The Brazilian press are today focusing on, or perhaps I should say, celebrating, the condemnation of Jose Dirceu, Lula’s former chief of staff who was this week found guilty of corruption in Brazil’s mensalao trial.

The focus for foreign journalists is quite different. We are writing about what this means.

Here’s my piece in today’s Time.com. It’s perhaps best summed up by this quote, from Christopher Garman of the Eurasia consultancy group.

“The mere fact that you have a trial like this is part of a bigger story. The bigger story is that Brazil is starting to implement greater checks and balances and more oversight of public officials when it comes to  corruption and misuse of public funds.”

Another good piece well worth a read is by Simon Romero of the NYT. His piece is here and deals with the mensalao and Brazil’s justice system in general.

Meanwhile, this piece on Reuters deals with what this means to (the once teflon?) Lula.