With the new mandate of Lula, Brazil does not have it easy

vow of punishment

The analysts who warned of the narrow winning margin (less than two percentage points) of Lula da Silva, the punishment of the public for a Jair Bolsonaro that he led under ultranationalist foundations in a context crossed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and seasoned with the historical accumulation of looting of the State, throughout many governments.

Citizenship, when it reaches its limit, tends to forget too quickly. If in 2018 there were Brazilians who, as the BBC cited, preferred “a homophobic or racist president than a thief”; in 2022, called to the polls, a high percentage tipped the balance to the other side, allowing Lula a third term even after having spent a year and a half in detention, accused of corruption.

“The punishment vote returned to pass sentence, and just as Bolsonaro was its main beneficiary in 2018, in 2022 he is its victim par excellence,” reads a summary in The printing pressone of many news programs that attribute the result of the elections to the aforementioned “punishment vote.”

In 2018, with 99.49% of the vote counted, Bolsonaro (Social Liberal Party), took 55.21% of the votes compared to 44.79% for his then opponent, Fernando Haddad, of the Workers’ Party.


This time, the candidate for re-election got 49.27% ​​against Lula, who got 50.73%. According to the final map of results, Bolsonaro triumphed in the south and center of Brazil, in many cases with a significant difference, while Lula da Silva prevailed in the north of the country, where in some states he exceeded 70% of the votes.

For journalist Lucas Ribeiro, based in Salvador do Bahia and columnist in Brazil Sem Medo, in his country “the left-wing media have hegemony” that try to treat Bolsonaro as if he were “a fascist monster, a Hitler.” According to his vision, “it’s not about that.”

“Yes, he is a tough-talking politician,” he admits. He is conservative, right wing. And there are people who hate him, but he – he defends – he is not a dictator.

Ribeiro warned, meanwhile, that “the reverse does not happen.” That is, “when the left has the opportunity to censor, he does it without shaking his hand. They silence the voices that are not socialists under the pretext of fighting the fake newss”, he said, alluding to the authoritarian governments that are perpetuated in Nicaragua, Venezuela and Cuba.

Unlike those countries, the electoral result in Brazil is an expression of the alternation in power, a value of democracy and of the existence of resources, at least formal, to control it, even when the freedoms of the press and of expression and extreme political differences have led to the generation of hate messages, fake news and misinformation.

Democracy and freedom of the press

For Clara Saco, 31 years old and director of the Datalab, a research organization for the generation of data and citizen communication in Maré Complexa marginalized and impoverished area in Rio de Janeiro, it has not been easy to exercise in Brazil today, which maintains the illusion of being as democratic as the samba.

clara sack brazil

Clara Saco, project director for the collection of demographic data.

Darcy Borrero

“We work on the data lab with the perspective of generating data. It is about the production of research for advocacy, and gaining rights in public policies and to make work tools with data accessible to the population of the periphery and to community communicators”.

While we were talking, Clara was putting the last stitches on a community participation event that included didactic and craft workshops and a closing with music, at the Bela Maré cultural center.

beautiful community

Headquarters of the Bela Maré community project, at the entrance to the

Headquarters of the Bela Maré community project, at the entrance to the “favela” of the same name.

Darcy Borrero

The data it collects “deals with issues that cross the Brazilian urban peripheries and always offers a disaggregation of race and gender,” he explained and appreciated that before and during the presidential campaign “journalism was heavily attacked, the production of data was heavily attacked. The investigation came under heavy attack. We are now in an exercise to recover the legitimacy, from the role of construction, of the importance of journalism to build and guarantee democracy”.

He insists that the media, mainly social networks, were used to spread false news. “So we have to resume the true meaning of what is freedom of expression, what is freedom in the media in Brazil”, he highlighted.

Outlook for 2023-2027

The young researcher agrees that, with Lula’s new mandate, Brazil does not have an easy time either, not only because of the polarization of opinions but also because of the challenge that Brazilians face in monitoring corruption, including that which comes from the ruling party itself.

“Although Lula was elected, in reality we have the challenge of retaking democratic values ​​together with the population, right? Not because Lula was elected, this problem is over. I think we have to fight as a society so that we have mechanisms in terms of auditing, the fight against corruption. This is a fact, this has been happening in Brazil for many years, including the last government. There was a very large budget cut in anti-corruption policies; and corruption implies agreements between the government and large contracting companies.

“And we see direct interference, for example in the appointment of the Federal Police, which is also in charge of investigating corruption cases at the Federal level, so we hope that now the bodies can act with a certain autonomy to investigate, supervise and condemn the cases. of corruption precisely within the constitutional norms, but certainly we are not free, you know, from these schemes that in reality have always forged our Republic, so it is not just a problem of the PT government. It is not just a problem of the Bolsonaro government, ”he assessed.

With the new mandate of Lula, Brazil does not have it easy