A ‘soft coup’ is underway in Brazil. The United States has become increasingly emboldened in tightening their grip on protecting their interests in the region at the expense of democracy and the people’s sovereignty to choose their own governments. Accusations of corruption with no evidence and the imprisonment of the leading candidate, Lula of the Workers’ Party, have cast a somber cloud over the upcoming October elections. Through a variety of tactics, Brazil’s democracy is under siege.
City of Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil-In the Federal Police building, former President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva is in prison. His imprisonment is arbitrary and unjust. In October, the Brazilian people will vote for their next president. All polls show that Lula would win that race outright; he leads by twice the votes of his closest challenger. The arrest and imprisonment of Lula seems to be an attempt to prevent his candidacy for the presidency.
Outside the prison, a crowd has set up a settlement. They have named it the Marisa Leticia Encampment, in honour of Lula’s wife Marisa Leticia who died last year. All the work of the encampment is shared by its residents. They distribute food, clean, organise cultural activities, hold political debates and maintain security. Each day, in the morning and in the evening, they chant in a clear and loud voice – ‘Good Morning, President Lula’ and ‘Good Night, President Lula’. They are here as sentinels against the silencing of their democracy. Between the Encampment and the Prison is a gulf. One represents democracy and the other represents a coup.