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Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been convicted of corruption charges and sentenced to nine and a half years in jail.

The judge ruled Lula da Silva could remain free pending an appeal.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has rejected claims that he received an apartment as a bribe in a corruption scandal linked to state oil company Petrobras.

The former leader says the trial is politically motivated and has strongly denied any wrongdoing.

The case is the first of five charges against Lula da Silva.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva served eight years as president until 2011 and has expressed interest in running again in the 2018 elections for the left-wing Workers’ Party.

Image source Wikimedia

On July 12, a judge found the former president guilty of accepting bribes from engineering company OAS in the form of a beachfront apartment in return for his help in winning contracts with the state oil company.

In a statement, his lawyers insisted he was innocent and said they would appeal.

“For more than three years Lula has been subject to a politically motivated investigation. No credible evidence of guilt has been produced, and overwhelming proof of his innocence blatantly ignored,” they wrote.

The head of the Workers’ Party, Senator Gleisi Hoffmann, also hit out at the ruling, saying it was designed to stop Lula da Silva standing for office.

Gleisi Hoffmann said the party would protest against the decision.

In theory, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is free to run in the presidential election until the legal process ends.

The charges he faces relate to the Car Wash scandal, the nickname for Brazil’s biggest ever corruption probe.

Operation Car Wash was launched three years ago amid escalating public anger over political corruption.

The investigation centers on companies that were allegedly offered deals with Petrobras in exchange for bribes, which were funneled into politicians’ pockets and party slush funds.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a former steel worker turned union leader, came to office as the first left-wing leader in Brazil in nearly half a century.

He was Brazil’s most popular president during his tenure – former President Barack Obama labeled him the most popular politician on Earth.

Unable to stand for a third consecutive term, he was succeeded by close ally Dilma Rousseff, who was later impeached.

Brazil’s current President Michel Temer also faces corruption allegations and is resisting calls for him to step down.


Brazilian President Michel Temer has been accused of corruption after he allegedly pressured former Culture Minister Marcelo Calero to engage in corrupt practices.

Marcelo Calero, who stepped down last week, alleged that President Temer coerced him to help another minister in a personal business deal.

He said he was asked to allow construction of luxury apartments in a historic district of Salvador.

Marcelo Calero had previously blocked the plans. President Temer has denied the allegations.

Image source Wikimedia

Image source Wikimedia

However, he admitted talking to Marcelo Calero about the project.

Michel Temer has vowed to clean up corruption in Brazil, but has lost three ministers to corruption allegations.

The scandal involves government secretary Geddel Vieira Lima, who had bought a property in Salvador in Bahia state.

Marcelo Calero’s ministry vetoed the construction, on the grounds that the proposed building was on a heritage site.

He told the police both the president and the minister had pressured him to overturn the decision.

Earlier this week, an ethics panel decided to open an investigation into Geddel Vieira Lima over the allegations, before Michel Temer’s alleged involvement came to light.

Despite pressures to sack Geddel Vieira Lima, the president said the minister will keep his job.

Michel Temer came to power earlier this year, after former President Dilma Rousseff was impeached during a lengthy political crisis that gripped the country.

Dilma Rousseff was accused of manipulating the budget, but maintained her innocence and said that her political opponents have carried out a “parliamentary coup”.

Michel Temer has since tried to maintain a stable government, but has been plagued with corruption allegations against his own party.


At least 40 demonstrators stormed Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies demanding a military coup.

The protesters scuffled with guards and took over the podium as a session began on November 16.

Denouncing government corruption, protesters called for a return to military rule – which Brazil saw from 1964 to 1985.

In Rio de Janeiro, police fired tear gas at public sector workers protesting against cuts.

Demonstrators swept past security guards and smashed a glass door to get into the parliament chamber, where they shouted “general here, general here” and sang the national anthem.

According to Reuters, it took police three hours to round up all the protesters.They were all detained.

Later in the day, President Michel Temer’s spokesman, Alexandre Parola, called the protest an “affront” and said it was a “violation of the norms of democratic co-existence.”

Public confidence in Brazilian institutions has been eroded by a massive corruption scandal and the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

Michel Temer was Dilma Rousseff’s vice-president before being promoted after her dismissal.

Last week Dilma Rousseff filed court documents accusing Michel Temer of accepting a large bribe. Michel Temer’s party says the money was a legal campaign donation.

Brazil was one of several Latin American nations where the military overthrew democratic governments in the 1960s and 70s.

The generals said they were countering the very real threat of a communist insurgency and had support from a considerable part of Brazil’s elite.

The military regime detained, tortured – and in some cases – killed its opponents, while overseeing rapid economic growth.

Also on November 16, protesters gathered outside the state legislature where austerity plans to tackle the city’s financial crisis were being debatedbrazil-crisis

Police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades into a crowd of about 2,000 protesters, ranging from teachers to off-duty police officers, AFP reported.

Brazil has been hit by a drop in global oil and commodity prices and declared a financial emergency ahead of the Rio Olympics earlier this year.

Many public workers have not been paid in months.


Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will be tried for corruption and money laundering over an alleged scheme at the state oil company, Petrobras, a judge has said.

Brazilian prosecutors say Lula da Silva accepted 3.7 million reais ($1.11 million) in bribes connected to the multi-billion dollar scheme.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 70, had already been charged in August with allegedly obstructing investigations.

The former president denies any wrongdoing and says the accusations are politically motivated.Lula da Silva appointment blocked

“I am sad,” he said.

“It is a big farce, a big lie, a big pyrotechnic show.

“What’s happening isn’t getting me down, but just motivates me to go out and talk more.”

Judge Sergio Moro, who is overseeing Operation Car Wash, the investigation into corruption allegations at Petrobras, said there was “sufficient evidence of [Lula’s] responsibility”.

The money that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva allegedly received was laundered through the purchase and renovation of a beach apartment, prosecutors say.

The flat was built by a construction company implicated in the scandal.

Lula’s wife, Marisa Leticia, and six others have also been indicted.

The former leader was accused by prosecutors of being the “boss” of the scheme, estimated to have cost Petrobras more than $2 billion.

Several politicians and Petrobras executives have been arrested and sentenced as a result of the two-year inquiry.

Investigators believe overpriced contracts with Petrobras were given in return for bribes.

Some of the illicitly-obtained money was used to finance the electoral campaign of top Brazilian politicians, they allege.

Luiz Inacio Lula da SIlva, who served as president between 2003 and 2011, was one of Brazil’s most popular leaders and is seen as a possible candidate for the 2018 presidential elections.

However, the popularity of his Workers’ Party plummeted this year and his chosen successor Dilma Rousseff was impeached last month.

A criminal conviction would bar Lula da Silva from running in 2018.

Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is to go on trial for obstruction of justice in a case related to the scandal at state oil company Petrobras, court documents show.

The Petrobras affair has already seen dozens of politicians and officials arrested.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, with six others, is accused of hampering Operation Car Wash, the investigation into the scandal.

He has denied any wrongdoing.Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

The date for the trial has not yet been set.

Those also charged on July 29 include former senator Delcidio Amaral and investment banker Andre Esteves.

They have been accused of trying to prevent former Petrobras director Nestor Cervero from testifying in a plea bargain deal.

Nestor Cervero was jailed for being the mastermind of the Petrobras scandal.

It is understood that the accusation against Lula is a result of a plea bargain testimony by Delcidio Amaral.

In May, Brazil’s Attorney General Rodrigo Janot accused Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of playing a key role in the Petrobras case, which is estimated to have cost the company more than $2 billion.

Rodrigo Janot said the corruption could not have taken place without the former president’s participation.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva made a comeback to frontline Brazilian politics in March, when President Dilma Rousseff nominated him as her chief of staff.

A judge then suspended Lula’s nomination saying it had been aimed at protecting him from possible prosecution.

Operation Car Wash was launched two years ago by prosecutors focusing initially on money laundering.

They say that their investigations have since uncovered a complex corruption scheme at Petrobras.

Brazilian prosecutors allege the scandal was used to finance the electoral campaigns of senior politicians.

Several politicians and Petrobras executives have been arrested and sentenced.

Some of them have agreed to testify against other suspects in exchange for more lenient sentences, taking the investigation to a new level.

Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff has condemned the move to impeach her as a “coup” and a “farce”, denying she has committed any crimes.

Dilma Rousseff, 68, was addressing the nation on TV for the first time since senators voted overnight to suspend her for budgetary violations and put her on trial.

She vowed to fight the “injustice” by all legal means.

Vice-President Michel Temer has now officially taken over as interim leader and has appointed a team.

Respected conservative Henrique Meirelles, who headed the central bank under leftist ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, becomes finance minister.Dilma Rousseff impeachment 2015

Michel Temer will serve while Dilma Rousseff’s trial takes place. It may last up to 180 days, which would mean Dilma Rousseff would be suspended during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, which start on August 5.

Brazil’s senators had voted to suspend her by 55 votes to 22 after an all-night session that lasted more than 20 hours.

Dilma Rousseff is accused of illegally manipulating finances to hide a growing public deficit ahead of her re-election in 2014.

In her TV speech, flanked by ministers at the presidential palace, Dilma Rousseff said that she may have made mistakes but had committed no crimes, adding: “I did not violate budgetary laws.”

She said: “What is at stake is respect for the ballot box, the sovereign will of the Brazilian people and the constitution.”

Branding the process “fraudulent” and saying her government was “undergoing sabotage”, Dilma Rousseff vowed to fight the charges against her and said she was confident she would be found innocent.

She accused the opposition of leading the impeachment because they had vehemently opposed all the advances she and her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, had made for the Brazilian poor and lower middle classes.

After her speech, Dilma Rousseff left the presidential palace and shook hands with supporters lining the pathway.

In another speech outside Dilma Rousseff told supporters she could feel their “love and energy” on what she called a “tragic” day for the country.

Meanwhile, Michel Temer has nominated a 21-strong cabinet.

Brazil has welcomed the Olympic flame for the start of a torch relay that will culminate with the opening of the Olympic Games in Rio in August.

The flame was flown inside a small lantern on a special flight from the Swiss city of Geneva to Brasilia.

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff lit the Olympic torch which will be carried around Brazil by 12,000 runners.

It could be one of Dilma Rousseff’s last public acts ahead of a possible impeachment trial.

The Senate is expected to vote next week on whether proceedings against the president should go ahead.Olympic torch Brazil 2016

If a simple majority votes in favor, Dilma Rousseff will be suspended from office for up to 180 days and Vice-President Michel Temer will take over.

Dilma Rousseff is accused of manipulating government accounts ahead of her re-election in 2014.

The Olympic torch will pass through more than 300 towns and cities from the Amazon to Brazil’s southern border, arriving at the Maracana Stadium in Rio on August 5.

Among the first torchbearers will be a Syrian refugee who now lives in Brazil.

The first torchbearer was Fabiana Claudino, who led Brazil to Olympic gold medals in women’s volleyball in the 2008 and 2012 games, and is team captain this time.

Brazilian mathematician Artur Avila Cordeiro de Melo ran the second leg.


Brazil’s Supreme Court has been asked by Attorney General Rodrigo Janot to authorize the start of corruption investigations against prominent opposition leader Aecio Neves.

Senator Aecio Neves, who narrowly lost the 2014 election to President Dilma Rousseff, was previously included in a list of some 50 politicians thought to have taken bribes originating from state-run companies, including electricity company Furnas.

The case is linked to the huge corruption scandal that has rocked Brazilian politics over the past year.

Aecio Neves denies any wrongdoing.Aecio Neves corruption investigation

If the Supreme Court agrees to open an investigation, the senator will be called to testify within 90 days, Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.

The case is based on allegations made by Senator Delcidio Amaral as part of a plea bargain.

A former leader of the Workers’ Party in the Senate, Delcidio Amaral was arrested in November.

Senator Delcidio Amaral had been secretly recorded allegedly discussing plans to help a detained official flee Brazil in return for not implicating him in a major corruption scandal at Petrobras.

He was released in February after he agreed to testify against other suspects.

Delcidio Amaral said that Aecio Neves had received bribes from officials at Furnas.

He said the scheme was similar to that operated at Petrobras: Brazil’s top construction companies paid bribes to politicians, political parties and senior executives at the company in order to secure lucrative overpriced contracts.

Aecio Neves’s office rejected the allegations, with an aide telling reporters: “References to Senator Aecio’s name are all based on hearsay. There is no proof or evidence of any irregularity.

“These are old questions that have already been the subject of previous investigations, which were thrown out, or questions that have no relation to the senator.”

Rodrigo Janot has also requested the opening of a corruption probe against other senior politicians and officials, the Speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, and President Dilma Rousseff’s press secretary Edinho Silva.

Brazil’s lower house, Chamber of Deputies, has voted to start impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.

Dilma Rousseff is accused of manipulating government accounts.

The “yes” camp comfortably won the required two-thirds majority, after a lengthy session in the capital.

The motion will now go to the upper house, the Senate, which is expected to suspend Dilma Rousseff next month while it carries out a formal trial.

The 68-year-old president denies tampering with the accounts to help secure her re-election in 2014.

Her ruling Workers’ Party has promised to continue its fight to defend her “in the streets and in the Senate”.Dilma Rousseff impeachment 2015

Dilma Rousseff’s opponents secured 367 votes in the lower house – exceeding the 342-vote mark needed to send the motion to the Senate.

The “no” camp secured 167 votes, while seven other deputies abstained. Two deputies were not present during the voting.

Voting began after passionate statements from lawmakers and party leaders in a session broadcast live on television as well as on large screens in city centers.

If the Senate votes for impeachment, Dilma Rousseff will be put on trial in the upper chamber and will be removed from office permanently if found guilty. She has two opportunities to appeal during the whole process.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters watched the voting marathon on huge TV screens in cities across the country – Dilma Rousseff’s supporters wearing red and her opponents wearing the green and yellow of the Brazilian flag.

Some 25,000 protesters from both sides were outside the Congress building – separated by a makeshift 6.5ft high metal wall, that stretches for 0.6 miles.

The “yes” camp burst into celebrations even before the two-thirds of the votes had been secured.

The atmosphere has so far been peaceful and almost festive with music, fancy dress and people blowing trumpets and vuvuzelas.

Dilma Rousseff has vigorously denied any wrongdoing, and on April 16 wrote in one newspaper her opponents wanted to “convict an innocent woman and save the corrupt”.


Brazilian oil company Petrobras has announced it will cut 12,000 jobs by 2020.

The voluntary layoff program will help save $9 billion at the company, which has struggled with losses following a price-fixing and bribery scandal.

It has also been hit by the global slump in the price of oil.

Petrobras, which has reported losses for the last two financial years, is expected to spend $1.23 billion on implementing the job cuts plan.

The semi-public company has long been one of the biggest employers in Brazil, with more than 80,000 employees.Petrobras job cut 2016

However, Petrobras has seen its business hit by the huge falls in oil prices globally and one of the biggest corruption scandals in the country’s history, which has gone to the heart of the country’s government.

Petrobras’ announcement that 12,000 jobs are to be cut over the next five years is part of a investment plan to turn around the company’s fortunes.

The oil producer reported its biggest quarterly loss to date in Q4 of 2015 – $10.2 billion – after losses at its oil fields and refinery projects.

The corruption scandal involving price-fixing, bribery and political kickbacks over the last two years has dented confidence in the business. Some former Petrobras executives have been jailed.

The scandal has also harmed the reputation of Brazil’sPresident Dilma Rousseff, who was on the board of the company at the time of the offences.

Dilma Rousseff is facing the possibility of impeachment on unrelated charges of false accounting.


Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman – famous for a giant rubber duck that pops up around the world – says a version of his work used by Brazilian protesters amounts to plagiarism.

Groups pushing for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff are using a large rubber duck as a mascot.

The duck’s design is similar to one by Florentijn Hofman.

The owner of the factory that produced both ducks denied any wrongdoing.

Versions of the same giant inflatable rubber duck designed by Florentijn Hofman have traveled the world since 2007, calling in Japan, New Zealand and Brazil, among many other countries.

The version that has appeared in protests in Brazil closely resembles Florentijn Hofman’s, although it has crosses for eyes.Brazil protests duck

It also has the slogan “Chega de pagar o pato” across its chest, a Portuguese expression meaning “We won’t pay for the duck any more” or “We won’t pay for what is not our fault any more”.

The giant duck was commissioned by a powerful Brazilian industrial group, FIESP, to use in protests against corruption and high taxes from September 2015.

It has made a number of appearances in demonstrations against the president in recent months.

Before it appeared as part of an exhibition in Brazil, a version of Florentijn Hofman’s duck was produced in a Sao Paulo factory.

However, the owner of the factory, Denilson Sousa, who also produced the new duck, denies the design was copied.

A FIESP spokesman said they had been reassured the design was original.

On March 29, the group released 5,000 rubber ducks near the main national congress building in the capital, Brasilia, and took out full-page adverts in national newspapers using an image of a duck.

Opposition lawmakers want to remove Dilma Rousseff over claims she manipulated government accounts to hide a growing deficit.


Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has said she will take legal action against Senator Delcidio Amaral who has accused her of involvement in corruption at the state oil company Petrobras.

Delcidio Amaral said Dilma Rousseff knew of wrongdoings and tried to block investigations.

Dilma Rousseff has denied any involvement.

Meanwhile, the new justice minister has threatened to remove teams from the Petrobras inquiry if any more material is leaked to the press.

In a statement, Brazil’s presidency said Dilma Rousseff will sue Senator Delcidio Amaral for defamation over his interview with a magazine.

Delcidio Amaral was the leader of her Workers’ Party in the Senate and had agreed a plea bargain with prosecutors after being arrested as a result of the Petrobras scandal.

The inquiry has led to the arrest or investigation of dozens of executives and politicians, suspected of overcharging for contracts with Petrobras and using part of the money to pay for bribes and electoral campaigns.Delcidio Amaral accuses Dilma Rousseff

There is widespread public support for the investigation, known as Operation Car Wash, but Dilma Rousseff and her allies have criticized its leading judge, Sergio Moro.

They argue the inquiry has become politicized and some of his actions have been illegal.

Last week, Judge Sergio Moro released phone recordings suggesting Dilma Rousseff had appointed her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as her chief of staff to spare him arrest over money-laundering charges he denies.

Even though Dilma Rousseff vehemently denies it, Supreme Court judge Gilmar Mendes has suspended Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s nomination, and a final decision is yet to be announced.

If Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is a minister, any charges against him can only be dealt with by the Supreme Court, which operates more slowly, and not by Sergio Moro.

Earlier this month, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was briefly detained and questioned at Sergio Moro’s request.

Dilma Rousseff’s supporters have also criticized leaks of questioning and details of the investigation to the media.

New Justice Minister Eugenio Aragao questioned the publication of the unverified phone tap conversations between Dilma Rousseff and Lula and said the Car Wash investigation was losing its objectivity.

The release of the recordings has also been criticized by Supreme Court judge Marco Aurelio Mello, who has questioned its legality.

However, the content of the phone calls has increased pressure on Dilma Rousseff, who is facing growing calls for her removal.

Additionally, there has been a resurgence in allegations of media bias against Dilma Rousseff and her Workers’ Party.

Much of the criticism has been against Globo, Brazil’s largest media group and one of the biggest in the world, allegations it denies.

In 2013, Globo issued an announcement about its support of the 1964 military coup, which led to a two-decade military dictatorship, and admitted it had made a “mistake”.


The appointment of Brazil’s ex-leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as chief of staff to President Dilma Rousseff, has been blocked by a federal judge shortly after the former president was sworn in.

Judge Sergio Moro’s injunction said there was a risk a federal investigation could be derailed if Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was a minister.

In Brazil, cabinet members can only be investigated by the Supreme Court, not by federal courts.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is under investigation in connection with a corruption scandal.

Prosecutors filed charges against the former president last week accusing him of money laundering and fraud, which he has denied.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s nomination as chief of staff has divided Brazilians.

Some said it was a move to shield him from prosecution while others welcomed his return to active politics.

Ahead of the former leader’s swearing-in ceremony, groups of supporters and opponents of the government clashed outside the presidential palace.

The ceremony itself was interrupted by a protester who cried “Shame!”.Lula da Silva appointment blocked

The protester was drowned out by supporters of the governing Workers’ Party, who shouted pro-government slogans and Lula’s name.

During the ceremony, President Dilma Rousseff praised Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who she said was “not just a great politician, but a great friend and comrade of many battles”.

“We’ve always stood side by side,” she said.

A visibly angry Dilma Rousseff then criticised federal Judge Sergio Moro, who is leading the investigation into a massive corruption scandal at state-oil giant Petrobras.

On March 16, Judge Sergio Moro made public a taped phone conversation between President Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva which has been interpreted by some to show that Lula was given the post of chief of staff to shield him from prosecution.

In the conversation, Dilma Rousseff told her predecessor and mentor she would send him the official decree naming him as minister “just to use in case it’s necessary”.

The Brazilian president said Judge Sergio Moro had violated the law and the constitution by releasing the tape and that she would order an investigation.

Dilma Rousseff herself is under considerable political pressure.

Her critics want to impeach her over allegations she manipulated Brazil’s account books to hide a growing deficit.

Analysts say she named Lula chief of staff so he could use his influence with members of Congress to convince them to vote against her impeachment.

As more and more members of her Workers’ Party are being investigated over corruption at Petrobras, she is also facing increased questions about what Dilma Rousseff may have known.

Dilma Rousseff was head of the board at Petrobras from 2003 to 2010 and has always denied any wrongdoing.

On March 13, a record number of people took part in anti-government marches across Brazil.

An estimated three million people called for an end to corruption and for Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment.

There have also been rallies in support of the government, but they have been smaller than those opposing the administration.

The political upheaval comes at a time of economic problems, with Brazil going through its worst recession in more than three decades.

Brazil’s ex-leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been appointed as President Dilma Rousseff’s new chief of staff.

The move shields the former president from possible prosecution by a federal judge investigating a massive corruption scandal named Operation Car Wash.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s appointment sparked protests in several Brazilian cities by those angry at the decision.

However, President Dilma Rousseff said that protecting her mentor and predecessor from prosecution was not the motivation for the appointment.

“Lula’s arrival in my government strengthens it and there are people who don’t want it to be stronger,” she said.Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva chief of staff

Under Brazilian law, cabinet members can only be tried by the Supreme Court.

On March 4, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was briefly detained and questioned over allegations of money laundering connected to Operation Car Wash, a massive investigation into corruption at the state oil giant, Petrobras.

The former president denies the allegations and says they are aimed at preventing him from running for president again in 2018.

In a taped telephone conversation released by the judge overseeing the investigation, Dilma Rousseff offered to send Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a copy of his appointment “in case of necessity” – interpreted by some as meaning in case he needed it to avoid arrest.

Hours after the announcement of his appointment, protesters gathered outside the Presidential Palace in Brasilia and in at least three other cities.

In Congress, opposition politicians gathered around a microphone during a chaotic session and chanted “resignation”.

Dilma Rousseff says the appointment is due to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva being a “skilful political negotiator” and experienced leader who will help kick off economic recovery.

During his time in office, the Brazilian economy experienced unprecedented economic growth and wealth redistribution.

“I believe [former] President Lula, who was in charge of the country for eight years, cannot have his reputation destroyed in this manner,” added Dilma Rousseff.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and other ministers appointed on March 16 are expected to be sworn in at 10:00 local time on March 17.

As chief of staff, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to lead the fight against moves in Congress to impeach President Dilma Rousseff over allegations she manipulated Brazil’s account books to hide a growing deficit.

Brazil’s ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has accepted a key ministerial role in President Dilma Rousseff’s government, media reports say.

Members of the governing Workers’ Party say Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s appointment will strengthen Dilma Rousseff’s beleaguered administration.

In becoming a minister, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will also have some legal protection.

Last week, prosecutors requested the former leader arrest in a money laundering inquiry over a luxury sea-front penthouse.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has denied any wrongdoing and says the claims are politically motivated.Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

The reports, quoting unnamed sources, said Dilma Rousseff and the former president would meet in Brasilia on March 15. There has been no official comment.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva handpicked Dilma Rousseff as a candidate to succeed him in 2010, and has not ruled out running again in 2018.

Dilma Rousseff has faced increasing calls for her removal as a result of a corruption scandal at the state oil company Petrobras and Brazil’s worst recession in decades.

On March 13, hundreds of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets calling for her to go. But the president has repeatedly said she will not resign.

Dilma Rousseff could, however, face an impeachment process in Congress, accused of masking the budget deficit, which she denies.

One of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s main tasks, the reports said, would be to negotiate with the main coalition partner in order to prevent an impeachment going ahead.

His appointment could also be seen as bringing some order to what many analysts consider a chaotic administration.

As a minister, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva could only be tried in the Supreme Court, placing him out of the reach of the judge in the southern city of Curitiba responsible for the Petrobras investigation.

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has refused to resign over her alleged mishandling of the economy after moves to impeach her.

Dilma Rousseff accused her opponents of causing a political crisis which she said had damaged the economy.

She also defended her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, over money-laundering allegations.

Dilma Rousseff said a prosecutors’ request for his detention had no legal basis.

The ongoing crisis has deepened the worst recession in decades in Brazil – Latin America’s biggest economy.

Dilma Rousseff said she had been democratically elected and had no intention of going.Dilma Rousseff resignation 2016

The inquiry has implicated several business leaders and politicians close to the government including Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Regional prosecutors in Sao Paulo want Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 70, placed in “preventive custody” after charging him with failing to declare ownership of a luxury sea-front penthouse in the seaside resort of Guaruja.

They say this is necessary because he may try to obstruct the investigation. The request still has to be accepted or rejected by a judge.

The former president denies any wrongdoing and says the claims are politically motivated. He says he never owned the apartment.

His lawyer, Cristiano Zanin Martins, said Brazil’s ex-leader had invested in the project and had visited the unfinished apartment but later asked for his money back rather than receiving the property.

President Dilma Rousseff refused to comment on a possible cabinet job for Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva but said she would be proud to have him in her government.

Last week, the former president was briefly detained and questioned in a separate, federal investigation into whether extensive refurbishment on the penthouse had constituted favors in exchange for political benefit.

The renovations were carried out by one of Brazil’s biggest construction companies, OAS.

Officially the apartment belongs to OAS, which is itself accused of paying bribes to politicians and senior officials at state oil company Petrobras to secure lucrative contracts.

In addition, federal prosecutors are looking into allegations that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sold his influence in President Dilma Rousseff’s administration in exchange for donations to his Instituto Lula non-profit foundation.

Last week’s questioning of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva led to criticism not only from his supporters but also from judges and politicians, who said it was unnecessary.

His supporters say the attacks on him are aimed at tarnishing his reputation, amid rumors that he may run for office again in 2018.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was Brazil’s left-leaning president from 2003 to 2011 and was succeeded in office by his political protégé, Dilma Rousseff, who has record-low approval rates amid a serious economic crisis.

A former factory worker and union leader, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva remains a very popular figure in Brazil despite the accusations against senior members of the Workers’ Party.

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has visited ex-leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a day after he was questioned over corruption allegations at the state oil company, Petrobras.

Dilma Rousseff appeared with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on the balcony of his apartment and waved to hundreds of people who had gathered below.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said his brief arrest on March 4 is part of a campaign to sully his image and that of Dilma Rousseff.

Police are looking into payments and donations made to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s institute.

Some of Brazil’s wealthiest people as well as dozens of politicians from both the governing coalition and the opposition are also being investigated for involvement in the alleged Petrobras corruption scheme.Dilma Rousseff and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva Petrobras case

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a left-wing icon, left office in 2011. His Workers’ Party has been hit hard by the long-running scandal.

After his interrogation on March 4, he told reporters he was the victim of a “prejudice as a working-class man”.

Dilma Rousseff turned up at his home on March 5, along with hundreds of people showing support for the former president.

Today’s rally was peaceful in contrast to angry scenes on March 4 when protesters clashed with police outside the building.

“She is going to meet with Lula as a gesture of solidarity and support,” a press officer at the presidential palace told the Associated Press news agency.

Dilma Rousseff later could be seen on the balcony with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his wife Marisa.

The Workers’ Party has held the Brazilian presidency since 2003, both under Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

In the latest operations, police enforced 33 search and 11 detention warrants in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Bahia, officials said.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 70, is suspected of receiving about 30 million reais ($8 million) in speaking fees and donations to his charity.

The former president’s home was among the premises targeted, as was the headquarters of the institute in Sao Paulo.

Brazil’s ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been arrested as part of a huge fraud inquiry into the state oil company Petrobras.

His house was raided by federal police agents and he was brought in for questioning.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who left office in 2011, has denied allegations of corruption.

The long-running inquiry, known as Operation Car Wash, is probing accusations of corruption and money laundering at Petrobras.

Dozens of Brazilian executives and politicians have been arrested or are under investigation on suspicion of overcharging contracts with Petrobras and using part of the money to pay for bribes and electoral campaigns.

Police said they had evidence that Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, 70, received illicit benefits from the kickback scheme.

His institute said in a statement the “violence” against the former president was “arbitrary, illegal and unjustifiable”, as he had been co-operating with the investigations.Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Officials said some 33 search warrants and 11 detention warrants were being carried out by 200 federal police agents in the states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Bahia.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s house in Sao Bernardo do Campo, near Sao Paulo, was raided early on Friday. The headquarters of his institute in Sao Paulo was also targeted, as were his wife, Marisa, and sons, reports said.

One of the lines of inquiry is that construction companies targeted by the operation could have favored Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the development of a ranch and a luxury beachfront apartment.

Raids in the cities where these properties are located have also been carried out.

“Ex-president Lula, besides being party leader, was the one ultimately responsible for the decision on who would be the directors at Petrobras and was one of the main beneficiaries of these crimes,” a police statement quoted by Reuters news agency said.

“There is evidence that the crimes enriched him and financed electoral campaigns and the treasury of his political group.”

Supporters and opponents of the former president clashed in front of his house following the raids.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, from the Workers’ Party, served two terms as president and was succeeded in office by his political protégé, Dilma Rousseff.

He led Brazil during a time of rapid economic growth and is credited for lifting millions of people out of poverty.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva still is a well-liked figure and has been considered as a potential candidate in presidential elections in 2018. However, his popularity has been hit by recent allegations that he either had knowledge or involvement in the wrongdoings.

On March 3, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s institute said the former president had never committed any illegal acts before, during or after his presidential term.

The corruption scandal threatens the government of Dilma Rousseff, who has faced repeated impeachment calls, analysts say.

Dilma Rousseff has denied having any knowledge of wrongdoings.

Brazil’s economy shrank by 3.8% in 2015, according to the national statistics agency IBGE.

The world’s seventh-largest economy has fallen sharply in recent months due partly to low commodity prices and sluggish global growth.

Political paralysis has hampered Brazil’s efforts to tackle its economic problems, including a budget deficit that has reached 10.8% of GDP.

President Dilma Rousseff is trying to head off the opposition’s efforts to impeach her over alleged accounting irregularities, which means she cannot afford to alienate supporters in her Workers’ Party by cutting spending or raising taxes.Brazil economy 2015

Investigations are also continuing into a high-level bribery and corruption scandal involving major construction projects.

Dilma Rousseff’s predecessor as president, fellow Workers’ Party politician Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is one of the people under investigation.

Brazil’s economic performance in 2015 vies with that of Russia as the worst in a major economy for 2015. Official figures for Russia’s 2015 GDP have not yet been released.

It was also Brazil’s worst set of figures since 1990.

Analysts say Brazil is now caught in a classic case of stagflation – a combination of high inflation and a recession.

On March 2, policymakers at Brazil’s central bank voted to keep the benchmark Selic interest rate at its current level of 14.25%.

High interest rates have traditionally been used in Brazil as a policy tool to keep inflation in check. However, inflation has surged in any case, now standing at 11%, while high rates are hurting businesses.

Brazil’s Finance Minister Joaquim Levy has resigned as Latin America’s largest economy struggles to recover from recession.

Joaquim Levy has decided to leave after disagreements with President Dilma Rousseff and the governing Worker’s Party over his austerity policies.

He is being replaced by a close ally of Dilma Rousseff, the current Planning Minister Nelson Barbosa.

Brazil is facing its worst recession in 25 years.

In a statement, Joaquim Levy said he remained confident that the economy could recover in 2016.

“Time will show that we will reap the results of all that has been done this year, putting the Brazilian economy back on track,” he wrote.

Brazil’s economy shrank by 1.7% in Q3 of 2015 compared with Q2. Compared with a year ago, the economy is 4.5% smaller.

Inflation is also on the rise, with the annual rate hitting 10% in November 2015.

Joaquim Levy’s resignation is a huge blow to those who advocated tougher budgets and limited austerity to tackle Brazil’s deepening economic crisis.

His attempts to tighten government budgets were repeatedly blocked by Worker’s Party stalwarts in Congress.

The new minister says he will keep a tight control on public spending.

Nelson Barbosa: “If we control government spending we will manage to control public debt and we will eventually be able to reduce public debt.”

Inflation is expected to begin falling next year, he added.

Photo Forbes

Photo Forbes

President Dilma Rousseff gave no reason for Joaquim Levy’s departure.

The change comes amid a serious political crisis in Brazil.

Earlier this month the Speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, agreed to begin impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff over alleged irregularities in the management of last year’s budget.

On December 18, however, the Supreme Court handed Dilma Rousseff an important victory.

It scrapped a commission set up to deal with impeachment proceedings against the president, in a major setback for the opposition.

The court also gave more powers to the government-controlled Senate to block the impeachment process.

The ruling means that proceedings initiated earlier this month will have to start from scratch.

Brazil’s recession has deepened as the country’s economy shrank by 1.7% in Q3 of 2015 compared with the previous quarter.

The country’s GDP dropped 4.5% on an annual basis as investments fell 15%.

Brazil’s unpopular President Dilma Rousseff has been trying to cut spending and raise taxes and this new fall in economic activity will make the latter harder.

Dilma Rousseff’s government is also entangled in a massive corruption scandal.Brazil recession 2015

The drop in economic activity was largely due to a drop in investment, which fell by 15% compared with a year ago.

That has been falling for nine quarters in a row.

Unemployment is at a six-year high and inflation is running at 10%, meaning household spending is being squeezed.

Brazil’s credit rating was cut to junk in September because of mounting political turmoil and the difficulties faced by Dilma Rousseff’s government in tackling growing debt.

The rating means most of the world’s major investors cannot lend to Brazil.

In September, the Brazilian government announced a $7 billion package of spending cuts aimed at plugging the huge black hole in the country’s 2016 budget.

Dilma Rousseff’s public approval rating has hit record lows.

Brazil’s economy has been depressed by the end of the global commodities boom, while a corruption scandal centered on state oil giant Petrobras has damaged investor confidence.

The speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, is being accused of keeping millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts, Brazilian prosecutors say.

According to prosecutors, the money was obtained illegally and not declared.

Eduardo Cunha denies the charges and says he is being unfairly targeted by the Prosecutor’s Office.

He has been leading calls for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, but he is now facing calls from other parties to step down.Eduardo Cunha corruption

As speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha holds the power to allow impeachment proceedings against Dilma Rousseff.

The main opposition parties made public a demand last week for Eduardo Cunha to resign.

A request for his resignation had already come from government supporters in Congress.

Eduardo Cunha is being investigated for alleged corruption in a kick-back scheme at the state run oil company, Petrobras.

Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled on October 15 that the Prosecutor’s Office was allowed to investigate allegations of corruption against Eduardo Cunha.

Prosecutors said on October 16 that Eduardo Cunha hid millions of dollars in Swiss accounts opened in his wife’s and his children’s names.

“There is sufficient proof that the foreign bank accounts were not declared and that at least in relation to Eduardo Cunha the money was obtained illegally,” said a Prosecutor’s Office statement.

A Brazilian audit court ruled earlier this month that President Dilma Rousseff broke the law in managing last year’s budget.

Dilma Rousseff was accused of borrowing money illegally from state banks to make up for budget shortfalls.

Government supporters say calls for an impeachment less than a year after Dilma Rousseff was re-elected are tantamount to a coup attempt.

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has accused her political opponents of seeking to oust her government by “coup-mongering”.

Speaking at a meeting of union leaders in Sao Paulo on October 13, Dilma Rousseff also said the opposition was spreading hatred and intolerance across Brazil.

Dilma Rousseff’s comments come after an audit court last week ruled that she broke the law in managing last year’s budget.

The opposition says this could pave the way for impeachment proceedings.

President Dilma Rousseff was re-elected less than a year ago but currently has record low popularity ratings.Dilma Rousseff impeachment 2015

Addressing the gathering, Dilma Rousseff accused the opposition of practicing “deliberate coup-mongering” against a “project that has successfully lifted millions of Brazilians out of poverty”.

“The artificiality of their arguments is absolute, their poisoning of people in social networks, their relentless game of <<the worse she does, the better for us>>,” she was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Dilma Rousseff’s remarks follow the ruling of the Federal Accounts Court on accusations that the government borrowed money illegally from state banks to make up for budget shortfalls.

The minister who handled the case in the court, Augusto Nardes, said the government disregarded fiscal and constitutional principles in the handling of the 2014 accounts.

The irregularities amount to more than 100 billion reais ($26 billion), according to the court.

The opposition said after the ruling it would seek impeachment proceedings in the Congress.

Also last week, Brazil’s top electoral authority said it would re-open an investigation into alleged misuse of funds during Dilma Rousseff’s re-election campaign.

The Brazilian economy has gone into recession and is expected to shrink by 3% in 2015.

The government’s popularity has fallen amid corruption scandals involving senior politicians from Dilma Rousseff’s Workers’ Party and other coalition members.


Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff broke the law in managing the country’s budget for 2014, an audit court has ruled.

Dilma Rousseff’s government was accused of borrowing money illegally from state banks to make up for budget shortfalls.

The opposition says the ruling by the Federal Accounts Court – which reports to Congress – paves the way for impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.

She was re-elected less than a year ago but has record low popularity ratings.

The Brazilian government says it would challenge the audit court’s ruling in the Supreme Court.

“The game is not over,” said Attorney General Luis Adams.Dilma Rousseff impeachment 2015

The minister who handled the case in the Accounts Court, Augusto Nardes, said the government disregarded fiscal and constitutional principles in the handling of the 2014 accounts.

Dilma Rousseff’s government raised spending “without fiscal sustainability and without the required transparency”, said Augusto Nardes.

The irregularities amount to more than $26 billion (100 billion reais), according to the court.

If the decision is upheld by the Supreme Court, the government’s accounts will then be assessed by the Congress, where Dilma Rousseff’s coalition has a majority.

This is the latest in a series of setbacks for Dilma Rousseff.

On October 6, Brazil’s top electoral authority said that it would re-open an investigation into alleged misuse of funds during Dilma Rousseff’s re-election campaign.

The Supreme Electoral Court will try to determine if Dilma Rousseff’s and Vice-President Michel Temer’s campaign drew on donations from illegal sources.

The probe was requested by the opposition PSDB party.

The Brazilian economy has gone into recession and is expected to shrink by 3% in 2015.

The Brazilian government’s popularity has fallen amid corruption scandals involving senior politicians from Dilma Rousseff’s Worker’s Party and other coalition members.