Argentina’s Kirchner leads call to free Brazil’s Lula

BUENOS AIRES (AFP) – Presidential frontrunner Alberto Fernandez and running-mate Cristina Kirchner led calls by dozens of Argentine personalities on Tuesday to free Brazil’s jailed leftist icon Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Human rights activists, lawmakers, trade unionists, artists and scientists signed a petition published in Pagina 12 daily.

They included Nobel Peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, president of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo Estela Carlotto and the leader of the Families of the Disappeared, Lita Boitano.

“It is a very big clamour for freedom in the face of an injustice, such as the detention and conviction of Lula da Silva, which implies that Brazil continues to be in a state of emergency,” said Nicolas Trotta, the rector of the Metropolitan University for Education and Labor, one of the organisers of the petition.

Fernandez, the favourite to unseat President Mauricio Macri in upcoming elections, visited Lula last month in Curitiba prison.