This article first appeared in Revista Capital  on July 30, 2018.

When it seems that we are finally on the right path, strengthening anti-corruption policies and installing an agenda of probity, some compatriots deviate from this route and show inconsistencies between what they preach and then do.

Specifically, I´m talking about the support given by (former) Chilean authorities and current Chilean parliamentarians to the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, so that despite being convicted of corruption, he could run again for the presidency.

Yes, the former president may have friends like any other person, however, it is pertinent to remember that form does matter and even more so if there are authorities who supported motions to combat corruption in the country and then appear publicly giving support to Lula who, in addition to being investigated, is convicted in the first and second instance.

Lula was in charge of Brazil when the biggest corruption case of recent times broke out: the Lava Jato case. In this sense, the responsibility also falls on him. For example, if we take this situation to the private sector, it is known that if there is corruption within a company, the president of the firm steps aside almost naturally because he did not fulfill his duties of supervision and management. Even if he did not receive any money from Lula, he is still responsible for what happened in Brazil.

Under this explanation, this show of support by Chileans is so paradoxical that I wonder why when so many former presidents have been investigated – not even convicted – for corruption, mainly in Peru, a gesture like this one was not made.

Why should Lula be allowed to register his candidacy even though he is in prison? This isn´t a good sign neither for Brazil nor the world. He already had his chance and although he was widely recognized for the good he did to the country, he showed that he failed his people. It is time for him to take his punishment. He must make way for new generations to show that it is possible to govern without corruption. Brazil urgently needs a political cleansing and now is when this opportunity presents itself.

There is no justification whatsoever for Chilean politicians to interfere in what the Brazilian justice should deliberate, even more so if part of the same group of Chileans that supported him was named in the lists of investigations in the OAS case.

Enough of thinking that we are going to hurt sensitivities: let the Brazilian justice system continue doing its job as it has done so far.

By Susana Sierra