MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, August 20th 2018 - 13:26 UTC

Brazilian round of presidential candidates debate takes off...without Lula da Silva

Friday, August 10th 2018 - 06:11 UTC
Full article 20 comments

Brazil is staging its first presidential election debate with eight of the crowded field locking horns but also one notable absentee – jailed frontrunner ex president Lula da Silva. Thirteen candidates have officially entered the election, which starts with a first round October 7 and is almost sure to go to a run-off two weeks later. Read full article

Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • MarkWhelan

    There is really only one group of people who actually expect Lula to take place in the Presidential Debate.
    That group comprises of the poor PT voters who have been back stabbed by their party but with a few handouts and or union domination of their life think that Lula actually gave god the blueprint on how the world was to be created. Any fu*k up since then was the fault of god and PT had no part in it.

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 12:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    “There is really only one group of people who actually expect Lula to take place in the Presidential Debate”.

    This ridiculous belief only exists because the PT has made a point of defying all the courts and publicly insisting, despite the clean slate law (lei da Ficha Limpa), that Lula will run....when his registration is denied by the TSE, only then will the involuntary 'petistas' realize they've been fooled - once again.

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 04:36 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Enrique Massot

    The ignorance of the above statement is simply astonishing.

    In Mr. Whelan's view, 30 per cent of Brazilian voters still support the PT and Lula because of “a few handouts and or union domination.”

    One may like or dislike Lula according to one's political leanings or according to the credibility one grants to a judicial ruling that said he had accepted an apartment as a bribe.

    However, not one can deny the incredible jump ahead that Brazil experienced under Lula's first and second presidencies, a jump that was not in the least limited to social assistance.

    Just as a sample, from Wiki: Lula's Growth Acceleration Program, an investment program that invested in the “creation and repair of roads and railways, simplification and reduction of taxation, and modernization of the country's energy production to avoid further shortages.”

    Under Lula, ”the percentage of Brazilians belonging to the consumerist middle class (raised) from 37% to 50% of the population.“

    According to an October 2010 Washington Post article quoted by Wikipedia, ”Under Lula, Brazil became the world's eighth-largest economy, more than 20 million people rose out of acute poverty...“

    If that is ”a few handouts,” why more Brazilian governments had not given them instead of just letting street kids in Rio be killed by death squads?

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 05:08 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    EM
    Sorry to say, but the only person showing they are 'misinformed' here, is you.

    “a judicial ruling that said he had accepted an apartment as a bribe”....you talk about it as if he had accepted a 'cafezinho' in the local bar....conveniently ignoring that the 'Triprekis' is only the tip of the iceberg.....have you ever, really bothered to search for and read about the proof presented ? Sure doesn't look like it.

    Using Wiki as a reliable source are you ? not very dilligent of you....anyone can post just about anything they want in Wikipedia, so if I write in and say Lula's a crook, I presume you'll believe it (?)....the so-called “incredible jump' was backwards...I've asked you before, and you refuse to reply : ”where are the 40 million that Lula supposedly 'lifted out of poverty', now ?”

    Lula's two PACs (Growth Accelaration Program), not one, has consumed (i.e., disappeared, stolen ?) more than a quarter of a trillion dollras....with practically nothing to show for them, except for thousands of projects either stopped due to lack of funds or corruption, and with absolutely no satisfatction given to the taxpayer...

    “Under Lula, 'the percentage of Brazilians belonging to the consumerist ”middle class” (raised) from 37% to 50% of the population”......never read greater fake news.... Dilma lowered the bar to define poverty, which cast millions into the 'middle-class', literally overnight....BS ! Nothing changed for these people, except how they were defined...by Dilma.

    Wikipedia again ? and a WP Oct 2010 article ? At the height of Lula's popularity - despite his narrowly escaping impeachment in 2007 - the US papers were impressed by BS stats coming out of Brazil....so just one question, where is Brazil now, and who caused the crisis which started to become obvious in 2014 ? B4 Temer ?

    EM, you really need to check your information.

    Also please explain the connection between the crisis, the economy and the street kids killed by death squads in Rio......

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 06:33 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Chicureo

    Enrique Massot is more proof of us living in an age of expert socialist idiots... I'm again reminded of the sentence from Proverbs 26:11: “As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.”

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 06:47 pm - Link - Report abuse +1
  • DemonTree

    Reminds me of a different verse:

    “Suffer little children, and send a death squad to murder them, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

    Matthew 19:14

    Aug 10th, 2018 - 11:49 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Considering the incredible homicide rate in Brazil, it's doubtful they'll be able to adopt the philosophy of Isaiah 2:4 “Then He will judge between the nations and arbitrate for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.”

    Aug 11th, 2018 - 12:03 am - Link - Report abuse +1
  • Jack Bauer

    Although I read the bible as a kid (at school), can't say I remember any proverbs or verses etc....on the other hand, I fully understand the difficulty - of those who have never seen the real Latin America - to understand what goes on here, the extent of crime, and in particular violent crime and what motivates it ...if (violent) criminals have this sick determination to get rich quick, at any cost, or to lead an easy life without one day of honest work, why do they have this trait of extreme cruelty, through which do they not only kill for no reason at all, but enjoy seeing their victims suffer before they are killed ? What the hell is wrong with these brain-defective pieces of sh*t ?
    Much the same question applies to most politicians who, without actually pulling the trigger, are responsible for 100s of thousands of deaths per year, caused by the lack of security and a disgusting public health service....just as an example, and combining both, yesterday in Rio, a lady waiting in a public hospital, to be operated on, was hit by a stray bullet in the side of her head - from a shootout between two rival gangs on hills on either side of the hospital - and miraculously is still alive, but blind in one eye....

    EM
    But getting back to you, do you have anything to add to the 5 issues I commented on, above : the “triprekis” - 40 million being lifted out of poverty - the two PACs - Dilma's overnight miracle of transforming 100 million people from poor to middle-class - Wikipedia as a 100% reliable source of information ???

    Aug 11th, 2018 - 07:57 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    “why do they have this trait of extreme cruelty”

    Do they? There's an awful lot of murders in Brazil, how many are really due to / display extreme cruelty rather than eg eliminating rivals and warning off other gangs?

    Aug 12th, 2018 - 07:45 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    ”“why do they have this trait of extreme cruelty”....THAT is my question...why ?
    But the fact is that they do - just a couple of recent exs : while after robbing someone's home, criminals tie and gag the family, then gang-bang the daughter in front of her parents, then shoot them all ; two days ago, two criminals held up two 15 yr old girls at gun point, demanded their mobile phones, took them, and then decided to shoot one because they 'thought' she was taking the piss out of them......who at gun point takes the piss out of anyone ? Cruelty does not need to be associated with physical torture, but the total lack of empathy, total disregard for human life, and pleasure in seeing their victims suffer and plead for their lives before murdering them....
    As to fights between rival gangs, mainly in prisons, they decapitate their enemies, cut off limbs, puncture them dozens of times with a knife to see them die slowly .....they've already thrown prison-guards held hostage, off roof-tops......what more is needed to classify them as (needlessly) cruel ? they are no longer satisfied with taking what they want from their victims, they make a point of humiliating them, to see them squirm in agony....reason why I am in favour of the death penalty for these extreme cases....and so is 57 % of the population (was 47% only 10 years ago). If it doesn't act as a deterrent, at least those executed won't come back.

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    ”what more is needed to classify them as (needlessly) cruel ?”

    In the fights between rival gangs I think there is some rational basis for the cruelty, to inspire fear, but for the others, nothing.

    Historically, it wasn't unknown for soldiers in war to do such things. It's about dehumanising the enemy, ceasing to see them as a person like yourself, and usually goes both ways (eg the death squads). Also, there are always some psychopaths around who will do horrible things if they can get away with it.

    Have these cases become a lot more common, if support for the death penalty has risen so quickly in only 10 years?

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Alright, btwn rival gangs to be expected, but why with poeple you've never seen before, who never did anything to you ? and whom you'd probably never see again ?
    Over the last 10 years, the amount and types of crimes have multiplied, especially heinous crime (rape, useless random and violent killing) - for ex., men killing their girfriend, wife, or 'ex-s', has increased like hell...40% because they don't agree with the break-up, 30 % due to jealousy....but they all think they'll get away with it (impunity)....society has become sick...to the extent that most decent people have had enough....but the catholic church, that offers no solution, always interferes - one of the reasons why a previous popular referendum in Brazil's southern states got nowhere..

    Posted 6 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Because people are horrible, and they think they can get away with it. Same reason so many people turn into assholes when they are anonymous on the internet. If there are no consequences, people will act badly. And I'm not just talking about the law here, I think social acceptability is at least as important. If the people around you think it is appropriate and okay to kill for such minor reasons, you are much less likely to restrain yourself. For those in gangs, it may even be considered 'necessary', lest they lose the respect of their peers, with all that entails...

    This effect feeds on itself. The more these things happen, and are reported in the media, the more they are normalised and the more sick people are given ideas that they would not have thought of by themselves.

    Not sure which referendum you are talking about, was that on the death penalty?

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    The 'referendum' I referred to goes back abt 30 years, and was neither a referendum nor a plebiscite (legally speaking), but more of a poll taken by a group in the south of Brazil, in favor of the death penalty. The response was overwhelmingly in favor of it, so they tried to get Congress to study the matter, and propose a national referendum, but it was shot down as anti-constitutional.

    Finally, some space - Continuation of “Dissatisfaction with Argy govt reaches 76%..” :

    Yep, the prisons ‘still’ let inmates out (on commemorative dates); re the 3rd strike (USA), if after being jailed twice you still haven't learned your lesson, you never will ;
    Overcrowded jails here led the Justice system to not incarcerate people when sentences are under 4 years - instead of fixing the problem, they found a legal way to ignore it.

    Even if mobile blocking technology is expensive, it’s insignificant when compared to the cost of not implementing it. Congress is complacent because they live in a ‘different’ world, can have armed security, while the average citizen pays for it and gets screwed.
    To expell crooked politicians fm public life makes sense - once caught with yr hand in the cookie jar, to expose you to more temptation is plain stupid.

    SP’s largest river (Tietê) starts near a small town (to the east of the city of São Paulo, near the Atlantic Ocean - 22 kms) and runs west (inland, for 1,100 kms), ending up in the Parana River. Going west, it circles São Paulo, where it is extremely polluted. Efforts have been made to clean it up in its São Paulo portion (100s of millions “spent”), but the cause of the problem, which is the shit pouring into it, as well as the garbage thrown in to it, isn’t attacked. Way beyond São Paulo, where it's relatively clean again, it’s used for navigation (cargo barges).

    When far more people lived in rural areas (and far less in the cities), small family farms used to work…today, they wouldn’t be able to cope with demand.

    Posted 5 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    Wasn't 30 years ago about when the constitution was being written? But I'm not too surprised there was a majority in favour of the death penalty. Our own government didn't abolish it because it was unpopular, but because they hung too many innocent people.

    At least the Catholic church aren't being hypocrites about the 'pro-life' thing, though. What did they do to stop it?

    RE the third strike, I disagree for two reasons. One, the punishment should fit the crime, people shouldn't be stuck in jail indefinitely for some relatively minor crimes committed 40 years ago. Two, past the age of say 50, people are much less likely to reoffend, so no point keeping them in jail. Seems like Brazil is too lenient and the US too harsh; I think Brazil would be much better off jailing the people with < 4 year sentences than keeping a bunch of pensioners in jail.

    I agree about the mobile blocking, seems this should be a priority. And expelling crooked politicians; yes, as long as you are 100% sure the judges are not crooked too...

    It's pretty crazy the river starts so near the sea and then flows 1000kms through like 3 different countries. But it fits with what that video says; I suppose it makes it much less useful for transport. If it flowed the other way, you could have a port at São Paulo, and more easily bring stuff there from the interior.

    I suppose there aren't many jobs in the countryside now, hence all the people flooding into the cities. But are they any better off?

    Posted 2 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    Yeah, if not mistaken, it was taken after the Constitution of '88. Brazil being predominantly catholic meant the church had enough influence to ‘block’ it…as to the current ‘pro-life’ v. abortion battle going on (in US, Argentina 'n also Brazil), while I believe that no woman wants an abortion for the sake of aborting (unless she’s got a loose screw), I think it is ultimately the woman’s decision…and in the cases where it is legally permitted (fetus malformation, pregnancy from rape, endangers the mother's life) I think it’s justified.
    I don’t think anyone has the right to interfere in someone else’s life, first of all when it has nothing to do with them, and second if it does not affect them personally…it comes down to not shoving your own beliefs or convictions down other people’s throat...ex: if you choose to not eat red meat, it’s your choice, but don’t try to stop other people from enjoying a good steak..

    Since you disagree with the concept of the 3rd strike, what do you suggest, for example in the case of a car thief, or a burglar ? you clearly exclude the possibility that something might go wrong, or escalate to violence during the crime and get someone killed…if someone repeatedly refuses to respect the law, put them away, If they’re put away at 25, 30, ok, release them when they are 60…old enough, according to you, to not reoffend. In Brazil, sentences rarely go over 30 years, and with the possibility of ‘early’ parole they are out in max 10/15 yrs, except in very serious cases of heinous crimes…so there aren’t many ‘pensioners’ in jail.

    Sure there are corrupt judges (several caught in schemes to sell favorable decisions), but they are the minority.

    The Tietê is a slow moving river, so navigation – in both directions - is perfectly feasible, but sub-utilized. Most of those who abandon the countryside (either because they can’t compete with the agribusiness , or because they ‘think’ the city will be ‘far better') usually end in slums and worse off.

    Posted 2 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    In some of the Eastern European countries under communism, there was no contraception available but abortions were free, so women basically used them as contraception. That I think is pretty shocking and a very bad situation for everyone, but in general I think abortion is okay early in the pregnancy. The further on it gets the better reason is needed. I didn't know there was a battle going on in Brazil, I suppose the Catholic church is influential there too?

    I agree about not interferring in someone else's life, assuming they are not hurting anyone else. I guess we can all argue over what harms other people, though. If my neighbour plays loud music at 3am, should I be able to stop him?

    “what do you suggest, for example in the case of a car thief, or a burglar”

    Seems reasonable to make the sentence longer if they have prior convictions, and I believe judges do that. Maybe they don't make them long enough in the UK (and we also have a shortage of prison spaces, they were releasing people early to relieve overcrowding a couple of years ago), but the US goes too far. Dunno about keeping them in till 60, seems kind of unfair to give someone a longer sentence just because they are younger. In the UK there's also the big problem that it's really hard to get a job if you have a crminal conviction, so even the ones who don't want to return to crime often end up doing so.

    And, I didn't think there were many pensioners in jail in Brazil, but if you were going to increase sentences I reckon the < 4 years thing is more important.

    “Sure there are corrupt judges”

    If you're going to take away people's political rights then you need to be very sure they are guilty, otherwise it's too easy to disenfranchise a huge part of the population. If you don't think it's happening in Brazil, you just need to look at Venezuela to see the possibilities.

    I guess the Tietê would get more use if it didn't take such a circuitous route, shame you can't build a canal to reach the sea.

    Posted 2 days ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    The Catholic C. meddles in Govt affairs, talks loud but is rarely part of the solution.

    “I agree abt not interfering in someone else's life...assuming they aren't hurting anyone”.
    Obviously.
    If yr neighbour plays music loud at 3 am, should you be able to stop him? Sure you should, and there're laws to curb that sort of abuse. And in Condos, we fine those who disrespect the rules.

    Let's say car theft has a fixed sentence of 3 years...which means that without the 3rd strike, after two terms of (a maximum of) 3 years the criminal is out again on the streets, stealing more cars...until something more definitive happens (perhaps he kills or gets killed in the attempt ?). Why let it reach that point ? And it's not as if the 'poor' criminal isn't aware he's breaking the law, but he is also deliberately hurting someone.
    Neither is it about (being unfair and) giving them a longer sentence because they are younger - age has nothing to do with it, only the fact that the criminal has no intention of walking the straight and narrow.
    As to the difficulty of getting a job if you have a police record, it's not the employer's fault, and perhaps the criminal should have thought about that before turning to crime...why do a lot of people always try to find excuses to be lenient with criminals ?
    In Brazil (like anywhere I presume), the sentence should fit the crime, but the problem is that today it's a crime with a 3 year sentence, tomorrow another, so he's not even jailed...day after tomorrow he kills someone...the 3rd strike is progressive and is applied to criminals with little or no intention of turning their lives around.

    Up to now in Brazil, the very FEW who have lost their political rights for 8 years (ONLY politicians), are so guilty they 'should' lose them for good....and then again, not being able to run for, or work in public office for 8 yrs is not a particularly harsh punishment.

    Btwn the Tietê's source and the sea, there is a mountain range, 800 mts high.

    Posted 1 day ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • DemonTree

    You'll probably be shocked to learn that in the UK most first-time car thieves don't go to jail at all but get a community sentence. I guess quite a lot are joyriders rather than serious thieves; even so joyriders sometimes kill people (including themselves) by driving dangerously. For those who don't do anything worse, only repeat offenders will go to jail. I don't think any offence has a fixed sentence here, there is usually a list of aggravating and mitigating factors that can increase or decrease the sentence, including prior convictions. IMO it's a good system in principle, but for violent crimes especially I think the base sentences are often too light.

    As for the 3 strikes, I've never really thought about it that much to be honest. It was stories about people being locked up for life for eg possessing a small amount of drugs that made me think it's a bad idea, and the extra burden on the prison system. It seems too rigid compared to what we have, with no leeway to consider how serious an individual offence is - in some cases a criminal shouldn't need 3 strikes to get a life sentence, and in others it seems excessive.

    You also need to consider the unintended consequences. If a mugger could be jailed for life for robbing you, maybe he'll think he has less chance of getting caught if he shoots you dead - what's the downside, if it's the same punishment either way?

    As for criminals in Brazil, do they not jail them if they are convicted again? Surely if they commit another crime within a certain time, they have to go to jail for both? That is how suspended sentences work here.

    I also think measures other than jail are important for reducing crime and shouldn't be forgotten. Some people will always turn to crime, but improving social conditions could eliminate a lot of it.

    And re the political rights, I'm more worried about the 'punishment' to voters if a corrupt judge decided to bar the candidates they support than about the politicians.

    Posted 1 day ago - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Jack Bauer

    @DT
    “...shocked to learn that in UK most first-time car thieves don't go to jail at all but get a community sentence”....Not really, considering that here car-theft is a big business - either dismantling the vehicles to sell the parts, or to alter the documentation and sell them in some other State or in Paraguay...quite a different mentality to that of a joyrider.

    I can live with the 3rd strike having exceptions, but it should avoid giving a message of impunity....the laws should contemplate every possible situation.

    If in the UK, a mugger usually does not carry a gun, the chance of killing someone is pretty remote. Here the chance is very high. He'll kill just because you looked sideways at him, or because he doesn't want witnesses...to kill you or step on a bug, same thing.

    “As for criminals in Brazil, do they not jail them if they are convicted again?”...if convicted, imprisonment will depend on the crime ; repeat offences carry no extra sentence. Up to a point, you see that here, crime can compensate. They can get out on parole, and if caught recidivating, they might go to jail, but again, will not spend much time behind bars, unless for a heinous crime.

    Social conditions ....that's the key, what I've always defended....If decent education and health services were available, it might make young kids, potential criminals, think twice before joining a gang....the problem is that in Brazil, that would be a long term project, taking quick (and good) decisions is not our governments' strong point.

    To bar a candidate here is practically non-existent (percentage wise and in absolute terms), besides being extremely difficult - unless some very serious, or heinous crime, it will not go to court, and if you, the voter, depended on Congress, or a State legislature to condemn one of their own, forget it - so it's unlikely (rational) voters will ever feel they are being punished because their would-be candidate was barred from running.

    Posted 15 hours ago - Link - Report abuse 0

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!