Thousands of Brazilians protest to call for imprisonment of former leader
Organized by the movement "Vem Pra Rua," the protests sparked subsequent marches in dozens of cities in more than 20 of Brazil's 27 states.
Thousands of Brazilians in major cities across the country took to the streets on Tuesday to pressure the Supreme Court to reject former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's habeas corpus request, which could help him stay one step away from imprisonment after his conviction for corruption.
Organized by the movement "Vem Pra Rua" (Come to the Street), which gained great prominence during the massive demonstrations against corruption during the Dilma Rousseff administration in 2015, the protests sparked subsequent marches in dozens of cities in more than 20 of Brazil's 27 states.
The objective of Tuesday's rallies was to bring about the imprisonment of Lula, who was found guilty of passive corruption and money laundering in a case related to the graft scandal uncovered at the state-owned company Petrobras.
In January, the former president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010, was sentenced to 12 years in prison by a court of appeals.
One of the most intense protests took place on Paulista Avenue, in the heart of Sao Paulo, the country's largest city, where demonstrators, many of whom dressed in T-shirts with Brazilian flags, called for the ex-president's imprisonment.
Demonstrators held posters with slogans such as "Supreme Court, don't disappoint us" and "Lula, go to jail," as well as the "pixulecos," the inflatable dolls of Lula dressed as a prisoner.
On Wednesday, the 11 magistrates who make up the plenary session of the Supreme Court will analyze whether the habeas corpus request should be granted to the former head of state.
If granted, he would be allowed to appeal his jail sentence without having to serve his time in prison, until all his possibilities of appeal are exhausted, a process that could take up to two years.