| 29-05-2017

Repression against social and political struggles escalate

Under the pretext of "ensuring law and order", the fundamental rights of Brazilians are being violated.

As a member of the     Plataforma de Direitos Humanos Dhesca Brasil (Economic, Social, Cultural and Environmental Human Rights Platform - Dhesca Platform), a network of 41 human rights organizations, FIAN Brazil denounces the intensification of repression of popular movement by the Brazilian State,  which reached a peak     last Wednesday May 24 at demonstrations

Violence against social struggle for land and agrarian reform by the Brazilian State intensified last Wednesday, May 24. At least 10 agricultural workers died in a massacre led by civil and military police of the region Pau d'Arco, in the state of Para. A mission, which included the president of the National Council for Human Rights (CNDH), Darci Frigo (representative Dhesca Platform) was sent to investigate the facts.

Hours later, in Brasilia, 49 protesters were injured and 8 detained in a massive demonstration, which called for the ousting of President Michel Temer, new elections and the suspension of Labor and Welfare reforms. Repression in Brasilia included the use of lethal weapons, as evidenced by video and photo material.

The Platform denounces the lightning approval of several Provisional Measures (MP) on the same day, which violate fundamental rights and harm traditional communities. This is the case of MP 756 which,authorizes the sale of State public land throughout the Amazon region, thereby intensifying the land demarcation conflicts involving indigenous peoples.

Serious violations of human rights and democracy reached a peak with the promulgation of a Presidential Decree by Michel Temer, which authorized the use of the armed forces to ”ensure law and order“ in the streets of the Federal District until May 31 - coincidentally, the same date set for the final vote on the aforementioned reforms.

Although the decree was revoked on Thursday morning May 25, the use of the military for such purposes shows, as reported by the National Human Rights Council (CNDH),that the institution of a State of Siege in the country, is not a farfetched possibility. It is also noteworthy that the publication of this decree represents a crime by the President of the Republic, given that it violated the legal requirements of the Supplementary Law No. 97, 1999.

Thus, Dhesca Platform and its members demand proper and thorough investigation into the alleged violations and crimes by the competent Brazilian public authorities. International organizations should also pay attention to the serious situation faced by the Brazilian people, who see their economic, social, cultural and environmental rights taken away or threatened each and every day.