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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – After several days of widespread rumors, Brazil’s Central Bank stated last week that bills stamped with the image of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and the words "Free Lula" were not illegal and would not lose their value. Thousands of bills have been stamped with Lula’s portrait by sympathizers since the former President was arrested in April.

“Banknotes with scribbles, symbols or any strange marks remain valuable and can be exchanged or deposited in the banking network. The uncharacterized banknotes presented in the bank network will . . .

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