The conviction of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on charges of corruption and money laundering this week has united politicians from all sides of the spectrum against the judiciary.
With nearly every prominent politician under investigation, facing charges, or already convicted, they’re attacking the legitimacy of the prosecutors and judges, the New York Times reported.
“If they think that with this sentence they will take me out of the game, let them know that I’m in the game,” the former president, known locally as Lula, told throngs of supporters.
His conviction puts him on the same side of the struggle as sitting President Michel Temer, a bitter rival who faces the threat of being ousted from office and jailed for corruption.
After Lula’s conviction, Temer’s lawyer said both politicians were being targeted by prosecutors who were accusing “innocent people” and “destroying reputations,” the Times noted.
That said, it remains to be seen whether the fervent loyalty Lula inspires will erode popular support for the anti-corruption probe – which a recent poll showed 96 percent of Brazilians want to continue “to the end, regardless of the outcome.”