In a Veiled Threat, Brazilian Military Denounce Lula for Corruption

Since relinquishing in 1985 the power they held for 21 years, the Brazilian Military have been for the most part silent observers of the situation.

The persistent cases of corruption among the higher echelons of the Legislative and the Executive, however, seems to have led some of the military leaders to sound an alarm that may be also seen as a threat.

The Military Club, an organization that brings together the three armed forces (Army, Navy and Air Force), has posted in their homepage a note condemning corruption among politicians and what they see as impunity. According to the document, there is a "sensation of imminent danger to democracy."

The note dated September 21, is signed by the presidents of the Naval, Military and Air Force clubs, respectively, admiral José Julio Pedrosa, general Gilberto de Figueiredo and lieutenant brigadier Ivan Moacyr da Frota.

The military start the note by mentioning the 2005 "mensalão (big monthly allowance) scandal" commenting: "the nation has watched everything, stunned by the effrontery of public men and government members".

And they continue "From then on, every day new scandals became public, always implicating people near the Government, the President or his Party." "The series of smutty cases and of corruption acts no longer surprise the honest Brazilian."

The military also denounce what they see as impunity: the dismissal of publics posts "were never followed by full investigation and the necessary punishments".

In an overt condemnation of the president, the military note the closeness of those implicated to the presidency and observe that corruption has become a way to remain in power.

"This week there is a new scandal. An attempt to implicate two candidates to executive positions with the "ambulances purchase case", by means of a fraudulent negotiation of an alleged "dossier". Blackmail or charge, but with the obvious intention of disqualifying electoral competitors. Once again implicating a President aide, important people in the hierarchy of his party and money of dubious  origin."

The document ends on the somber remark that there is "imminent danger to democracy." The military use the note to "stress the importance of the coming elections" and to ask voters to use the October 1st elections for "sanitizing the national political life".

Curiously, the homepage offers a poll with the question: Who would you vote for President?  From more than 300 respondents only 16% chose Lula. Geraldo Alckmin gets 68% and Heloí­sa Helena and Cristovam Buarque get 8% each.

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