Blog | Elections in Brazil: Bolsonaro and Lula between fake news and censorship

After the first round victory of Inácio Lula Da Silva with a 5-point advantage over the outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro – 48.35% vs 43.26 – the clash is radicalized between the two leading candidates, being the percentages of the others so laughable (Ciro Gomes the most accredited stopped at 3%, Renzian percentage) that their votes in the second round of 30 October will not change the fate of the 2022 presidential elections. Those who will really make the difference will be the abstainers, over 30%, that the two sides are trying to get hold of it by all possible means.

Propaganda on both fronts knows no rules, assisted by the national media and social media that continuously spread on the left as well as on the right. fake news against both contenders. The tones are so bright and defamatory that Lula is insulted daily with terms such as “ladrão“(Thief) despite the Curitiba trial being invalidated last year, while Bolsonaro was even accused of satanism and pedophiliadue to a fake news, quickly dismantled, of having had sex with two minors.

After that, Alexandre de Moraespresident of the TSE (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral) emanation of the Supreme Court (STF) has decreed the following: all the forgeries ascertained and contents offensive will have to be immediately removed from both the media and social platforms, under penalty of blackout and a fine of 150,000 reais (approximately € 30,000). A decision which, although desirable, has the flavor of censorship due to its possible implications.

Lula question

The first decisions were bipartisan: Lula was ordered to to remove from its social networks all the videos related to defamation on Bolsonaro, while at the Bolsonarian site Jovem Pan was prohibited to use offensive terms such as ladrão.

According to the website’s editors, a TSE delegate would now be in charge of checking the texts. True or not, even the New York Times published an article warning the Brazilian judicial system to avoid censorial excesses that can lead to authoritarianism, especially if entrusted to a single man in charge. But in reality these excesses have already occurred affecting the judges themselves: the cut ordered by Moraes of a passage of the interview with the former minister caused a sensation Marco Aurélio Mello who had remarked that the former president was not acquitted by allegations, even if the previous sentence was overturned; this implies that the procedure would have to start over elsewhere. Lula was sentenced to Curitiba in the first and second degree, serving 580 days of detention in the room of the away policemen. We thus enter the core of the legal question: Lula is innocent of the accusations of corruption and money laundering related to the Guarujá triplex and the Atibaia site?

After the bias vote against Moro decreed by STF last year and the decision to repeat the trial in Brasilia by analyzing the same evidential system from scratch, it follows that the former president has not been formally acquitted, even if the alleged crimes they move towards the inevitable prescription, also considering that if he were re-elected he would benefit from the Privilege Forum, the Brazilian parliamentary immunity. The prosecutor said well Silvana Badini: “There is no definitive judgment on Lula’s criminal activity: since the trial has been canceled, the presumption of innocence of the accused prevails, according to the dictates of international law”. We will probably never know if Lula he is innocent or not, let alone if he will go back to being president. What we almost know for sure is that one has been committed to him violation of his right to presumption of innocence.

In my opinion, Moro and Dallagnol, despite having concrete elements in their hands on the ownership of the disputed properties to Lula and his ex-wife, did not yet have certain proofs on the provenance of the funds. Petrobras of the purchase and restructuring money paid to OAS, and were based on similar cases found in the international Ponzi scheme set up by the company Odebrecht, thus hastening the sentences, for fear that if Lula had won the elections in 2018 he would have then covered up everything by taking advantage of the Privilege Forum. If that were the case, they would have shot themselves in the foot, putting them in jeopardy Wash Jato. If the PT returns to power with the corollary of center parties, there is a risk of the cancellation of all the processes.

Bolsonaro “The Bad Wolf”

Bullying, racism and lack of state vision, in addition to bad behavior held during the gloomy period of Covid, flaunting contempt towards safety standards in the face of a pandemic that has claimed almost 700,000 victims and torpedoed two health ministers – including the excellent Luiz Henrique Mandetta – they are part of the unenviable sample that the outgoing president collected during his mandate. Without forgetting the clash that led to Moro’s resignation, after Bolsonaro had ousted the head of the Federal Police who was investigating bribes pocketed by the eldest son Flávio on the salaries of his employees.

But it is also true that the character has been targeted with particular acrimony by the local and international media who have constantly pointed to him as a bad wolf and scapegoat for all age-old evils of Brazil, beyond its undeniable demerits. First of all, the fires in the Amazon, set up by landowners to make room for intensive soybean and sugar cane crops, as well as deforestation for timber harvesting; they are atavistic plagues of Brazil, never seriously opposed by governments of all colors that have alternated before his. Just think that during the first term of Dilma Rousseff, radical cuts were applied to the funding that supported the control measures on fires and deforestation: R $ 1.77 billion against the 6.36 of Lula’s second term. In addition to the tragedies of the collapse of the Mariana dams in 2015 and of Brumadinho in January 2019, which killed nearly 300 people, destroying vital ecosystems for indigenous peoples in the state of Minas Gerais.

An apocalypse essentially due to the climate of laissez-faire adopted by Rousseff towards multinationals It is worth and Samarco and their foreign subsidiaries, who have been in good and bad weather for years corrupting the bodies responsible for safety certifications are undisturbed. Finally, today theinflation in Brazil it is around 7%, with forecasts at the end of the year to drop to 5.7% due to social benefits and the government’s cut in fuel prices. Less than the EU area which is expected to be 9% and far from 100% of the Argentine one. Among other things, the GDP maintains a positive trend in 2022 (+2.8) and the unemployment it is 8.9% compared to 13.5% inherited from Dilma.

Photo © F. Wand

Blog | Elections in Brazil: Bolsonaro and Lula between fake news and censorship – Il Fatto Quotidiano