Lavajatist authoritarianism

Image: João Nitsche


The legal-media operation that hijacked Brazilian democracy

In the beginning was Lava Jato. And all the strategies of the Brazilian right were criminally operated by its legal arm, under the reins of Deltan Dallagnol and the ex-judge declared, by the STF, for suspicion and incompetence Sérgio Moro. Without it, nothing that was done by recent authoritarianism would have reached its realization: the Coup, the implementation of the “Bridge to the future” program of dismantling and handing over Brazilian public assets, the illegal and shameless arrest of President Lula, the ostensive entry into of the Military Party in the federal Executive Power, the election of the extreme right captain to the Presidency of the Republic.

She gave flesh to the consolidated conspiracy in April 2016, with the acceptance of the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff, under the command of offshore owner Eduardo Cunha, then president of the Chamber of Deputies. Offshore owners are also Bolsonaro’s Minister of Economy, Paulo Guedes, and the president of the Central Bank of Brazil, Roberto Campos Neto, denounced by the “Operation Pandora Papers”.

Lava Jato was notable for being an articulated system, which within the scope of the Brazilian judiciary and the Public Prosecutor's Office once again incriminated, without evidence, subjects meticulously chosen by it, only for the subjective conveniences of its operators, as a stage of the plan of condemnation of the Policy and its agents, aiming at demonizing leftist parties and leaders, more specifically the Workers' Party and President Lula.

Two years ago, more precisely on October 14, 2019, Minister Gilmar Mendes of the Federal Supreme Court (STF), in an interview with journalist Pedro Bial, from Organizações Globo, publicly denounced that the COALIZÃO, between the Hegemonic Corporate Media and the Curitiba prosecutors with Sérgio Moro, created a “militant lavajatismo” through ostensible encouragement from the media from Rede Globo. Mendes declared that he had complained about the issue to those in charge, Ali Kamel and the Marinho brothers: with the tactical support of Globo, the attorneys proved to be infinitely better publicists and political operators, and much less jurists.

This clash between Globo (Lavajatismo) and Mendes was clear from the presentation of the minister made by Bial at the beginning of his program, seeking to disqualify him. He presented him as an intemperate judge, who clashes “with the voice of the streets” (as if the judge had to follow the voice of the streets instead of the Constitution), who does not like to lose and is nicknamed the Soltador General of the Republic for using the institute of Habeas Corpus as a noble shield.

But slowly the Minister took over the interview, starting with clarifying what a Habeas Corpus is. He recalled the fact that a Lava Jatista judge in Rio de Janeiro almost apologized to someone who was imprisoned on his orders for nine months without having anything to do with that matter. And he asked: who will repair these nine months of imprisonment for this innocent man? That judge? Habeas Corpus is the guarantee of the Democratic Rule of Law to safeguard the freedom of any person unduly arrested.

In the wake of the thought of Minister Gilmar Mendes, the question is: who will repair the 580 days illegally detained, in the facilities of the Federal Police of Curitiba, suffered by President Lula? Besides the more than two hundred hours of defamatory propaganda published by Organizações Globo? Can this systematic and strategic defamation, perpetrated by the largest media outlet in the country, be considered “freedom of expression”? It is, at the very least, a broad and strong “fake news” system. Who will be indicted and convicted of this crime?

Gilmar Mendes also recorded that when Lava Jato began to institutionalize itself, as a true church, one of its militant actions was precisely to demonize the constitutional guarantee of Habeas Corpus. “But this is very dangerous for democratic societies, because it opens a road to totalitarianism”, said Gilmar. In addition, Lava Jato launched a popular campaign to collect signatures for the so-called “10 Measures”. Several people, including CEB's and progressive NGOs, signed this list without realizing the seriousness of the referred document. Among the fascist proposals of Moro and Dallagnol in these “10 Measures”, there was, for example, the annulment of Habeas Corpus, in addition to the introduction of Illicit Evidence that could be used as a reason for criminal conviction.

In that same period, Rede Globo opened its spotlights and microphones to one of the militant prosecutors of the “Lava Jato church” so that she could make her profession of faith in the media. The prosecutor propagated her sophistry in an interview reproduced in almost all of Globo's journalistic programs: "if congressmen do not fully approve the 10 Measures, it is proof that they are all corrupt".

According to the professor of Constitutional Law, Pedro Serrano, in a lapidary lecture given on TVT on the night of February 3, 2021, “the Mensalão process was the laboratory for the development of the technique of authoritarian exception measures in criminal proceedings – reduction of the standard evidence, hypernomy, punitive culture, figurative role of the defense, etc. – previously imposed on young black people from the periphery, through anti-drug legislation”. From Mensalão, this technique of exception measures was tested in political judgments – clearly in the judgment of José Genoíno, for example – demarcating the nefarious action of the right-wing populist authoritarian movement in the search for the replacement of the Democratic Rule of Law by a security State, guarantor of the well-being of the rich, through order and security, standardizing the narrative of national life by criminalizing the implicit and intrinsic political and social diversity of any democratic regime.

Lava Jato played a very relevant role in this process because it introduced the climate, which was already created in society, through the Mensalão and the street demonstrations of 2013 (techniques of the hybrid wars of the 2016st century), into politics and justice. Some tasks she fulfilled exemplary. For example, by raising the level of affective commotion in society, creating a kind of national discontent against the targets – Dilma and Lula – defined by its operators. In practice, the XNUMX Coup was much more judicial than parliamentary. Parliament would not have been able to formally consolidate the impeachment coup, without a proven crime of responsibility, if the climate of social commotion had not been built by the media and the judiciary.

Then, keeping its script, Lava Jato produced an exception process, within the democratic appearance, with two well-defined accusers – Moro acting as accusing “judge” (just think of the cover of Isto É magazine, from May 2017, where Moro appears as a boxer against ex-president Lula), and Dallagnol leading the group from Curitiba – in the persecutory process of condemnation of ex-president Lula. It has always been clear that former President Lula was treated as a being “below human” (homo sacer), without minimal political and legal protection of rights. The “evidence standard” was reduced with total disregard of his defense arguments. In other words, an appearance of a criminal process was set up, a mere make-up, a minimally legal guise, but with the material content of a tyrannical political action to combat and condemn the person of President Lula.

Last October 28, Thursday, the TSE decided to acquit the Bolsonaro-Mourão ticket, this time not for lack of evidence, but for lack of convictions. Would it be a kind of reverse car wash? According to Minister Alexandre de Moraes, “If there is a repetition of what was done in 2018, the registration will be revoked¸ and the people who do so will go to jail for attacking elections and democracy in Brazil. We will not allow these digital militias to do it again, trying to destabilize elections, democratic institutions based on undeclared spurious funding, based on undeclared economic interests”.

That is, the Court, despite having widely recognized the existence of the crimes (undue impulses + hidden financing), placed on the shoulders of the petitioning party the burden of not having proven the seriousness of the facts. Occurs, as stated by former Minister of Justice Eugênio Aragão, that his law firm requested the Court “to share information from the CPI on Fake News”, and such request was rejected by the minister of justice. Therefore, the Court denied the petition and then stated that the party had failed to prove it. In addition, according to Aragão, 25 (twenty-five) witnesses were requested, in addition to breaking bank and telematic secrecy to demonstrate the configuration of the scheme, and everything was denied. A very different procedure from the treatment given to the process against the Dilma-Temer ticket.

In the face of all this, there is a strong impression that Jair M. Bolsonaro continues to be “the evil favorite” of this Articulation. What to expect from the 2022 election, with Lula leading, as in 2018, the polls? Will there be a new electoral scam? Will they launch another stage of the hybrid coup?

*Alexandre Aragão de Albuquerque Master in Public Policy and Society from the State University of Ceará (UECE).


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