It’s Jail or the Presidency for Brazil’s Lula

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is no longer quite the political dynamo he once was. At 72, he’s a touch grayer, a touch weaker — after a bout with cancer and the loss of his wife — and a touch less popular than he was when he swept to a landslide victory back in 2002.

But make no mistake about it, the man known simply as Lula remains the dominant figure in Brazil’s politics. The crippling recession and sprawling pay-for-play scandal that engulfed the nation following his exit from office have only dented his popularity some. To millions of Brazilians, he is still the radical champion of the poor. Never mind that he himself has been implicated in the corruption probe, alongside numerous other officials in his political party.



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