Brazil is freezing more than bank accounts

The country is going through one of its worst political crisis

Brazil is freezing more than bank accounts

Recently a judge ordered the freezing of four bank accounts belonging to ex-president Inácio Lula da Silva with an estimated of 190 thousand dollars. The judge also emitted an order to confiscate apartments, farms, and some automobiles. The spokesman of the ex-leader confirmed the judge's decision but didn’t give any more details.

The impound is part of the judicial processes after Lula da Silva was found guilty and sentenced to 9 years of prison for corruption and money laundering in the scandal of Petrobras, as explained in a previous article of the Latin American Post.

After the sentence was made, Lula’s lawyers appeal for the second hearing but their requirement was denied by Judge Sergio Moro. The confiscated assets, which rise up to the 4,3 million dollars, according to different sources, will aim to repair the damage caused. However, the properties have not been transferred to the public treasury yet. The transaction won’t be made until the condemnation is confirmed in a second hearing by the Federal Regional Tribunal.

The biggest South American country is going through a political crisis that can be seen in ex-president Lula da Silva’s case and in the impeachment of ex-president Dilma Rousseff in 2016, putting an end of 13 years of left governments. The political scenario in Brazil grew in complexity with the impeachment of Rousseff and the appointment of the actual President Michel Temer, which generated several protests and riots of sympathizers of both sides.

President Temer belongs to the Brazilian Democratic Movement party which is considered a center party and one of the biggest of the country.  He joined the political campaign of Dilma Rousseff in 2011 as vice-president in order to increase the electorate and win the elections.

Afterwards, when the accusations against Dilma Rousseff were confirmed and she was removed from the presidency, Michel Temer assumed the functions of temporary president. Later in August of 2016, he became the nation’s leader without consulting the popular vote through the ballot box. That is why the opposition, especially the Workers party, has called Temer’s election as illegitimate and demanded for regular elections to be held.

Since his appointment as president, Temer’s popularity have been extremely low, reaching numbers of 10% and 5% approval rates of the administration, according to Ibope poll made on March of this year. After that, the corruption scandals reached to the administration. The accusations against the Brazilian president include his relationship with the Petrobras scandal, bribes received from Odebrecht during the political campaign of 2014, and obstruction of justice.

President Temer presented himself to the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which voted 4 to 3 in favor of rejecting the annulment of the president’s mandate. As a consequence of the accusations of money misappropriation during the campaign of 2014, the Tribunal reviewed the possibility that Temer could not have been named vice-president and consequently could not be named president.

Even though, the sentence favored Temer in the presidency, it is clear that Brazil is suffering a political crisis as the investigations continue. The governability of the country is limited by the corruption cases that won’t allow public policies to be effective and well received by the population that needs it the most.

So far, the political environment is uncertain. If Michel Temer is found guilty of any charges and removed from his position, the State will have problems to determine his successor.

 

Latin American Post | Diana Cárdenas

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto

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