Brazilian ex-president Lula free after a year and a half in prison

Justice authorized Friday the release of the former head of state, who had been under lock and key since April 2018 for corruption.

Time to Reading 5 min.

Former President Lula addresses the crowd in front of the federal police headquarters in Curitiba, Parana State, on November 8. HENRY MILLEO / AFP

And suddenly Lula goes out. He passes a gate, takes a few steps. The smile is shy. The look a little lost. Quickly, we surround him, we acclaim him, we kiss him. He finds himself. Stop. Raise your fist. "Lula book! Lula book! " sings the small crowd dressed in red, who has been waiting for hours, at the exit of the headquarters of the federal police of Curitiba. In the voice of the former president's supporters, we can feel it is no longer a claim or a slogan. "Lula book" has become an affirmation. A cry of victory.

It's a little past 5:30 pm, and Lula is out of jail, after a year and a half behind bars. Everything went so fast, in Brazil dribbling like none, capable of interminable folds as inimitable accelerations, beautiful breakaway sideways. Less than 24 hours ago, the country's Supreme Court declared that no one could be imprisoned in Brazil until all his appeals had been exhausted, paving the way for the release of the former president. The rest, on Friday, November 8, happened like a letter in the mail: it was enough for the lawyers, at the beginning of the afternoon, to file an application with the local judge, who did not try to Wrestle. In a few hours, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was outside. Free, so.

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At full speed, during the day, activists from the Workers' Party (PT) in Lula staged a scene in front of the prison. There the faces of the life of the former metallo become president: trade unionists in red caps, university professors in well-ironed white shirts, young bearded leftists, Indian caciques in traditional headdress … Everyone came to kiss him. Barely out, without waiting, in front of the crowd, Lula seizes the microphone. It shows: the man has a stadium frenzy. These five hundred and eighty days without scenes, without applause, without public, had to be a torture for this unparalleled political actor, perhaps the greatest in the history of Brazil.

An offensive Lula released from prison

"Nothing can defeat me! " launches Lula, who begins by thanking the "Vigil" this group of a few hundred faithful, who organized a makeshift camp in front of his prison. "You brought the democratic energy I needed to resist," he continues, moved, kissing even under the cheers his new lover, Rosângela da Silva, called "Janja", sociologist and activist PT. "I managed the prowess of being imprisoned and finding a lover! " jokes the ex-president. Lula laughs. The crowd is having fun. The firecrackers burst. Fists rise, reopen, index and thumb unfolded in the shape of "L", as a sign of rallying.


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