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, 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.

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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.

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