Latin American leaders congratulated Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday for winning Brazil’s runoff presidential election after the Supreme Electoral Court called the race in his favor.
Lula, who was jailed on corruption charges that were annulled by the Supreme Court last year, beat incumbent far-right President Jair Bolsonaro with 50.9% of the vote in one of the country’s most polarized elections in decades. Bolsonaro garnered 49.1%.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was one of the first Latin American leaders to congratulate the former union leader who served as president from 2003 to 2010.
“Lula won, blessed the people of Brazil. There will be equality and humanism,” Lopez Obrador said on his Twitter account.
Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez also congratulated Lula, saying his “victory opens a new era for the history of Latin America.”
“A time of hope and future begins today. Here you have a partner to work and dream big for the good life of our peoples,” Fernandez said on social media.
From the capital Caracas, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro celebrated “the victory of the Brazilian people.”
“Long live the people determined to be free, sovereign and independent! Today in Brazil, democracy triumphed,” he said.
According to Bolivia’s President Luis Arce, Lula’s victory will “strengthen democracy and Latin American integration.”
He said the incoming Brazilian president will lead the people “on the path of peace, progress and social justice.”
Colombia’s leftist President Gustavo Petro celebrated with “Long live Lula,” and Chile’s head of state Gabriel Boric tweeted a photo of Lula’s hand touching the Brazilian flag with a message that said “Lula. Joy.”
Pedro Castillo, who was sworn in as Peru’s president in July 2021, said Lula’s victory “is fundamental to strengthen the unity of Latin America.”
Brazil’s new president joins a new wave of leftist leaders who have come to power in Mexico, Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia and Honduras, a shift that promises to reshape the region’s politics in the coming years.