A Brazilian federal judge has issued an arrest warrant for former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
Thursday’s warrant comes several hours after the country’s top court denied a request by da Silva to stay out of prison while he appealed a corruption conviction.
Brazil’s Supreme Court rules ex-president Lula can be jailed while appealing corruption conviction
Judge Sergio Moro gave da Silva 24 hours to present himself to federal police in the southern city of Curitiba.
Last year, Moro convicted da Silva of trading favours with a construction company in exchange for the promise of a beachfront apartment. That conviction was upheld by an appeals court in January.
Earlier Thursday, the head of Brazil’s Workers’ Party warned that jailing da Silva would turn Latin America’s largest nation into a “banana republic.” Da Silva’s lawyers put out several statements saying they were filing injunctions in hopes of keeping him out of prison.
Despite the conviction and several other charges against him, da Silva leads preference polls ahead of the presidential election in October.
Da Silva, president between 2003 and 2010, is the latest of many high-profile people to be ensnared in possibly the largest corruption scandal in Latin American history. Over the last four years, Brazilians have experienced near weekly police operations and arrests of elite, from top politicians to businessmen like former Odebrecht CEO Marcelo Odebrecht.