Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

A 42-foot, 660-pound balloon is a symbol of Brazil's problems

A 42-foot, 660-pound balloon is a symbol of Brazil's problems

When “Pixuleco” made his first public appearance at a Brasilia protest in August 2015, he became an instant star.

The 42-foot, 660-pound inflatable version of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, complete with a black-and-white striped prison jumpsuit, drew not only stares, but also chuckles, as it floated above protesters calling for the ouster of Lula’s successor, then-President Dilma Rousseff.

“It wasn’t just that it was this funny caricature of Lula, it was also the size that made it stand out,” said Ana Lucia Palma, who first saw Pixuleco in photographs from Brasilia and then in person as the inflatable hovered over Sao Paulo. “It represented the...

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