Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva on Friday slammed Brazilian news outlet Rede Globo, the largest corporate television network in South America, for attacking his character.
Lula said that Rede Globo, like other mainstream media outlets, serve to uphold elites who are opposed to progressive politicians, like himself. The former president, who is slated to run for reelection in 2018 representing the leftist Workers’ Party, has vowed to combat false narratives about his candidacy.
“Since they've decided to try to destroy my biography, something I only owe to the people, not them, they'll have to confront me, yet again, in the streets of this country,” Lula said during a speech at the Bank Worker's Union.
“I won't allow them to continue lying. The desire of my life is to compete in the elections against the candidate promoted by Rede Globo.”
Many mainstream media outlets, including Rede Globo, have claimed that Lula is implicated in the ongoing Odebrecht scandal. Odebrecht, Brazil’s largest construction conglomerate, has been found guilty of running an international bribery network to win work contracts across Latin America.
Lula, however, claims their alleged evidence of his complicity is unsubstantiated.
In an interview with Brasil de Fato published in April, Lula’s attorney, Cristiano Zanin, argued that leaks on certain cases combined with an elite-aligned corporate media agenda whip up public opinion to paint figures like Lula as corrupt by “removing the presumption of innocence.”
A recent DataFolha poll shows Lula leading voting intentions for the 2018 presidential election with 29 percent to 31 percent of votes. The poll comes as Brazil's President of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia, summoned a special commission to analyze a constitutional amendment proposal that would essentially postpone Brazil's presidential election until 2020.
Lula, considered one of Brazil’s most popular presidents, left office with a 90 percent approval rating.