Brazil: Portrait of an Emergency Regime


By Xavier Pedrosa, Corrente Comunista Revolucionária (Section of the RCIT in Brazil), 11 July 2018,




Last Sunday, July 8, the judge on duty in the court of the fourth region, Porto Alegre-Brazil, accepted the habeas corpus petition filed by the Workers' Party to free former President Lula. All this was within the rule of law. The judge who was on duty, Rogério Favreto, had no doubts about confirming and securing the habeas corpus, understanding that it was the right of the former president to seek his legal appeals (judicial resources) in freedom. All this was within the rules of the Brazilian constitution approved in 1988 after the end of military dictatorship.


However, nowadays in Brazil we are living in an emergency regime, which the all-powerful judge Sergio Moro, who, even though he is a judge of first instance, who has no more jurisdiction over Lula's conviction, interrupted his vacation in Portugal to send a message to delegates of the federal police in Curitiba warning them to not accept to release Lula. The detail is that Judge Favreto is superior hierarchical to Judge Moro, therefore, in addition to being on vacation, Moro had no authority to disobey a superior court order, or even giving orders to federal police in Curitiba.


Upon learning Moro's message Favreto did forward a second order by reinforcing the immediate need to comply with the habeas corpus in favor of Lula, immediately, he added in this second order that the higher instances of judiciary can not accept the insubordination of the all-powerful Judge Moro.


Another judge from the fourth region, Gebran Neto, who had convicted the former president in the second instance, entered in action saying that the federal police should not obey the habeas corpus and maintain Lula's arrest, but like judge Moro he was no more legally inside the case of judicial process of Lula da Silva.


Again, Judge Favreto points out that Neto had no authority to cancel the habeas corpus, so he sent a strong third order for releasing of the captive.


It was then that the all-powerful Globo television network convened the president of the court of the fourth region in Porto Alegre, Thompson Flores, to remove the authority of Judge Favreto and to cancel for the third time the habeas corpus in defense of Lula.


It was a very hot Sunday in political affairs, a soap-opera that lasted from the early hours of the morning, catching the populace by surprise, both the progressive and conservative sectors, until nightfall, all accompanying it as if it were the world cup final of football.


But what was left wide open was the selective bias of most of the Brazilian judiciary. Judge Favreto did nothing that would contradict the Brazilian constitution by understanding that Lula was entitled to benefit from Habeas Corpus. But in the days of today, damn the constitution! The entire media and judicial system machine that installed the coup-d’état in 2016 to implement an emergency regime directed by and oriented to the United States would not let its main opponent be freed to win the presidential elections in October, and for this reason they definitely ripped the farce of democracy by tearing up the constitution in a process of a simple habeas corpus. But, of course, this is not a simple habeas corpus, this was for Lula da Silva, the man who has now almost 40% in survey’s voting intention.


It was clear to those who had not yet realized that Judge Sergio Moro (a character mixture of Joseph MacCarthy and Savonarola) acts as a political agent with valuable help from the rest of the judiciary and the media in favor of the rightist party PSDB and of American imperialism, so he has no morality and impartiality to judge Lula da Silva. In the same situation was the rest of the court of the fourth region, except Judge Favreto.


In fact, in doing so, the judges were caught in a trap prepared by the Workers' Party. The following day the party obviously filed an appeal within the judiciary to explain why some judges who at that moment had nothing else related to the fulfillment of sentence of Lula da Silva interrupted their vacations or days off to prevent a simple habeas corpus.


Obviously the system doesn’t care a shit. Lula will remain in prison, at least until the elections, but it has been much harder for the system to deny that Lula da Silva is a political prisoner of an emergency regime.