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Moro vs Lula case: operation Cosa Nostra in Brazil

Moro vs Lula: Everybody knew everything. But then we moved from the convictions to proof.

Jean Wyllys
13 June 2019
Demonstration in support of the Lava Jato operation and against former President Luiz Inacio Lula in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 7, 2019. Photo: Cris Faga / SIPA USA / PA Images. All rights reserved.

The revelations released by The Intercept Brazil released on the 9th June shook social media and left lawyers, journalists and political observes in an explosive state between indignation and stupefied silence and revealed with incontestable evidence, what everyone already knew.

Bolsonaro’s current minster of justice and ex federal judge of Curitiba, Sergio Moro, has crossed the limits of legality, ethics and morals by carrying out, together with the prosecutor of the Federal Public Ministry, Deltan Dallagnol, fraudulent operation and corrupt prosecutions. They coordinated both the trial and the accusations, following a pre-determined script leading to impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff and, above all, would lead to the imprisonment the former president Lula.

In other words, Moro, Dallagnol and other members of the Lavo Jato (Car Wash) operation acted like gangsters with the intention of destroying the Worker’s Party (PT) and, additionally, lining their pockets with money through speeches directed towards idiots, the anti-PT middle class and to the hypocritical plutocrats of the Río-Curitiba-São Paulo axis (without even taking into account the private fund that they wanted to create with the money from Petrobras that they sought to manage themselves). A complete Cosa Nostra operation!

In addition to claiming that these allegations are only the beginning the editor of The Intercept Brazil, Glenn Greenwald, has now reported that journalists will have guaranteed access to the information as a way of preventing threats and attacks towards them, and that the files with the evidence of the crimes perpetrated by the protagonists of Operation Lava Jato are lodged in a secure location. The information is “some of the best in the history of journalism”, containing “explosive secrets” in online chats, audio, videos, photos and documents about Deltan Dallagnol, Sergio Moro and “many powerful factions”.

The use of the term factions by the journalist Glenn Greenwald, winner of the Pulitzer prize, is no coincidence. And it is ironic that, after Dallagnol, he also referred to operation as “the tip of the iceberg”. The editor of The Intercept Brazil has plunged into the depths of the cases and has discovered the size of Lava Jato iceberg and the danger that this case represents for Brazilian democracy, already fatally damaged by the prosecutor.

The delay in reporting the findings of The Intercept Brazil in commercial media was understandable. However, the farce perpetrated by Moro, Dallagnol and other members of Lava Jato would not have gone so far – to the point that Brazil has elected a fascist as president of the republic and one who is taking the country to bankruptcy – if most of the commercial media were not so anti-PT, nor so partisan.

Until 22:30 on the 9th June the heads of the commercial press remained silent and seemed unable to react. They had no words, arguments, frameworks or narratives to “explain or justify “this gangster like operation, to which they served up so uncritically. In reality, they were waiting for those implicated in the scandal to provide them with an argument. And they did this, albeit in a very unconvincing way.

The editor of The Intercept Brazil has discovered the size of Lava Jato iceberg and the danger that this case represents for Brazilian democracy.

The program Fantástico – the self-proclaimed “show of life” – was the first one to take up one of the perspectives about crimes that Lava Jato had committed revealed by The Intercept Brazil and it divided commercial press (and which I will refer to below).

“Lawyers who were interviewed by Fantástico did not see illegality in the actions, only actions that were ethically questionable in the way of instructing of the former judge”. The lawyers work with the show of life are always willing to say what Fantástico wants them to say, in this case promoting the narrative that Moro is not a criminal, he is only “unethical”.

Not this time, show of life! Independence between the actors in a judicial process in the basis of what we call justice. And their lawyers know this, if they deny this principal, they are either incompetent or intellectually dishonest.

The Brazilian constitution and the Penal Code are clear, without any ambiguity, in affirming that the prosecutor and the judge cannot work together; it is up to the judge to impartially analyse the allegations of the prosecution and the defence, without any interest in the implications of the outcome. The conversations between Moro and Dallagnol – revealed in The Intercept Brazil- show that the current Minister of Justice has been involved in the work of the public prosecutor (which is prohibited, with the penalty of nullifying all his legal proceedings), acting informally as the prosecutor’s advisor. This is not just an ethnics question: it is also a legal question.

1024px-Juiz-sergio-moro-reforma-codigo-penal-F.width-800.jpg
Minister of Justice, Sérgio Moro, during a testimony in the commission of reform of the Code of Criminal Procedure in Brasilia, Brazil. March 30, 2017. PT Brasil / Wikimedia commons. All rights reserved.

As I said above, the press has already split itself between two narratives, based on their levels of independence or support for collusion of Lava Jato.

The Intercept revelations are being treated as a crime, with criticism being directed at the alleged hacking, but ignoring the illegal, immoral and unethical actions of the protagonists of Lava Jato, (this is the narrative chosen by Globo, Esadão, Joven pan, and of course of Sergio Moro and Deltan Dallagnol themselves) - as a matter of “public interest” the action of the hackers is somewhat irrelevant.

Particularly when compared to the actions of the judge, prosecutor and other public official acting like a gangsters in trying to overthrow a democratically elected president, arresting a former president and intervening in the results of an upcoming election (this correct narrative because it is coherent, it is the narrative told by The Intercept Brazil, Folha de São Paulo, the international press , influential legal experts and the majority of social media).

But what kind of morality does Rede Globo have if it uses audio illegally obtained by Lava Joto as news?

If at the moment the argument of the Jornal Nacional and Federal Public Prosecutor's Office was, to quote Dallagnol himself, privacy would be placed above public interest. Why should public interest be subject to the privacy of public officials who act like gangsters?

In an attempt to discredit the seriousness of the alleged crimes, Minster Moro is using his well-known journalist platform - the Antagonist – to make a weak attempt at defence. Stuck between cynicism and fear, I think Moro is scared. The attempt to discredit the accusations is a symptom of desperation, since Glenn Greenwald announced that matter was only just beginning. New information is coming to life! The minister better be preparing.

Dallagnol went further than Moro in his cynicism: “The Lava Jato prosecutors will not surrender to the immoral and illegal intrusion, extortion or attempt to distort their personal and professional lives,” he wrote on twitter

Could there be a worse statement than this? Dallagnol is immoral, what he did was illegal. Lava Jato distorted and exposed many people’s professional lives, many of whom had their defence pleas ignored, like in the case of Lula.

And to those who illegally obtained and divulged the audio of a conversation between Dilma and Lula during the investigations and on the eve of the impeachment process, who now whine on twitter about the escaping gangsters, it is at least poor cynicism. And in fact, the information delivered to The Intercept Brazil may have come from a hacker from with the Lava Jato organisation.

In Glenn Greenwald’s defence of the alleged “crime” he uses Deltan Dallagnol’s defence, when he sought to defend his illegal actions in the obtaining the recorded conversation of the former president. Dallagnol argued that “In a conflict between the right to release of information that exposes a serious crime for public good and the right to privacy, public interest always wins”. Therefore, Greenwald was right to release the information!

Intercept Brazil and other people who are reporting about the collusion of Lava Jota against Lula have since been subject to abuses from accounts which are pro Bolsonaro and also fake profiles or robots. In addition to the insults, the attackers have restored to fake news and conspiracy theories in order to intimidate the news sites and the public figures who demand explanations from Dallagnol and Sergio Moro about their collusion to hurt the former president.

Only this time, those who are performing orchestrated attacks in support of Bolsonaro are in a worse position. Their silence on the matter alongside the fake news and threats has not worked. The hashtag #VazaJato has been trending on twitter since the scandal broke.

The Lava Jato operation – which for a long time has been showing signs of working like a mob – has finally began to fall apart. Their operation was key to the rise of Bolsonaro’s fascism. So much so that Moro became the Minister of Justice. And because of this the system that supports fascism started defending the crimes committed by Vaza Jato and tried to intimidate those who are reporting these crimes. But that system is losing. #VazaJato.

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