68 Facts About Lula


Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, commonly known mononymously as Lula, is a Brazilian politician and former union leader who served as the 35th president of Brazil from 2003 to 2010.

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Lula was a founding member of the left-wing Workers' Party and ran unsuccessfully for president three times before achieving victory in the 2002 Brazilian general election.

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In May 2021, Lula stated that he would run for a third term in the 2022 Brazilian general election, against the incumbent president Jair Bolsonaro.

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Lula's administration was plagued by corruption scandals, notably the Mensalao scandal and Escandalo dos Sanguessugas in his first term.

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Lula has been called one of the most popular politicians in Brazilian history and while in office was one of the most popular in the world.

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In 2011, Lula, who was a smoker for 40 years, was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent chemotherapy, leading to a successful recovery.

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In early 2016, Lula was appointed Chief of Staff under Rousseff, but Justice Gilmar Mendes of the Supreme Federal Court blocked the appointment due to ongoing federal investigations at the time.

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In July 2017, Lula was convicted on charges of money laundering and corruption in a controversial trial, and sentenced to nine and a half years in prison.

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Lula attempted to run in the 2018 presidential election, but was disqualified under Brazil's "Clean Slate" Law.

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All of the cases Moro had brought against Lula were annulled by 24 June 2021, allowing him to run for president again in the 2022 elections.

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Lula was the seventh of eight children of Aristides Inacio da Silva and Euridice Ferreira de Melo.

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Two weeks after Lula's birth, his father moved to Santos, Sao Paulo, with Valdomira Ferreira de Gois, a cousin of Euridice.

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In December 1952, when Lula was only 7 years old, his mother decided to move to Sao Paulo with her children to rejoin her husband.

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In 1974, Lula had a daughter, Lurian, with then girlfriend, Miriam Cordeiro.

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In 1974, Lula married Marisa Leticia Rocco Casa, a widow with whom he then had three sons.

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Janja and Lula met while he was serving time in jail in Curitiba, Parana, due to corruption charges that were later dropped.

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Lula did not learn to read until he was ten years old and quit school after the second grade to work and help his family.

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Lula lost the little finger on his left hand at 19 in an accident, while working as a press operator in an automobile parts factory.

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Lula was elected in 1975, and reelected in 1978, as president of the Steel Workers' Union of Sao Bernardo do Campo and Diadema.

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On 10 February 1980, a group of academics, intellectuals, and union leaders, including Lula, founded the Partido dos Trabalhadores or Workers' Party, a left-wing party with progressive ideas created in the midst of Brazil's military government.

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Lula first ran for office in 1982, for the state government of Sao Paulo, and lost.

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In 1989, still as a Congressman, Lula ran as the PT candidate in the first democratic elections for president since 1960.

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Lula was viewed as the more left-leaning of the two, advocating immediate land reform and a default on the external debt.

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Lula refused to run for re-election as a Congressman in 1990, busying himself with expanding the Workers' Party organizations around the country.

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At the 1 October 2006 general elections, Lula came within a few thousand votes of being reelected in a single round.

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Lula served two terms as president from 2003 through 2010 and left office on 1 January 2011.

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Lula put social programs at the top of his agenda during the campaigns and after election.

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Lula launched a housing aid program that was far superior in scope to the policies developed until then.

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In 2003, Lula formed Bolsa Familia by combining Bolsa Escola with additional allowances for food and kitchen gas.

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Lula chose Henrique Meirelles of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, a prominent market-oriented economist, as head of the Brazilian Central Bank.

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Lula's government achieved a satisfactory primary budget surplus in the first two years, as required by the IMF agreement, exceeding the target for the third year.

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Lula then appointed Guido Mantega, a member of the PT and an economist by profession, as finance minister.

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Not long after the start of his second term, Lula's government announced the Growth Acceleration Program, an investment program to solve many of the problems that prevented the Brazilian economy from expanding more rapidly.

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Palocci was no longer needed to calm the nerves of overseas investors and Lula had never liked and somewhat feared Jose Dirceu, a virtuoso of cold political calculation and intrigue.

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Under Lula, Brazil became the world's eighth-largest economy, more than 20 million people rose out of acute poverty and Rio de Janeiro was awarded the 2016 Summer Olympics, the first time the Games will be held in South America.

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Lula gained increasing stature in the Southern hemisphere through economic growth in Brazil.

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Lula travelled to more than 80 countries during his presidency.

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Lula was considered to have pulled off a major coup with Turkey in regards to getting Iran to send its uranium abroad in contravention of western calls.

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Lula's administration was plagued by corruption scandals, notably the Mensalao scandal and Escandalo dos Sanguessugas in his first term.

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Lula stated on Brazilian public television that he knew nothing about the scandals.

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Lula's administration was heavily criticized for relying on local political barons, like Jose Sarney, Jader Barbalho, Renan Calheiros and Fernando Collor to ensure a majority in Congress.

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Lula said that he and his party were being politically persecuted.

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On 14 September 2016, prosecutors filed corruption charges against Lula, accusing him of being the mastermind or 'maximum commander of the scheme'.

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On 11 May 2017, Lula answered a summons by appearing in Curitiba and was questioned by Moro.

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Thousands of Lula supporters went to Curitiba, together with Dilma Rousseff.

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Lula faced other charges, including money laundering, influence peddling and obstruction of justice.

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Lula's lawyer accused the judge of bias and the judge replied that nobody, not even the former president, should be above the rule of law.

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The court ruled that Lula must begin serving the sentence relating to 12 July 2017 conviction, despite not having exhausted all of his appeals.

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Lula failed to turn himself in at the scheduled time, but he did so on the following day on 7 April 2018.

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Lula's imprisonment led to the formation of the Free Lula Movement.

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Ro Khanna asked the Trump administration to investigate Lula's case, saying that "Moro was a bad actor and part of a larger conspiracy to send Lula to jail".

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On 8 November 2019, Lula was released from prison after 580 days when a Brazilian Supreme Court decided to end mandatory imprisonment of convicted criminals after their first appeal failed.

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On 28 July 2016, Lula filed a 39-page petition with the UN's Human Rights Committee outlining alleged abuses of power.

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The petition stated that "Lula is a victim of abuse of power by a judge, with the complicity of prosecutors and the media".

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Lula argued that the Brazilian Supreme Court had narrowly adopted its ruling with only six votes against five, which "shows the need for an independent court to examine if the presumption of innocence was violated" in his case.

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Lula was treated with radiation, and the cancer went into remission.

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Lula announced his recovery in March 2012, as well as his return to politics.

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Contrary to rumors, Lula stated in early 2013 that he was not a presidential candidate, supporting Dilma Rousseff for a second term.

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On 21 January 2021 Lula said that he tested positive for COVID-19 while participating in the filming of an Oliver Stone documentary in Cuba, five days after arriving on the island.

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Lula did not need hospital admission and was able to recover.

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On 13 March 2021, Lula received his first dosage of the CoronaVac vaccine.

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In 2017, Lula announced he would stand as the Workers' Party candidate for president again in the 2018 election.

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Lula negotiated a national coalition with the PCdoB and regional alliances with the Socialist Party.

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Actor Sergio Mamberti read a letter written by Lula, who was unable to attend because of his prison sentence.

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Lula's candidacy was denied by the Superior Electoral Court on 31 August 2018, when the majority of the seven-judge panel voted to bar Lula from running in the presidential race.

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On 11 September 2018, Lula officially dropped out of the election and was replaced by Fernando Haddad, whom Lula endorsed.

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In May 2021, Lula stated that he would run for a third term in the October 2022 general election, against the incumbent President Jair Bolsonaro, with opinion polls at the end of July 2021 suggesting he would comfortably beat Bolsonaro.

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Lula advocated "socialism of the 21st century", but lulism is considered to be substantially similar to social liberalism.

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