(7 Apr 2019) Thousands of supporters, many chanting "Free Lula," protested on Sunday outside the jail where former Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva is being held on the anniversary of his incarceration.
But many other Brazilians have chosen the day to celebrate the country's crackdown on corruption, with demonstrations across the country.
Da Silva is serving a 12-year sentence for corruption and money laundering.
He and his Worker's Party maintain he is innocent and say he was persecuted by the judiciary and political enemies in order to prevent him from running for president again.
The crowd of Lula supporters marched through the streets of Curitiba, finally arriving outside the federal police building, where he is serving his sentence.
The demonstrators vowed to keep on protesting "until Lula is free".
Meanwhile, on the boardwalk of Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana Beach, anti-corruption protests cheered Lula's continued incarceration.
"He is imprisoned because he committed a crime and he has to continue in prison" a teacher attending the protest in Rio said,.
"He robbed millions (of reais) from Brazil that should be paid back to the Brazilian people," Nathalia Viegas added.
Da Silva is the most prominent figure jailed in an anti-corruption investigation called Operation Carwash that has snared dozens of prominent politicians and business figures.
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