Anti government protesters took to the streets in Sao Paulo to vent their frustration with President Dilma Rousseff, whose government is mired in massive corruption scandals.
The protesters, bearing balloons and effigies representing the judge of the Federal Supreme Court Teori Zavascki, showed him hiding former president, Lula da Silva and the incumbent Dilma Rousseff behind him.
“This is the message we want to send with this puppet, we, Brazilians, are vigilant, as Brazilians we will monitor all the stages, from the first instance to the last instance the Federal Supreme Court takes,” said Carla Zambelli, member of the movement, ‘Ruas Nas’.
The protests are in response to the former president accepting installation as chief of staff to Rousseff, a move that automatically shields him from prosecution.
A cabinet position makes it impossible for Lula to be prosecuted without the permission of the Supreme Court — several of whose members were appointed by one or the other.
In a ruling last week, Justice Teori Zavascki — a Dilma Rousseff appointee — ordered Mr. da Silva’s corruption case be sent to the Supreme Court.
“The name of this puppet is Teoridra. It represents the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court called Teori Zavascki and represents hiding Lula and Dilma behind him. Why? Because he has recently taken a decision that protected Lula,” a protester quizzed.
Another judge, Sérgio Moro, was celebrated by protesters for prior convictions in the ‘Car Wash’ probe and for releasing tapes of Mr. da Silva discussing his rapid appointment with the president.
Mr. Zavascki’s decision effectively prevents Mr. Moro from arresting Mr. da Silva while the high court deliberates on whether the former president can fill a ministry post.
According to sources, Brazil’s Supreme Court is now stuck squarely in the middle of a drama pitting a crusading judge against politicians accused of pocketing bribes in the nation’s largest-ever corruption scandal.