Lula is reborn, but a part of Brazil rejects him for the corruption in his management

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva looked like a political corpse when he was sentenced to prison. But two and a half years after regaining his freedom, due to the annulment of his sentences, he is now close to the possibility of returning to the Presidency of Brazil.

The 57 million votes he received on October 2, a figure never before reached by a candidate in the first round of elections, is a veritable rally of political renaissance.

And being reborn shouldn’t be a strange thing for a man who has two dates of birth.

Precisely this October 27, Lula celebrates his 77th birthday, but in his official documents the date of October 6 appears, with which he was officially registered in the wrong way in the records.

These mistakes were common at that time, in 1945, in the poor and remote areas of northeastern Brazil, such as Caetés, the miserable village where Lula was born, then dependent on the municipality of Garanhuns.

Lula’s humble origins are precisely his best electoral asset, since it allows him to be the only politician in Brazil who knows how to speak to the people in their own plain language and guarantees him credibility when he speaks of poverty and hunger.

This, because no one doubts that he, in his childhood, went through hardships similar to those now faced by 66 million Brazilians, the third of the population living below the poverty line.

To this broad stratum of the population, Lula promises to repeat the feat of ending hunger, just as his government achieved during his eight years in office (2003-2010).

Twenty years ago, he won his first elections promising “zero hunger” and now he promises that he will put the churrasco on the plate of all Brazilians.

His campaign lives on the memory of his eight years in government. Nostalgia for that economic boom and social peace permeates all the propaganda of this former union leader, who in a paternalistic tone offers to “take care” of the people. “We need to fix this country (…) so that the Brazilian people can smile again,” he said recently.

Not in vain, due to his economic successes, Lula left the Presidency on January 1, 2011 as a mass phenomenon, with approval rates above 80%, despite the fact that by then corruption cases had already exploded.

The descent into hell came with the investigations that uncovered in 2014 the enormous corruption case mounted around the oil company Petrobras and the construction company Odebrecht.

He had crowned his double term by winning the venue for the 2014 World Cup and the Rio-2016 Games.

He was re-elected despite the “Mensalao” case, an illegal millionaire accounting set up by the Workers’ Party (PT) -which he co-founded in 1980- to buy the support of congressmen.

He also ended up involved in “Lava Jato”, the largest anti-corruption operation in the country’s history, focused on a gigantic bribery network around the state-owned Petrobras.

He was sentenced in 2017 to nine and a half years in prison for obtaining an apartment from a construction company in exchange for public contracts, although he always defended his innocence. He spent 19 months in prison and in 2021 he regained his political rights with the annulment of his sentence for procedural irregularities.

To win back popular favor, Lula has built a broad coalition of ten parties, among which the conservative Geraldo Alckmin, his old rival and now his vice-presidential candidate, stands out.

He has also approached liberal businessmen, well-known judges who censured him in the past for corruption, and also religious people.

In particular, to the evangelicals who have believed the false news that accuses Lula of wanting to close churches, legalize abortion and impose “gender ideology” in schools. She addressed a letter to them with commitments, in which she rejected abortion and guaranteed that schools will respect the values ​​that parents instill in their children.

Lula is reborn, but a part of Brazil rejects him for the corruption in his management