Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 10/09/2012
Until a few weeks ago, Brazil’s most popular politician and two-time president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, could seemingly do no wrong.
Yet a corruption trial involving many of his closest former aides, plus new evidence that he was not the economic wizard some took him for, has tarnished Lula’s reputation – and cooled speculation that he might try to return as president in 2014.
Mesmerized Brazilians have watched for two months on live TV as several of Lula’s former confidants stood trial on charges that they bribed legislators in Congress during his 2003-10 presidency. The Supreme Court convicted three of his top aides for corruption on Tuesday, including former chief of staff Jose Dirceu, the power-broker in the Lula government.