Former Brazilian President and Union President da Silva Released from Prison

Labor News

ABC News

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Terrence McCoy and Heloisa Traiano on November 8, 2019.

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a former Brazilian president who wielded enormous influence over Latin America for decades, was released from prison Friday on grounds that he was denied due process, sending political shock waves through a country bitterly divided by his imprisonment.

The decision came after the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled Thursday night that defendants should have the opportunity to exhaust all of their appeals before their imprisonment, a decision that has the potential to benefit thousands of people, including dozens of powerful politicians ensnared by the sprawling corruption probe known here as Operation Car Wash.

Judge Danilo Pereira Júnior ruled Friday afternoon that he didn’t see any reason to keep Lula jailed and ordered him released while he appeals his conviction, which led to a sentence of 12 years in prison last year. …

A charismatic leader known for his knack for political theater, Lula emerged from the prison in the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba at dusk, dressed in black, beside leaders of his Workers’ Party. Hundreds of supporters thronged him, wearing red and chanting his name. …

Washington Post 11/8

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Jeff Burman served on the Guild’s Board of Directors from 1992 to 2019. He is now retired. He can be reached at

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