"I'm so grateful for your resistance,” former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva told his supporters.
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio 'Lula' da Silva has released his first public message since being imprisoned at the federal police headquarters in Curitiba, Parana over the past nine days. Addressing supporters through a letter delivered to the president of the Workers' Party encamped outside the prison walls Monday, he said “I've heard your songs. I'm so grateful for your resistance and presence in these acts of solidarity.”
Speaking from his cell, Lula's lawyers continued writing his words. “I'm certain that it won't be long before justice will be worth its name. That is, whomever committed crimes will be punished. And those who did not committ a crime will be absolved. I continue to challenge the Federal Police involved in the Car Wash (investigations), the Public Prosecution involved int he Car Wash (investigations), (judge Sergio) Moro and those involved in my second conviction to prove the crime that they allege that I committed.”
Lula concluded that despite the judicial and mainstream media he has suffered prior to, during and after his conviction, he continues to believe in justice. “Hence, I'm calm, but outraged, as all innocent people are outraged when they are wronged. A big hug and thank you very much.”
The message was read by the Worker's Party President Gleisi Hoffman to Lula's supporters encamped in front of the federal police station in Curitiba.
Lula was sentenced to 12 years and one month in prison on corruption charges by Brazil's Fourth Regional Federal Court. The Supreme Court of Justice rejected two habeas corpus appeals submitted by his defense team.
Legal experts and observers attribute his case to a salacious media campaign coupled with 'lawfare,' where political foes use loopholes in the judicial system to their advantage, neutralizing their opponents.
Despite his conviction and imprisonment, Lula has topped every 2018 electoral poll conducted by Ibope, Vox Populi, Datafolha, Data Poder 360, Instituto Parana, the National Confederation of Transportation/MDA and Ipsos.
Lula's two terms in office were marked by a slew of social programs, lifting millions of Brazilians out of poverty and removing the country from the United Nations World Hunger Map. He left office with a record approval rating of 83 percent in 2011, according to Datafolha.