Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva assumed the presidency of Brazil for the third time on January 1, 2023. The leader of the Workers’ Party (PT) delivered 2 speeches, the first before the National Congress and the second in front of the Planalto Palace, the seat of the Executive Power.
Brazilian fact-checking sites Agencia Lupa and Aos Fatos verified the president’s claims. Next, we share the main checks.
“In no other country the number of deaths [por COVID-19] it was as high in proportion to population as in Brazil” – False
In his speech before the Brazilian Congress, Lula criticized the management of the COVID-19 pandemic carried out by his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro. In this context, he assured that “in no other country the number of deaths [por COVID-19] it was as high in proportion to population as in Brazil.”
However, both Agencia Lupa and Aos Fatos confirmed that this is false. Based on the data collected on the Our World in Data platform (Oxford University), Brazil is the country with the 20th highest number of fatalities in proportion to its population. Until last December 31, 3,222 deaths per million inhabitants had been registered in that country.
If this source is considered, the worst indicators were recorded in Peru (6,409 deaths per million inhabitants), Bulgaria (5,619) and Bosnia Herzegovina (5,018).
“We generate more than 20 million jobs with formal contracts and all rights guaranteed” – Exaggerated
In his speech in front of the Planalto Palace, Lula referred to the achievements of the PT efforts. Within this framework, he assured: “We generate more than 20 million jobs with formal contracts and all rights guaranteed.”
Both Lupa and Aos Fatos made reference to data from the local Ministry of Economy. According to this source, in 2002, the last year before Lula’s first presidency, 28,638,913 people had registered employment. While in 2015, the last year of Dilma Rousseff’s administration, there were 48,060,807.
In this way, during the PT governments, 19.4 million people were incorporated into formal employment; no more than 20 million as the president said.
“We have more than doubled the number of students in higher education and opened the doors of universities to the poor youth of this country” – True
In addition, Da Silva referred to the improvements in the efforts of the Workers’ Party in access to university education.
Official data indicates that in 2002, the year before Lula took his first term, 3.5 million people attended Brazilian universities. In 2015, the last year of Rousseff’s presidency, registrations reached 8 million.. That is, more than double, as indicated by Agencia Lupa and Aos Fatos.
“We have accumulated reserves of around US$370 billion” – True
In this case, Lula once again referred to his administration and Rousseff’s as a whole.
According to data from the Brazilian Central Bank, in December 2015, the last full year of Rousseff’s presidency, the country had US$368.74 billion in reserves.
Meanwhile, as of December 31, 2010, the last day of Lula’s second presidency, the country’s international reserves reached US$288.570 million. See more here and here.
“125 million experience some degree of food insecurity, moderate to very severe. 33 million hungry” – True
In his speech in front of the Planalto Palace, Da Silva also referred to the social situation with which he begins his term. “125 million experience some degree of food insecurity, moderate to very severe. 33 million hungry,” she said.
The data comes from the Second National Survey of Food Insecurity in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Brazilas indicated by Aos Fatos and Agencia Lupa.
The survey conducted by the Brazilian Network for Research on Food and Nutrition Sovereignty and Security (Rede Penssan) between November 2021 and April 2022, showed that 125.2 million Brazilians suffer from some degree of food insecurity, that is, they are unable to have regular and permanent access to quality food and in sufficient quantity.
Aos Fatos clarified that it is not true that it is estimated that these 125.2 million people suffer from “moderate to very severe” food insecurity, as Lula said: the number includes 59,667 cases that experience “mild food insecurity”, according to the data from the same study.
Regarding the “33 million hungry” to which the Brazilian president referred, the figure comes from the same study, which identified 33.1 million people living in Brazil and living in a situation of “acute food insecurity ”, the equivalent of hunger.