Brazil is not for the emotionally faint-hearted, and the imprisonment of ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, was certainly not short of drama.

As is so often the case in today’s complex world, there were sharply conflicting narratives in play and, with both sides clearly mindful about the images that the arrest scenario was generating, nothing was quite as spontaneous as it seemed.

On the one side, a sizeable chunk of Brazil’s population saw an institutionally unfair judiciary in league with a powerful elite deny ordinary Brazilians their democratic choice of voting for Lula, who holds a commanding lead in opinion polls.