Explaining Brazil Podcast #19: Brazil’s Justice system is a mess

On Sunday, Brazil witnessed a struggle between supporters of former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the judges who sentenced him to 12 years in prison for corruption and money laundering. One group tried to free Lula, taking advantage of the Justice system’s July vacations, while the other reacted quickly to prevent Lula from leaving jail at all costs. Like many other recent episodes in Brazilian politics, this recent clash is an episode where there are no good guys. As a matter of fact, the imbroglio shed light on just how contaminated Brazil’s Justice system has become by partisan politics.

What’s wrong with Brazil’s justice system?

It also shows a particular trait of our judges, who analyze cases based more on their personal convictions, regardless of precedent (and sometimes, even the law).

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On this podcast

Gustavo Ribeiro has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Abril Prize for outstanding political journalism. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

Diogo Rodriguez is a journalist and social scientist. He has contributed to publications such as Folha de S. Paulo, Estado de S. Paulo, Trip, Vida Simples, Galileu, Mundo Estranho, Exame, and Vice, among others. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in political science at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo.

This podcast was produced by Maria Martha Bruno. She is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.

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