“When there is such an overwhelming disaster and you see yourself as part of this disaster, you begin to question your whole life. Why so many years of sacrifice and struggle?” Congressman Fernando Gabeira expresses the feelings of many petistas – members or supporters of the Brazilian Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party / PT) – when they heard that the party they built or supported as an instrument of democratic, ethical politics, was governing on the basis of systematic corruption.
The Brazilian left is in a state of profound shock and confusion. Over the past two decades, hundreds of thousands of people have devoted their lives to creating the PT as a principled and forceful instrument of social justice against one of the most corrupt and unjust ruling elites in the world. Now they are being forced to come to terms with their own party’s lack of principle.