Things were moving in the right direction for democracy in Brazil, even more so once Luiz InácioLula da Silva, a popular leftist politician, won the presidential elections in 2002, leading the countryuntil 2011. In 2016, corruption charges against Lula began to pile up; although hard evidence was lacking they eventually led to a guilty verdict and a prison sentence. In the meantime, the far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro became Brazil’s new president.
But there was something fishy about Lula’s case, as soon became clear when journalists from The Intercept and El País Brasil discovered through leaked messages that right-wing forces had been misusing a major money-laundering investigation to discredit political opponents. In particular, Judge Sérgio Moro, who later became Minister of Justice under Bolsonaro, had played a sketchy role.
Director Maria Augusta Ramos shows meticulously how a democracy is eroded when judicial safeguards are lacking. Still, Lula, now acquitted, is running for president in the 2022 elections.