An appeals court in Porto Alegre voted to uphold the corruption conviction against former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Wednesday, January 24. Lula can appeal the decision in a higher court in a bid to avoid serving an almost decade-long prison sentence. He may also be barred from running in the October 2018 presidential elections, depending on the ruling of the electoral court. Supporters of Lula will likely stage demonstrations against the ruling in the coming days. Protests against him (and in support of the ruling) may also occur.
Clashes between protesters and security personnel, and/or rival protesters, along with other forms of violence and localized traffic disruptions are possible surrounding all protests.
Former President Lula da Silva was convicted of corruption and money laundering by a federal judge in July 2017. He was sentenced to nine and a half years in jail but remained free on appeal. Lula was president from 2003 to 2010 and, as the country's first working-class president, was and remains a popular figure among much of the population. His conviction is the highest-profile yet in a broad three-year corruption investigation in Brazil, called Operation Car Wash (Lava Jato). Lula's legal representatives have characterized the trial as a political witch-hunt, intended to keep him out of office.
Individuals in Brazil are advised to avoid any demonstrations due to the risk of violence and to keep abreast of the situation.
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