The violence perpetrated today (March 4) against former President Lula and his family, former Representative Clara Ant, and other citizens associated with the former president is an aggression against the rule of law that affects the whole of the Brazilian society. The action by the so-called Car Wash Task Force is arbitrary, illegal, and unjustifiable, in addition to constituting a serious affront to the Federal Supreme Court.
1) Nothing justifies detaining an ex-president who is collaborating with Justice, spontaneously or whenever requested. Over the last months, Lula provided information and testified in four inquests, including that conducted by Operation Car Wash. Tens of witnesses have been heard on the facts alleged by the Task Force, all in previously scheduled depositions. Why has former President Lula been submitted to the embarrassment of a detention?
2) Nothing justifies cracking open the accounts and income return of Instituto Lula and firm LILS Palestras. Car Wash has already officially received from the Internal Revenue Service all the information concerning these accounts, which were the object of thorough tax assessment last year.
3) Nothing justifies disclosing former President Lula’s bank account and IRS return, since both have been disclosed, shared with the Federal Prosecution’s Office, and illegally leaked to the press, this indeed a crime that has failed to receive due attention by the Federal Prosecution.
4) Nothing justifies breaking into the Lula Institute and firm LILS under pretext of gathering information on talks delivered by former President Lula to 40 companies in Brazil and abroad, among which are INFOGLOBO, the Marinho family publishing company ( All the information concerning these talks was provided to the Federal District’s Office of the Prosecutor of the Republic and shared with Car Wash. In this case, too, the Federal Prosecution did nothing in relation to the illegal leakage of confidential information to the press.
5) Nothing justifies forcefully taking former President Lula to testify about an apartment in Guarujá that has never been his and about some friends’ country house in Atibaia, where he spends his days off. Besides clarifying the situation regarding the apartment in a public note – in which he disclosed his asset statement – and in information provided in writing to the São Paulo Prosecution Office, the former president also provided information on the Atibaia country house in connection with a case in the Federal Supreme Court, which is also public knowledge.
6) Former President Lula’s defense has filed a petition with the Federal Supreme Court requesting a decision on a conflict of powers between the São Paulo State Office of the Prosecution and the Federal Prosecution’s Office (Task Force) to rule on upon whom it is incumbent to investigate the facts, as they are the same. The defense also filed for an injunction aimed at suspending parallel procedures until duties have been decided upon pursuant with the law. By its precipitate invasive and forceful actions this morning, before a ruling on these filings, the so-called Task Force has committed a serious affront against the country’s higher Court, an affront extended to all of the country’s democratic institutions.
7) The only outcome of the violence unleashed today by the Task Force is submitting former President Lula to public embarrassment. It is not Lula’s credibility that is being compromised, but that of Operation Car Wash, when its leaders turn to a political target under the most fragile pretexts.
The Lula Institute reaffirms that Lula has never concealed any assets or been unduly benefited before, during, or after governing the country. He has never, directly or indirectly, been involved in any wrongdoing, either related to the facts being investigated by Car Wash or any other.
The violence perpetrated this morning – unfair, unjustifiable, and illegal – will be repudiated by all democrats, by all those who have faith in the institutions and in the rule of law, in Brazil and around the world, as Lula is an internationally acclaimed personality who dignifies the country and is a symbol of peace, of the fight against hunger, and of social inclusion.
It is a violence perpetrated against the Brazilian citizenry, who recognize in Lula the leader who united Brazil and promoted the greatest upward social mobility in the history of Brazil.


Originally published in portuguese: Lula Institute