escalate into social unrest and bloodshed.
On 31 March 1964 a military coup was trigged against the legally constituted government of João Goulart. This was a day that lasted 21 years. Only in 1988 was a new Constitution drafted and Brazil began its democratization process. Similarly, to 1964, the current coup attempt is backed by the largest Brazilian media group - Rede Globo. Unlike 1964, the current coup attempt is the result of an ideologically-driven judiciary that has three purposes: to overthrow a democratically elected President; prevent former President Lula from running in the 2018 elections; and ultimately making the Brazilian Workers Party illegal.
There is no doubt that Brazil is undergoing extremely serious political instability. President Dilma Rousseff was re-elected for her second term in 2014. At the beginning of her second term, Petrobras, the Brazilian state-owned oil company, became involved in corruption scandals. However, only an extremely naïve person would believe that the Brazilian Worker’s Party invented corruption. In his memoirs, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the former PSDB president reported that on he was told that a huge corruption scheme taking place at Petrobras while he was President. Unlike Dilma, Cardoso did not have the courage to initiate any investigation.
While the Cardoso administration carried out 48 federal police investigations in 8 years, under the Brazilian Worker’s Party 250 were carried out. Concomitantly to a significant increase in federal police operations aimed at tackled corruption, both the Lula and Rousseff administrations strengthened and devolved more powers to judiciary. Prior to 2003 most investigations were the responsibility of the government.
Despite the fact that over the past several months the Federal Police has intentionally and illegally leaked information about ongoing investigations involving people linked to the Brazilian Worker’s Party, last week events escalated with the kidnaping for a few hours of former President Lula. Using the term ‘kidnapped’ is no exaggeration, as Brazilian legislation does not permit the occurrence of this type of event.
As a result of the above events, President Dilma decided to invite Lula to became the chief of staff of the government in order to re-establish governability. The opposition accused Dilma of offering this position so that Lula would enjoy an immunity granted to ministers. This is completely wrong … Those who make these claims forget that in this case Lula would be judged in the Supreme Court, a significant disadvantage as unlike all other citizens he would lose the benefits of surfing the various judicial spheres …
For those who did not see the coup coming, it is now more than evident. On the same day that Lula was appointed to the Cabinet, the Federal Police backed by a lower court judge, decided to publish conversations between Lula and Dilma with the intention to causing a social convulsion that could potentially lead to the overthrown of Dilma as President.
Brazilians must ensure that the rule of law is re-established and that the democratically elected government can continue its mandate. Tomorrow we will take to the streets to defend the democratically elected president and demand respect for our constitution and for the rule of law!