July 12, 2017 federal judge S. Moreau issued a guilty verdict to ex-President of Brazil L. Lula in the case of passive corruption and money-laundering, performing, according to several media in Latin America, his dream which he had cherished since the beginning of a corruption scandal around the Brazilian state oil giant company, Petrobras (journalistic name “Car Wash”).
Despite the fact that the prosecution had only the oral testimony of one of the defendants in the above-mentioned investigation and has not provided documentary evidence (illegal possession of undeclared property in one of the resort areas of San Paulo), the judge sentenced the former head of state to 9,5 years of imprisonment and prohibition to hold public and elected office for 19 years. Lula is 72 years old, which means for him life-long deprivation of electoral prospects.
According to Brazilian analysts, even though there is a possibility of an appeal, the decision of the court of first instance has struck a powerful blow to the reputation of the accused, as well as to the left movement of Brazil and the region as a whole. In addition, it can significantly affect not only the balance of political forces in an election year, but also have a negative impact on further polarization of Brazilian society. However, they draw attention to several facts that are formally not associated with the activities of the Brazilian judiciary. In particular, we are talking about the political environment. The country has in fact already entered the presidential race, though the election itself is scheduled for autumn 2018. Public opinion polls conducted since the December 2016 by various sociological services, including those that cannot be suspected of excessive sympathy to the left (Datafolha), indicate that the leader is L. Lula. Moreover, the percentage of its support has grown substantially over the past six months (from 20-35 % to 30-45 %). Analysts come to the conclusion that the policy of the current President Michel Temer (the General Prosecutor of the country also accused him in passive corruption), who came to power in 2016 as a result of the impeachment of President D. Rousseff, and the continuing economic crisis create the most favorable conditions for the return to power of the left. On the contrary, the popularity of the main opponent of the Workers' Party in the elections in 2014 and the main ally of M. Temer in the government coalition – the Social Democratic Party – invariably falls and is within 8-10 %.
Thus, it seems that the Brazilian right with the federal judge are trying to impede its potential powerful electoral opponent to take part in next year's presidential election and possibly open the way to power for unpopular politicians. In particular, this can be J. Bolsonaro, the representative of the Social Christian Party (Partido Social Cristão), a former military with extreme right-wing views in politics and economy (his support is 11-16 %). Another potential “dolphin” in the presidential race may be K. Katagiri, a young leader of the right Internet movement “Free Brazil”, supported by think tanks and the USA Libertarian Party.
Brazilian analysts also draw attention to the connection of federal judge S. Moreau with the American authorities. In particular, they point to his training program at Harvard Law School on “Combating money laundering” under the auspices of the U.S. State Department, as well as his communication with representatives of the American Embassy in Brazil. In addition, S. Moreau was able to access private information from the USA National Security Agency (NSA) concerning the activities of the Brazilian state-owned “Petrobras” to obtain confessions from the first accused on the case of corruption of one of the top managers of this company. Thus, according to the English newspaper “Guardian”, the NSA collected data on “Petrobras” and received illegal access to its informational resources, including financial transactions.
Thus, Brazilian experts come to conclusion that the United States officially refuse their intervention in internal political processes in Brazil, however, they indirectly participate in the largest show in the history of this country, targeted at the fundamental change of the political system and electoral landscape in Brazil.