Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva spent yesterday behind bars – and his cell was in the headquarters of the giant anti-graft probe that brought him down.
The first day of the former president's 12-year sentence marked the downfall of once one of the world's most popular politicians.
Although Brazilian presidents of recent history have routinely ended up in trouble – impeached, brought down by a coup and even one suicide – Lula is the first to have been convicted of corruption and locked up.
His new home is a roughly 160 square foot (15 metre square) cell in the federal police headquarters in Curitiba, the southern city where the "Car Wash" probe is based.
Named after a service station where agents initially uncovered a relatively small money laundering operation, "Car Wash" has turned into one of the world's biggest ever examples of such a probe, netting scores of top politicians, some of Brazil's richest businessmen, and sending shock waves through Latin America.
Lula was found guilty last year of taking a luxury apartment as a bribe from a construction company and is "Car Wash's" biggest scalp – though Lula says the conviction was rigged.
The former two-term president arrived by police helicopter on the roof of the lock-up in Curitiba late Saturday.
As the helicopter landed, demonstrators outside let off volleys of fireworks, while riot police fired tear gas, filling the air with explosions and smoke. Eight people were lightly injured, including one hit by a rubber bullet, the fire department said.
It was a fittingly chaotic end to four days of intense tension as Brazil wondered whether the Workers' Party founder would finally be put behind bars.
On Saturday, he agreed to be taken into custody, only to find himself blockaded by his own supporters, with a crowd mobbing his car, shouting "Don't surrender, stay here Lula!"
At last, surrounded by bodyguards, Lula pushed through the seething throng of supporters on foot late Saturday, then got into a police vehicle and was taken to Sao Paulo airport for the flight to Curitiba.
A jail cell with extremely good conditions by the standards of Brazil's often violent, desperately overcrowded prisons – including a hot private shower and toilet – awaited him.
After his arrest, fireworks and cheering broke out in parts of Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and other cities among those who long considered Lula responsible for the tide of graft sweeping over Brazilian politics.
But supporters cried openly at the exit of a man they remember for removing tens of millions of people from poverty and for connecting with voters in a way few, if any, other modern Brazilian politicians have managed.
Today, anyone convicted and losing a first appeal -- which is Lula's case -- has to conduct any further appeals in prison. But there is pressure to change that so that higher court appeals could be pursued in liberty, which would mean freedom for Lula.