Leading the charge on Operation Car Wash, Brazil’s long-running investigation into high-level political corruption, Judge Sergio Moro has ordered that ex-President Lula’s prison sentence should begin today. Lula has until 5 p.m. to turn himself in to the police.
The announcement, which came at 6 p.m. yesterday, It brought as much desolation as it did celebration for Brazil. Lula had come to symbolize two vastly different concepts for Brazilians, splitting public opinion down the middle. Among conservative Brazilians, Lula had become a symbol of the country’s persistent political corruption. But for the left, he represented the hope that social mobility and greater equality was possible.