Ask a Brazilian: Corruption and Lula
April 3, 2009
This is our regular column called "Ask a Brazilian", the idea being that you can quite literally ask a question of a Brazilian - for those issues you aren't sure about but perhaps dare not ask someone else. It is meant as a bit of fun and answers should not be construed as expert opinion or the definitive reply on the matter. For that reason we ask you to please send your own comments and experiences in order to add to our replies.
Is the justice system as corrupt and as slow at they say it is? Do bribes work? Can a foreigner insist on seeing a judge or are they inaccessible to mere mortals?
It can be slow and corrupt, but of course it all depends on where you are (always keep that in mind), who you are, and what is it all about. In short, its hard to generalise.
I know some subjects are taken seriously, particularly in Sao Paulo, like employment issues and parenthood. You can trust justice for the employee and children, always. Exceptions even to that exist though, like the Sean Goldman case (the Brazilian family that the American David Goldman is fighting against are VERY VERY VERY powerful).
I dont really think bribes are that straightforward, but Im sure that large amounts of money can buy anything, not only in Brazil let me say. Bribes can work, but not for mere mortals with small amounts of cash.
If youre fighting against another mere mortal, you shouldnt be afraid. Get a good lawyer and trust.
Thanks for your question,
I was just wondering, on a kind of serious, heavy note (!) what the general views are in Brazil on the President, Lula? And do these views differ between classes much? I get the impression that hes obviously very liked by the lower classes and the poorest citizens as he is originally one of them and has shared their experience, and his Bolsa Familia program definitely carries merit. However, given that there is a lack of real growth, just stability, in the economy and that the Bolsa only reaches a percentage of the poor, and does not deploy huge amounts of money by comparison to the spending on paying back foreign debt, while his legislation on pensions for public sector workers takes away many benefits for people already badly-paid, is it possible to say that he really is a man of the people, or a "worker" president? Do most Brazilians believe he has sold out in some ways, or not met the promises of his mandate? Im finding it hard to see through all the information available to reach any kind of decision about him, there seem to be two sides to everything ever said about him, and I really, really want to know what the experience has been for the Brazilian on the street, no matter their social class!!
I'm afraid the general view couldn't be better, Lula had 90% of approval last year. 90%!
As you said, he is very much liked by the lower classes and the poorest citizens, who THINK he is one of them.
Is he? Nooooo! Does everybody love him? No. But like anywhere in the world, most people don't understand or have any interest in politics. If they have a job, money... who cares? They love Lula. The economy was never so good, the Real was never so strong, the middle class was never so huge... life is good.
But what about him governing Brazil with Hugo Chavez??? What about that????
That is unacceptable! Why is he doing that??? Does Brazil need Venezuela for anything????
Dont waste your time searching the papers for commentary against Lula as the media protect him like a Mom. The other day he was complaining about the media pressure over the Foro de Sao Paulo, "oh, the media are being very bad with me". It makes me laugh.
Anyway, let me say that Lula is supported by the most powerful elite there is, interested on the integration of South America, and other region unifications, having a centralized economy, with very bad education and lots of ignorants (90%) applauding.
I'm sorry to say that, but the real Lula is a real traitor. He not only doesn't care about the poor but he uses the Bolsa Familia to gain votes. That is the truth!
As you may have guessed, I'm a chronic disbeliever, so I will finish this with a quote by G Massey that I love: "They must find it difficult, to those who have taken authority as the truth, rather than truth as the authority"
Thanks for your question,
As an avid reader of Gringoes.com and your column, I would like to remind some of our gringo friends living in Brazil that Brazilians are less corrupt than us gringoes here in the States. America is no paradise either.
Please be a little firmer to those who often question the integrity and honesty of most Brazilians by reminding them of the greatest corruption schemes of our modern history like, the Enron case and most recently, the ones at Wall Street. I do not need to explain as a Brazilian-American who has been living in the States for over 30 years about the damage inflicted on our lives by those often referred as the "Honest Americans".
Please give the Brazilians a break and look in the he mirror more often. And as in any country, always ask yourself before making important decisions, if something is too good to be true, probably it isnt.
Lets be careful out there!
That is it. I find it so awful when people say Brazilians are this and that. We all have the same leaders, none of them care, thats why we have to unite, and be as one. The same ones.
Thank you so much for your reply!
Are there any burning questions you have about Brazil, or other issues that you're curious about, such as Brazilian culture? If so, send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Ask a Brazilian" in the subject. We will forward to our Brazilian experts, and publish the best questions (and replies) on the site.
Previous articles in this series:
Ask a Brazilian: Lacking Change and I Touch Myself
Ask a Brazilian: Leather and Telephones
Ask a Brazilian: Tampons
Ask a Brazilian: Treatment of Animals
Ask a Brazilian: A Brazilian CV
Ask a Brazilian: Well-to-do Ladies
Ask a Brazilian: Gender Stereotypes
Ask a Brazilian: All Souls Day and Halloween
Ask a Brazilian: Answering a Question
Ask a Brazilian: Revoked Visa
Ask a Brazilian: Pedestrian Problems
Ask a Brazilian: Trash
Ask a Brazilian: Tiles
Ask a Brazilian: Headlights
Ask a Brazilian: Differences and Love
Ask a Brazilian: What Do the Police Do?
Ask a Brazilian: Contractor Frustrations
Ask a Brazilian: English Books and Brazilian Boys
Ask a Brazilian: Cold Caçhaca
Ask a Brazilian: Interruptions
Ask a Brazilian: Travel and Security Concerns
Ask a Brazilian: Gestures and Toys
Ask a Brazilian: Hispanics or Latinos, and Duvets
Ask a Brazilian: Overbearing Sogros
Ask a Brazilian: Hotels and Bank Transfers
Ask a Brazilian: Swimming, Showers and New Years
Ask a Brazilian: Making Friends
Ask a Brazilian: Female Etiquette
Ask a Brazilian: Washing Machines
Ask a Brazilian: Picking Teeth
Ask a Brazilian: Lozenge or Candy?
Ask a Brazilian: Liberal or Jealous?
Ask a Brazilian: Truck Wheels
Ask a Brazilian: Tolerance
Ask a Brazilian: Screens
Ask a Brazilian: Brazilian Wax
Ask a Brazilian: Flashing Lights
Ask a Brazilian: Lemon and Limes
Ask a Brazilian: Shocking Showers