Hours before Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was charged in the midst of a corruption investigation, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center held a conference call on March 9 to discuss the increasing polarization in the country. The call featured Brazilian analysts Pedro Dias Leite, Politics Editor of Veja magazine; Gabriel Kohlmann, director of Prospectiva Consultancy; Fernando Mello, a Partner at Jota Consultancy; and it was moderated by Andrea Murta, Associate Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center.

Recent events involving Lula added tension to an already perfect storm engulfing Brazil. The country is facing a political crisis, an economic crisis, and a crisis of confidence. It is as ‘systemic’ as crises can get. There is growing uncertainty about the future of the country, and policymakers in Brasília seem paralyzed.

This timely call happened mere days after Lula’s temporary detention on March 4 for questioning provoked strong reactions from different sectors in Brazil, both in the political and in the economic arenas. Now, with fresh charges being brought against him, Lula’s battle with the Brazilian Justice could change things in Brazil completely.

The March 9 conference call also call launched the Atlantic Council’s Brazil Chat Series, which brings together high-level voices from Brazil for real-time analysis of breaking political and economic issues.