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Lula: Former Brazilian president surrenders to police

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva leaves the steelworkers 'union in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil April 7, 2018Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Lula has left the steelworkers ‘union in Sao Bernardo do Campo to give himself up to police

Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has surrendered to police to begin serving a 12-year sentence for corruption.

It follows a two-day stand-off that saw him take refuge in a steelworkers’ union building after missing a court deadline to hand himself in.

The 72-year-old walked out of the building near Sao Paolo and was taken away by police cars.

Scores of supporters had earlier blocked his car from leaving the scene.

Footage on Brazil’s GloboNews showed Lula and his bodyguards pushing through the dense crowd outside the union office, in the town of Sao Bernardo do Campo.

He will now be taken by police to a cell in the southern city of Curitiba.

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Media captionSupporters earlier blocked Lula’s car

Lula was the frontrunner for October’s presidential election but his jailing leaves the race wide open.

The former metalworker and trade union activist is an iconic figure for the left in Latin America. He was the first left-wing leader to make it to the Brazilian presidency in nearly half a century.

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