“The participants in the coup must be punished. Those who attacked the rule of law cannot be pardoned. That would be tantamount to impunity,” Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stressed during the commemoration of the coup attempt in January. October 8, 2022. There was no need to mention the name of his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, nor of his most extreme followers, who that Sunday stormed the headquarters of the three authorities of the Republic. They all understood who he was referring to. Accompanied by the judicial, legislative and political authorities, with the exception of Jair Bolsonaro's followers, Lula got to know all the Brazilians who, in the face of the uproar, “put themselves above the fray” to confront his threat. “We saved democracy, but it is by no means foolproof, it needs to be taken care of every day. It is imperfect, because we are human, but we must all join forces to improve it.”
According to Lula, the rule of law guarantees freedoms and obligations, but “there can be no freedom for lies and defamation in social networks.” The Labor Party leader noted in this regard that “misinformation and hate speech were the fuel” for the events of January 8. “We will be under constant threat if the use of social networks is not regulated.” Between 2019 and 2022, the far-right government encouraged the spread of fake news through structures known as the “digital militia.” Bolsonaro and his children have been investigated for these actions. The former president was banned from holding elective office until 2030 for questioning the transparency of the 2022 elections, which favored Lula.
“Long live democracy, always democracy,” Lula said at the end of his speech. He had previously acknowledged that “there will never be complete democracy as long as inequalities exist.” Brazilians must be “able to unite to build a more just country” in the same way they did in the most dramatic hour of their lives a year ago.
All other hadiths
Chief Prosecutor Paulo Jeunet said: “Actions against democracy must have criminal consequences.” “It did not happen and will not happen,” said Luis Alberto Barroso, the highest authority on the Federal Supreme Court. The looting of the headquarters of the three powers “was not an incident or an isolated case: it was meticulously prepared and preceded by years of attacking the institutions.”
Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco said: “Nothing justifies what happened in 8E. We must watch what traitors do to the country.”
“Democracy has triumphed,” said Alexandre de Moraes, member of the STF and the Supreme Electoral Court, highlighting “the strength of our institutions and the union of the powers of the three authorities in defense of the Constitution.” De Moraes, whom Bolsonaro considers one of his main enemies, stressed that “strengthening the rule of law must not confuse peace, union and impunity.” Therefore, “all those who acted cowardly will be investigated, prosecuted and punished according to their responsibilities. Democracy does not support the policy of forgetting.” In the near future, during the municipal elections next October, the minister called for attention to be paid to how “extreme digital populism” moves on networks, an expert in “spreading fake news, with the consequent corruption of language.” .
So far, the STF has convicted 30 people for their participation in the events. Punishments range from 3 to 17 years in prison. On the other hand, 29 other defendants are being tried before the virtual court. The Public Prosecution (Public Prosecution) brought charges against 1,413 people, most of them on charges of incitement.
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