The Union of South American Nations issued a statement on defending former Brazilian President Lula Da Silva, amid a right-wing smear campaign against him alleging he is involved in a corruption scandal.
“UNASUR reiterates its call for the respect of the dignity and the right to a legitimate defense of ex-president Lula,” the Statement via it’s official Twitter account.
Several leaders of UNASUR member states have issued statements in support of Lula, including Ecuadorean head-of-state Rafael Correa who recently said that the charges against Lula formed part of coordinated strategy to undermine progressive governments in Latin America.
Under his administration (2003-2006 and 2007-2010), Lula was a key proponent in the formation of Unasur, which is a regional bloc officially created in May 2007 consisting of all of the mainland South American countries except French Guiana.
Lula is being accused of concealing assets, money laundering, and document forgery. However, the charges have been conclusively denied by Lula and his legal team.
His lawyer, Cristiano Zanin Martins, said on Thursday that there was a "media campaign" against the former president.
Last week, Lula was detained by police for questioning in a raid involving hundreds of officers that was criticized by diverse sectors of Brazilian society, including President Dilma Rousseff.
WATCH: Former Brazilian President Lula Detained for Questioning