Statement of Facts about Lula

Statement of Facts: Answers to the charges filed by Operation Car Wash regarding President Lula

Operation Car Wash has tried (without any legal basis or evidence) to link President Lula to the investigations into the kickback scheme at Petrobrás. Below follows a systematization of the accusations, followed by answers and explanations. Although these accusations have been constantly repeated in the big media, it is worth recalling that these are not formal charges; in other words, an inquiry has not been started regarding the alleged wrongdoings, precisely because there is no consistent evidence thereto.

Funding of the Lula Institute

Charge: The Lula Institute would have received money from construction companies investigated by Operation Car Wash, allegedly, from the Petrobras kickback scheme.

Answer: Funding of the Lula Institute is similar to that of institutions linked to other former presidents in Brazil and in other countries. The Institute has never received donations from state-owned companies, as opposed to what has happened with, for example, former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s FHC Foundation.

Individuals and companies have made legal and registered donations that have been declared to the authorities ever since the Institute was established, in August 2011, and not before, as occurred, for example, with the institution run by former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who collected funds while still in office.

Use of the money by the Lula Institute

Charge: The Lula Institute would have made payments to companies owned by Lula’s sons (companies G4 and Flexbr) for services that, according to the accusation, were not in effect delivered.

Answer: The funds held by the Lula Institute are used in maintenance and to further the Institute’s goals – projects and actions designed to promote Latin-American integration, cooperation with African countries, and the fight against hunger worldwide, in addition to holding seminars, debates, conferences, research and documentation on democracy, and Brazil’s social accomplishments, plus preserving former President Lula’s presidential office belongings, pursuant with the law.

Individuals and companies the most diverse have delivered services to the Lula Institute under regular contracts. Firm G4, mentioned by Operation Car Wash prosecutors, is responsible for maintaining the Institute’s website, has worked in projects Brasil da Mudança and Memorial da Democracia, having delivered services to the Institute since 2011, that is, for five years, which it does strictly within its technical competence. There is no undue transfer of funds. What there is, actually, are speculations irresponsibly disclosed by the Public Prosecution prior to any credible investigatory procedures.

The Institute released a report (available at with all the projects carried out by G4, and their corresponding costs.


Charge: By way of payment for lectures, construction companies would transfer money to President Lula, money which would have allegedly come from the Petrobrás kickback scheme.

Answer: Company LILS Palestras e Eventos LTDA. – a partnership between former President Lula and Paulo Okamotto – was established in 2011 to manage, pursuant with the law, the activities of former President Lula as a keynote speaker. Once again, this is exactly the same other former presidents do in Brazil and other countries, as well as publicly recognized personalities: artists, scientists, sportspeople, writers, journalists, and so on.

Since he left office, Lula has given 72 keynote speeches to 40 companies in Brazil and abroad, from the most varied sectors, such as Microsoft, Bank of America, Nestlé, Iberdrola, INFOGLOBO (which publishes the Marinho family newspapers) and large Brazilian companies, some of them being investigated in the framework of Operation Car Wash.

As recently as August last year, the Lula Institute released a list of all the companies Lula signed contracts with as a keynote speaker (The full list is available at All the payments received were duly recorded and taxes collected.

Some of the companies under investigation have paid for speeches by other former presidents of Brazil. All of them are big advertisers in the media and fund journalist education programs. Once again, former President Lula has been the target of irresponsible speculations prior to any serious investigative work. By the same token, it would not be correct to assume, only on this justification, that other former presidents or the country’s big media companies have received money stolen from Petrobrás the same way.

Properties in Guarujá and in Atibaia

Charge: Lula would be the actual owner of a country home in Atibaia that has been registered in other people’s names. Renovation work on this property would have been paid for by construction companies OAS and Odebrecht, investigated in Operation Car Wash.

Answer: The rural property was acquired in 2010 by Jacó Bittar, a friend of Lula and a PT founding member. Bittar transferred money he had saved for his son Fernando Bittar, who bought part of the property, while the other part was acquired by an associate and friend of Fernando, Jonas Suassuna. All the funds used to buy the property belonged to the Bittar family and to Jonas Suassuna, and the payment was made by certified checks. Lula’s friends’ idea was that the country home could be used occasionally by the ex-president to rest. It is widely known that the property does not belong to President Lula, who has authorization and the key to use it freely given to him, as a friend, by the Bittar family, whom he has known for 40 years.

Charge: Firm OAS would have paid for President Lula’s moving expenses and for storage of part of his belongings.

Answer: The absolutely false news, attributed to the Paraná State Federal Police by GloboNews, states that President Lula’s moving expenses from Brasília to São Paulo were paid for by a company and that part of the objects were taken to an apartment in Guarujá that does not belong, and has never belonged, to former President Lula. The moving process, as occurs with all other former presidents, was the responsibility of the Presidency of the Republic. The objects are not personal objects, but the so-called “private belongings of the Presidency of the Republic”, and amount to 11 truckloads of documents, letters, and gifts that are incumbent upon an ex-president to preserve. The storage of all this material, at the cost of R$ 21,000, was registered and legally carried out by OAS, to support its preservation, one of the Lula Institute’s missions. Most of it was taken to a storage company, part to Lula’s apartment in São Bernardo, and a small part, which included foodstuffs for own consumption, to the Sítio Santa Bárbara rural property, with the consent of the owners.

Charge: The investigation alleges that President Lula would be the owner of a triplex apartment in the coastal city of Guarujá, which is actually owned by construction company OAS, investigated in Operation Car Wash. OAS would have allegedly funded the renovation of the apartment allegedly owned by Lula.

Answer: The Lula Institute released a detailed and fully documented report that demolishes the accusation. In short, the facts are:

– in 2005, former First Lady Marisa Letícia purchased a share in a real estate development project to be carried out by the Bank Workers Housing Cooperative  (Bancoop) in Guarujá.

– from 2005 to 2009, Marisa Letícia made a down payment of R$ 20,000 and paid for the monthly and intermediate installments with the Bancoop installment booklet. At that time, Bancoop was going through a financial crisis and was transferring several of its own projects to other real estate development companies, OAS among them.

– when the project was transferred to OAS, Marisa Letícia did no longer receive any installment booklets from Bancoop and did not agree to and sign a contract with the new property developer.

– although the family did not adhere to the new contract with developer OAS, they retained the right to, at any time, redeem the participation share in Bancoop and the development.

– in the condition of spouse in community of property, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva regularly declared to the Internal Revenue Service the share acquired by his wife Marisa Letícia and the payments accrued on an yearly basis. The share is also part of Lula’s asset statement as a reelection candidate, filed with the Higher Electoral Court (TSE) in 2006, which is a public document and has already been released by the press.

– between 2014 and 2015,  ex-President Lula and Marisa Letícia visited, together with the then CEO of developing company OAS, Léo Pinheiro, a unit available for sale in the condominium.  As this unit has not been sold, the apartment was (and is) registered in the name of OAS Empreendimentos S.A.

– this was the only time that ex-President Lula was at the place. Marisa Letícia and her son Fábio Luís Lula da Silva went back to the apartment while it was being finished. At no time did Lula and his family use the apartment for any purpose whatsoever.

– over this period, while clarifying that Marisa Letícia held just a share in Bancoop, the Lula Institute Media Relations has always informed the journalists that the family was assessing whether to buy the apartment or not.

– back in 2015, President Lula filed a lawsuit against O Globo newspaper for its false accusations (Available at

– in November last year, the family of ex-President Lula decided not to buy any apartment in the building and requested that Bancoop refunded the money invested to purchase the share in the development, in the same conditions applying to all other shareholders who did not adhere to the contract with OAS in 2009 (The full story is available at

Statement of facts provided by the Workers Party International Relations’ Department, Brazil (based on information published on the Lula Institute website).