Key Lula aides convicted in Brazil's 'mensalão' corruption trial

The trial is a victory for Brazil's judicial system in fighting impunity for corruption, but in the midst of municipal elections the convictions could serve as a setback for Workers Party candidates.

Eraldo Peres/AP/File
Former Cabinet Chief Jose Dirceu, left, testifies before an ethics council of the Congress Lower House in Brasilia, Brazil, in this file photo.

• A version of this post ran on the author's blog, bloggingsbyboz.com. The views expressed are the author's own.

A top Brazilian court convicted Jose Dirceu, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's chief of staff from 2003 to 2005, and Jose Genoino, former head of the Workers Party, in one of Brazil's biggest corruption cases ever. The New York Times describes the trial as a victory for Brazil's judicial institutions in fighting impunity for corruption, something that has long gone unpunished at higher levels.

RELATED: How much do you know about Brazil? Take our quiz to find out!
 
In the middle of a big second round municipal election campaign, particularly in São Paulo, Lula is meeting with candidates and trying to overcome the political obstacles that this trial is putting in place.

– James Bosworth is a freelance writer and consultant who runs Bloggings by Boz.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.