Brazil's ex-president ordered to turn himself in

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Supporters of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reacted to the news that he will be jailed by blocking off highways in at least 13 of Brazil's 27 states on Friday.

Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Friday spent his last hours before a 12-year prison sentence surrounded by supporters who vowed to fight for his right to run in a presidential race he is now leading. They argue they have not exhausted procedural appeals and painted the case as an effort to remove Lula from the presidential race he leads.

Two sources close to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tell The Associated Press that he will not travel to the city of Curitiba to turn himself in to authorities.

"Lula" continues to be hunkered down at a metallurgical union in the Sao Paulo suburb of Sao Bernardo do Campo. Party leader Gleisi Hoffmann said the Supreme Court's denial of Lula's petition violated "constitutional law and the presumption of innocence" and made Brazil "look like a little banana republic".

However, he said that it is "very likely" that the surrendering will take place in Sao Paulo, given that the former ruler is at the headquarters steelworkers union in metropolitan Sao Paulo, and it is not clear whether he will comply with Moro's order and will surrender willingly in Curitiba.

Hundreds of die-hard supporters, dressed in the trademark red shirts of Lula's Workers Party, surrounded the union building on Friday afternoon.

Lula, who grew up poor and with little formal education before becoming a trade union leader and politician, has always said he will go down fighting.

Many of those in the crowd, including workers, students and land rights activists, camped overnight Thursday in the streets. The people that have stuck by Lula through all the scandals are mostly the ones who have been with him through his political career - not the upper-middle class and economic elite that helped elect him more than 15 years ago.

He left office with sky-high approval of 83 percent and was called "the most popular politician on Earth" by former U.S. President Barack Obama.

However, there were celebrations on the right and among prosecutors supporting the epic "Car Wash" probe, which has revealed high-level corruption throughout Brazilian business and politics over the last four years.

Last year, Moro convicted Lula of trading favours with a construction company in exchange for the promise of a beachfront apartment.

Under Brazilian electoral law, a candidate is forbidden from running for office for eight years after being found guilty of a crime.

The court's decision was met by protests both in for and against Lula, representing a deep divide within the country.

Cassio Goncalves, a labour safety specialist at the union headquarters, said the Workers party had not considered alternatives in the presidential race.

"We have no other plan", he said.

" We're here to offer Lula power to withstand", mentioned Maria Aparecida Mattos, 49, who explained she certified for assisted housing as a single working mommy under certainly one among Mr. da Silva's flagship plans.