Scholz comes from Chile, where he promised the government German support in setting up a memorial for the victims of the former cult settlement of Colonia Dignidad.
The left-wing Lula, who was only sworn in at the beginning of January, has made climate protection a priority for his government and has promised to completely stop deforestation in the Amazon region by 2030. He also wants to expand the use of green energies. The talks with Scholz should therefore focus in particular on climate issues, cooperation on energy policy and green hydrogen, and the defense of democracy.
A few days after Lula took office in January, supporters of his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro stormed the government district in Brasília with the aim of overthrowing Lula. After more than 2,000 arrests, the Brazilian judiciary is currently faced with the mammoth task of bringing hundreds of those responsible to justice.
Scholz wants to stay in Brazil until Tuesday, the last stop on his four-day trip to South America, which has already taken him to Argentina and Chile. The goal of Scholz' trip is primarily new partnerships in the area of supplying raw materials and energy sources. This should make Germany's supply of rare earths or lithium more independent of countries like China. Scholz is accompanied by around a dozen German company representatives.
In Argentina, Scholz had already pushed for a quick agreement on a free trade agreement with the South American confederation Mercosur on Saturday, which has been negotiated for over two decades but has not yet been ratified. The agreement with current Mercosur members Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay and their combined population of 300 million would create the largest free trade area in the world. However, there is also opposition to the agreement in its current form from the German Environmental Aid, which insists on more rainforest protection.
Development Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) has been in Brazil since Saturday and met trade union representatives and industry over the weekend. "We will support the new Brazilian government with significantly more resources than the previous government under President Bolsonaro," she said before leaving. In addition to taking part in the talks with Scholz and Lula, Schulze is in Brazil meeting with other cabinet members of the Lula government, including the head of the newly established Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, Sonia Guajajara.
The Ukraine war is also an important topic in Scholz's trip to South America. In Chile, he praised the government there for its "very clear stance in condemning Russian aggression". In Santiago, Scholz recalled that the Russian war of aggression was "not a purely European matter, but a challenge for the international order as a whole". The war has far-reaching consequences, for example with regard to raw material prices and food security.
In Chile, Scholz also promised the government of President Gabriel Boric support in building a memorial for the victims of the former German sect settlement Colonia Dignidad. In the sectarian settlement founded in 1961, people were raped, tortured and killed during the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet from 1973 to 1990. The settlement was founded by former Wehrmacht corporal and lay preacher Paul Schäfer who had fled Germany.