CESE reports note on current political moment

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;

perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; 

struck down, but not destroyed. Corinthians 4.8-9


It is bleak…

Lula imprisoned – a time of war, without peace, a melancholy moment for those, like us, who had recently witnessed signs of changes and attained rights. How to ignore that Brazilian democracy and its geo-economic role in the world is at stake?

The legislative and judicial coup which Brazil experienced in 2016, with applause from the hegemonic media and forces of associated capital, in the guise of a judiciary committed to the elites of our country, had another outcome this weekend. With astonishing speed, they tried and convicted former president Lula for corruption, leaving a number of questions, also among legal experts, about the smoothness of the proceedings, which were marked by shortcomings, a lack of evidence and actions which contradict Justice and the Law. In contrast, other politicians, with clear evidence of corruption were acquitted or their cases were not followed up – called the “politicisation of Justice”, with the backdrop of a selective media trial.

As an organization which has acted in the defence of human rights for 45 years, CESE is publically joining thousands of voices around the world that are speaking out against this act, and expressing their concern about sovereignty and Brazilian democracy. One does not need to be a specialist to understand that the principle of any person’s defence, guaranteed in the Constitution and Code of Criminal Law, was violated once more. This fact reverberates in the criminalisations and imprisonments which human rights advocates have been undergoing in the country.   

Although we are critical of the productivist government model and the policy of class conciliation chosen by the former president, which may have led him to making mistakes and prevented him from implementing more structural public policies, it is undeniable that his government assisted thousands of Brazilian people.  They were lifted out of poverty through the implementation of various social programmes which recovered the self-esteem of the Brazilian people and projected the country as a strong world leader.

 This relentless persecution and the rush to convict him can only be explained by the fear that the elites, who are used to governing this country, have with the possibility of him returning to power, since all electoral research has indicated his victory. The greatest political leader which this country has ever had needs to be arrested, imprisoned, publically humiliated and taken out of the running, as he means the possibility of a government which puts at risk the current policy of removing rights, arbitrary arrests and the violence which spans the whole country. The military intervention in Rio de Janeiro was another authoritarian and populist attitude by the current government, afflicted by permanent complaints and growing unpopularity.


But, we will resist….

The demonstrations of support and solidarity which we are witnessing, not only on Brazilian soil but around the world, encourage us to continue denouncing the arbitrary and disrespectful way that this trial took place and to see better days. His arrest will not be in vain, and as the poet sang: “Such harrowing pain is not needless”.

Even though our democracy hangs in the balance, we have in our favour the organization and determination of social movements and other progressive forces of a society committed to democracy and the defence of rights.

Our destiny and mission is to continue in the persistent defence of those who work to construct a new project for a nation in which democracy prevails, in which all aspects of life are assured and where peace is the outcome of justice.





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