Whoever you are – journalist, teacher, businessperson, activist – you may have stopped to think twice before speaking out against the current government if you live in Brazil. In 2019, the risks of retaliation took on a dimension that Brazilians had not seen for a long time.
We are living in a moment of deep democratic tensions.
Many people still believe these are isolated cases or unfortunate statements without major consequences. Words can trigger real incidents and are reason for consternation. However, what we have seen, unfortunately, goes far beyond words.
We are witnessing an escalation of facts that confronts our democratic foundations. There is a coordinated pattern that systematically undermines constitutional rights and freedoms.
Through this journal, Pacto pela Democracia (in English, Pact for Democracy) makes explicit an undergoing process of democratic degradation in the country. We hope that in 2020 Brazilian society will be able to reverse it, rescue the right to freedom of expression and live with integrity and respect.
We will work tirelessly for this!
IBAMA'S DIRECTOR IS DISMISSED AFTER OPERATION AGAINST ILLEGAL MINING
The director of Environmental Protection at IBAMA in Brasília, Olivaldi Borges Azevedo, was ousted from his post few days after a mega operation to combat illegal mining in indigenous lands in Pará state. Digger machines would have been burned during the operation, which is according to the law. Employees said he was exonerated for "not being able to handle the inspection". The Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, signed the dismissal.
PSOL´s mayor pre-candidate of Janduís city in Rio Grande do Norte state, Netinho de Nilton, was shot dead on the access road between Janduís and Campo Grande.
According to the party, the city "has a violent background against politicians and Netinho had already expressed he was afraid of being a victim himself for fighting local powers". The murder is another episode of political violence in the country.
On the day of the anniversary of the 1964 military coup, the Ministry of Defense published a praising statement and classified the episode as "a milestone for Brazilian democracy", mainly "for what it avoided to happen". The 1964 coup ushered one of the darkest moments in Brazil´s history, plunging the country into a 21-year dictatorship marked by murders, persecutions, censorship and the stripping of rights and freedoms. Celebrating the coup is an affront to democracy and paves the way for short-sighted and dangerous interpretations that distort our authoritarian past.
The ADPF 663 proposed by President Jair Bolsonaro is extremely worrying. According to it, the government will be able to approve provisional measures (MPs) without passing through Congress. According to the Constitution, every MP has to be approved – or not – by the parliament within 45 days since its publication in the Federal Register. The ADPF 663 suspends deadlines for enforcement procedures, thus an MP would come into full force immediately. The Supreme Court rejected the proposal. However, it has authorized the Congress to make the processing of MPs more flexible, which can now be voted regardless of appreciation by a mixed committee.
The Federal Government issued MP 928/2020, which weakens the Access to Information Law (LAI). The MP removes deadlines for responding to requests for public information. Several organizations of Pacto pela Democracia criticized the measure in a joint statement aired by the news program Jornal Nacional. The Order of Attorneys of Brazil also filed a Direct Action of Unconstitutionality (ADI) in the Supreme Court. The article that weakened LAI was suspended by Justice Alexandre de Moraes.
A woman was shot during a pro-government protest that took place on Paulista Avenue in the city of São Paulo. According to witnesses, she had an altercation with one of the demonstrators. The shooter then pulled out a gun from his waist and shot. Little information was provided on the matter and it is not known whether the man was detained by the police officers at the scene. The Federal Constitution forbids the possession of firearms by ordinary citizens in public spaces. Also, it is extremely serious to resort to violence to address ideological disagreements in a democracy.
MINISTER ATTACKS PRESIDENT OF NGO IN HIS SOCIAL NETWORKS
Minister of Education Abraham Weintraub used his Twitter account to attack Priscila Cruz – NGO director of Todos Pela Educação (in English, All for Education). After publishing a series of Cruz screen-captured tweets in order to mock her, Weintraub also made fun with the possibility that she could have been infected with the coronavirus. Ministers must not use their social networks to discredit civil society organizations as it infringes the principle of impersonality and should not be accepted in a democratic regime.
Without presenting any evidence, President Jair Bolsonaro asserted that the 2018 elections were rigged. He also claimed that he would have been elected in the first round if there was no fraud. According to Bolsonaro, it is necessary to approve a more secure vote-counting system so that the leftwing would not be able to return in 2022. Such type of statement is of concern because it delegitimizes the reliability of the country´s world-renowned electoral system and increases the level of distrust in democracy.
The Military Police made use of tear gas bombs, rubber bullets and pepper sprays during a protest in the Legislative Assembly of the State of São Paulo (Alesp). The shock troop surrounded the building, shutdown entrances and blocked the access to the avenue where the Legislative House is located. The situation was problematic due to the rampant use of violence during demonstrations. In addition, the entry of protesters in Alesp was prohibited.
MAN IS INVITED TO TESTIFY IN HOUSE FOR CRITICIZING LAWMAKER IN WHATSAPP GROUP
A therapist was invited to testify at the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on Cyber Crimes (PCI) in Espirito Santo state after posting a comment in a private group on Whatsapp. The man affirmed that the lawmaker Captain Assumção (PSL) promoted "psychological terrorism" in public security. Experts say the man did not committed any crime and that legislators who have accepted the request to summon the therapist to testify before the PCI are violating the freedom of expression and abusing of their power.
INVESTIGATION AGAINST PUNK GROUP FOR ANTI-BOLSONARO POSTERS
Minister of Justice Sergio Moro requested the opening of an investigation into four punk artists from Belem city for alleged crime against the honor of President Jair Bolsonaro. The group organized an event called Facada Fest (in English, Stab Festival), which was canceled by the police half an hour before it happened. The investigation opened by Moro is based on posters caricaturing Bolsonaro. In one of them, Bolsonaro was stabbed with a knife to the head. Pacto pela Democracia vehemently condemns any act that promotes violence, regardless of political position. However, we also express our concern when official government bodies are misused by public figures to pursue dissident voices.
In a live transmission, President Jair Bolsonaro called advertisers for a boycott of certain media outlets. Bolsonaro said they would be helping "Brazil to sink in" by buying advertising spaces in vehicles that wish to "defeat" him. The President even said that he would be meeting with business people in Sao Paulo in order to ask them not to buy ads in EPOCA magazine and in the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.
President Jair Bolsonaro complained in a live transmission about a piece of news published by journalist Vera Magalhaes who denounced that he called his supporters for an anti-Congress demonstration through Whatsapp. Bolsonaro called Magalhaes a liar, accused her for doing a “poor job” to guarantee a scoop and even asked her "to be ashamed of herself". The president's statements is part of a series of accusations against the press and personalizes the debate. Therefore, Bolsonaro lied about the date of the video where he summons his supports to the streets, which was later checked by media outlets.
CONGRESSMAN SAYS THAT NO ONE WOULD CRY IF A BOMB EXPLODED AT THE CONGRESS
Federal congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP) posted a comment on journalist Vera Magalhaes Twitter account in which she highlighted a statement made in 2018 by President Bolsonaro. According to the lawmaker, if a bomb went off in the National Congress no one would cry. This declaration endorses even more anti-politics sentiments and undermines democracy and its institutions.
PRESIDENT SHARES VIDEO THAT CALLS FOR STREETS MANIFESTATIONS AGAINST CONGRESS
President Jair Bolsonaro had reportedly shared a video on Whatsapp from his personal cell phone summoning the population to take to the streets on March 15 in favor of the military and against the National Congress and the Federal Supreme Court. Leaders from different political parties and civil society organizations backlashed. Such an attitude disregards the separation of powers and puts democracy at risk.
EX-PRESIDENT ACCUSED OF THREATENING NATIONAL SECURITY AFTER CRITICIZING CURRENT GOVERNMENT
Minister of Justice Sergio Moro opened an investigation into Luis Inacio Lula da Silva for threatening national security based on a statement in which the former president associated Jair Bolsonaro with militias. The National Security Law did not apply to this case. The bill was enacted during the military regime and used to pursue opponents. Moro´s attitude was deemed as an attempt to intimidate.
GENERAL HELENO SUMMONS THE PEOPLE AGAINST THE CONGRESS
Unaware that he was being taped, Bolsonaro´s right-hand man General Augusto Heleno suggested that the legislative branch was “blackmailing” the government to increase its control over the federal budget.
“We cannot accept these guys blackmailing us all the time. Fuck up!” said Heleno in the presence of the Minister of Economy Paulo Guedes and the Secretary of Government Luiz Eduardo Ramos. The statement repeats a series of menaces that intends to undermine the separation of powers outlined in the Constitution.
After Yacows employee´s testimony smearing the reputation of journalist Patricia Campos Mello, President Jair Bolsonaro taunted the reporter. "She [reporter] wanted a scoop. She wanted to scoop the scoop at any price against me [laughter from him and the rest]" the president said to a group of supporters in an interview.
Journalist Patricia Campos Mello was the victim of attacks during a testimony on the Joint Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry that is investigating the spread of fake news in the 2018 electoral campaign. Without providing any evidence, the deponent Hans River, a former Yacows employee, stated that the journalist wanted to get information in exchange for sex. Previously, Campos Mello had denounced Yacows, a digital marketing agency, for fraud. After River´s deposition, Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro (PSL-SP) offended the journalist on his social networks followed by a large number of supporters.
Rondonia State government requested the removal of 43 books from school libraries because they allegedly features inappropriate content for children and adolescents. The selection included some of the most-known Brazilian writers such as Machado de Assis, Caio Fernando Abreu, Euclides da Cunha, Ferreira Gullar, Nelson Rodrigues, Mario de Andrade and Rubem Fonseca. Classics from the universal literature such as Franz Kafka and Edgard Alan Poe were also in the censored book list. After backlash, the Federal Prosecutor´s Office is investigating the case.
The Secretary of Communication (SECOM) made use of its official accounts to criticize and stigmatize filmmaker Petra Costa as an "anti-Brazil activist" after the director of The Edge of Democracy gave an interview to the American TV channel PBS on February 1st condemning the government. Such an attack is harmful to freedom of expression and violates the principle of impersonality of public administration according to article 37 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution. After the episode, the Secretariat did not respond to requests for comments.
Culture Secretary, Roberto Alvim, posted an institutional video in which he paraphrased excerpts from the Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels to promote a national arts prize while playing Hitler´s favorite opera. Democratic regimes should repudiate any reference and homage to one of the darkest periods in history. After a series of reactions from political leaders, the press and civil society organizations, Roberto Alvim was dismissed.
On the first day of government, Jair Bolsonaro's administration published the Provisional Measure 870/2019, which in its article 5, item II, assigned to the Secretariat of Government the responsibility of "supervising, coordinating and monitoring the activities and actions of international organizations and non-governmental organizations in the national territory". After a strong mobilization of civil society, the measure text was modified to eliminate the unconstitutional and undemocratic content that marked the text initially proposed by the president.
During Jair Bolsonaro's trip, the acting chairman, Hamilton Mourão, signed the Decree No. 9,690/2019, which enacted changes to the "Access to Information Act", increasing the number of government employees authorized to declare confidentiality of public data. A legislative decree project articulated by several pro-transparency civil society organizations annulled the measure in the House of Representatives.
Federal representative Jean Wyllys (PSOL/RJ) resigned from the National Congress after suffering severe death threats. The congressman lived under police escort and was the target of smear campaigns based on fake news and LGBT phobia on the Internet. Jean Wyllys has been living abroad.
President Jair Bolsonaro honored former Paraguayan dictator Alfredo Stroessner (1912-2006) - whose government was marked by crimes of murder, torture, and corruption - by calling him a "statesman" in a public speech in Itaipu.
Ideological analysis of the National High School Exam
Through the National Institute for Educational Studies and Research, Bolsonaro government has appointed a commission to conduct an ideological assessment of The National High School Exam 2019. The government created the commission with the primary purpose of removing items that address a supposed "gender ideology."
President Jair Bolsonaro ordered the Ministry of Defense to celebrate March 31 on military units. On that date, in 1964, the civil-military dictatorship began in Brazil, a period marked by censorship of the press, the end of direct presidential elections, the closing of the National Congress, the torture of dissidents, and the annulment of rights.
Resignation of the government official who fined Bolsonaro
The Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources exonerated the official that fined President Jair Bolsonaro for fishing in a protected area in 2012 at the time he was a congressman. Bolsonaro fished in an area that does not allow human presence, in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro. A request for clarification was made to the Ministry of Environment, but there was no response.
The federal government signed Decree 9,759/2019, which intended to reduce from 700 to less than 50 the number of participatory councils. According to the Minister of the Civil House, Onyx Lorenzoni, the justification for ending social participation councils, in addition to bureaucracy and rationalization of spending, was because the groups were imbued with the “ideological vision of previous administrations”. The decree was barred by the Supreme Court, which understood that the legislature should do this management because the councils are created by law.
Censorship against portals "The Antagonist" and "Crusoe Magazine"
Federal Supreme Court, Minister Alexandre de Moraes, determined that the website "The Antagonist" and the magazine "Crusoe" takedown reports and notes citing the President of the Court, Dias Toffoli. After criticism, new legal advice overturned censorship against portals.
Bolsonaro asks, and Bank of Brazil director is fired because of pro-diversity advertisement
Bolsonaro asked to remove from circulation a Bank publicity campaign with actors representing racial and sexual diversity. At the request of President Bolsonaro, Banco do Brasil president Rubem Novaes dismissed the Bank's marketing director responsible for the campaign.
Education Minister Abraham Weintraub said in an interview that he would cut 30% of federal universities' annual budgets by promoting "shambles" on their campus. The declaration generated the first major protest of the year, and the contingency was released months later.
President Jair Bolsonaro said he had a more powerful pen than the president of the House of Representatives Rodrigo Maia. The president's speech is considered problematic because legislating through decrees, belittling, and subjugating the role of the legislature, which is the one who makes laws, is a way of undermining democracy from within.
Resignation of 11 experts from the National Mechanism for the Prevention and Combat of Torture
Bolsonaro has extinguished commissioned positions of the National Mechanism for the Prevention and Combat of Torture, which conducts inspections to oversee facilities where deprivations of liberty occur, such as prisons and psychiatric hospitals. The measure was denounced to the UN because it inhibits the prevention and combat of torture in Brazil.
On three occasions, President Jair Bolsonaro presented again provisional measures of his own that had already been processed and changed in the National Congress. The Federal Constitution provides that provisional measures whose contents have already been appreciated, rejected, or lost in effectiveness over time cannot be reissued. The president was widely criticized for insisting on proposing measures on several occasions when his interests were contradicted.
The presenter Marco Antonio Villa was suspended for 30 days from Jovem Pan, the communication vehicle he had worked for years. It is speculated that the reason would be his criticism of President Bolsonaro. In one of the most controversial, he stated that the president is "a trickster who tries to deceive people". Marco Antonio Villa resigned because he felt that "there was no more climate after giving me the punishment".
Vice President's son is promoted twice at STATE BANK
Rossel Mourão, son of Vice President Hamilton Mourão, was promoted twice in 2019 at Banco do Brasil. The second promotion was to fill the position of a marketing director who was fired for a publicity campaign targeting young people with actors representing racial and sexual diversity. President Jair Bolsonaro vetoed the propaganda. Rossel Mourão's salary tripled with the change of position.
President Jair Bolsonaro has appointed his son, Eduardo, to the post of US Ambassador. In interviews, the president stated that he intended to “benefit my son, yes” and that Eduardo had long wanted to live in the United States. The position of ambassador would be “a calling card”. Through various criticisms of nepotism and insecurity regarding Eduardo’s approval by the Federal Senate, the president retreated.
Suspension of investigations to protect president's son
The President of the Supreme Court, Dias Toffoli, ordered the temporary suspension of lawsuits in all country based on confidential data shared by the Financial Activities Control Board (COAF, Portuguese abbreviation) and the Federal Revenue Office without prior authorization from the courts. The decision responded to the request of the defense of Senator Flavio Bolsonaro (PSL party), accused in a prosecution investigation based on a report by COAF.
Cancellation of journalist presence at book fair due to threats
The Jaraguá do Sul Book Fair in Santa Catarina canceled the invitation to Miriam Leitão and Sérgio Abranches after public reaction and threats on the Internet. The petition created said, "due to its ideological bias and positioning, the population of Jaragua repudiates its presence in the event".
A meeting held by social movements and teachers to discuss mobilizations during a visit by President Jair Bolsonaro to Manaus was interrupted by men from the Federal Highway Police at the Army's request, according to the Amazon Education Workers' Union. According to the Union, police arrived armed to enquire about the reasons for the meeting.
Disappearance of the father of the president of the Order of Attorneys of BraziL
"If the president of the Order of Attorneys of Brazil (OAB) wants to know how his father disappeared, I'll tell him", said Jair Bolsonaro referring to Felipe Santa Cruz, president of the OAB who had his father disappeared during the military dictatorship.
From March to July 2019, Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights Damares Alves denied 1,381 requests for recognition of political amnesties and granted only 26, all by court order. The commission was created to examine reparations for victims of political persecution in the military dictatorship.
Contestation of the National Institute for Space Research
The director of the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Ricardo Galvão, rebutted President Jair Bolsonaro's accusation that the agency was lying about deforestation data and that it was under "the command of some NGO". Soon after, Ricardo Galvao was dismissed.
Measure ends publication of company balance sheets in newspapers
President Jair Bolsonaro signed an interim measure allowing publicly traded companies to publish balance sheets on the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM) or the Official Gazette - the government's official newspaper - rather than in print media. At the time, he questioned whether the "paper press" would publish the announcement and quipped, "I hope Valor Econômico survives yesterday's provisional measure".
A group of eight traffickers, known as ‘Bonde de Jesus’, was arrested for carrying out attacks on Candomble temples in Rio de Janeiro. In one of these assaults, an octogenarian priestess was taken hostage by the group. According to the Commission to Combat Religious Intolerance 200 attacks on African origin temples were recorded until September 2019 against 92 cases in 2018, 35% of which occurred in the Baixada Fluminense alone.
Intervention at the Federal Police of Rio de Janeiro
President Jair Bolsonaro announced that he would change the superintendent of the Federal Police of Rio de Janeiro. Bolsonaro used as justification 'productivity issues' and 'a feeling' to get Ricardo Saadi out of his position. In a note of repudiation of the dismissal, the Federal Police Delegates Union in Sao Paulo states that the chief executive is 'disrespectful' to the corporation, as the Federal Police 'must have the autonomy to remain independent and free of any political interference"
Journalist suspended from Brazilian TV network and Twitter
Journalist Rachel Sheherazade has been kept away from her program on SBT network due to complaints received by Silvio Santos - the channel owner - about political opinions against President Jair Bolsonaro published by the journalist. Besides, Sheherazade has disabled her Twitter account because she was continuously attacked and threatened on the social network.
Cancellation of Ancine's public notice on LGBTI + theme
Citizenship Minister, Osmar Terra, barred the process of selecting LGBTI + themed series vying for a public TV bid. The Federal Regional Court of the 2nd Region ordered the National Film Agency (Ancine) to resume the public notice, as it considered the attitude of Minister Terra as "censorship".
Bolsonaro says NGOs may be responsible for Amazon burning
"These people are missing the money. I am not stating it but might be criminal action by these NGOs to draw attention against me, against the government of Brazil." Bolsonaro said about deforestation and burning in the Amazon.
BOLSONARO ATTACKS BACHELET'S FATHER, KILLED UNDER PINOCHET
Michelle Bachelet "also says that Brazil loses democratic space, but forgets that its country is not a Cuba thanks to those who dared to put a stop to the left in 1973, among these communists their brigadier father at the time", said Bolsonaro about the father of Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and former Chilean President. Bachelet's father was arrested and tortured by the Chilean military regime and died in custody in February 1974.
Rio de Janeiro Mayor Marcelo Crivella ordered Marvel's "Avengers: The Children's Crusade" comic to be taken from the Rio de Janeiro International Book Biennial for containing a kiss from two homosexual characters. After the order, the fair was inspected by City officials for other books deemed inappropriate. The Federal Supreme Court ratified that the action is detached from Brazil's democracy.
Appointment of the Attorney General of the Republic
For the first time in 16 years, the new Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, is not on the triple list chosen in the internal election of the National Association of Prosecutors of the Republic (ANPR). Jair Bolsonaro is not required to choose anyone from the suggested list. Still, the ANPR election has been respected since 2003 on the understanding that it enables staff that is technical and independent from the government.
eight-year old Child murdered by military police in Rio de Janeiro
Agatha Vitória Sales Félix, 8, was killed after being shot by a military police officer while returning home in the "Complexo do Alemão", Rio de Janeiro. After investigations, the Civil Police concluded that there was no gun battle at the time when Agatha was shot in the back and that the bullet that killed the child came out of a military police rifle.
Justice Minister, Sérgio Moro, amended a decree so that foreigners can be summarily deported from Brazil if they have "committed an act contrary to the principles and objectives outlined in the Federal Constitution." The initiative was interpreted with concern that the government was preparing retaliation against Glenn Greenwald, journalist, founder, and chief editor of The Intercept Brazil. The Intercept was responsible for the series of stories entitled "Vaza Jato", which revealed controversial conduct by prosecutors of the task force responsible for Operation "Lava Jato", including the former judge and current minister Sérgio Moro.
GOVERNMENT THREATENS TO TRIGGER ARMED FORCES TO CURB PROTESTS
Jair Bolsonaro triggered the Ministry of Defense to monitor possible protests in Brazil, similarly to those in Chile and other countries in Latin America in 2019. The president said that if he deems it necessary, the Brazilian government will call on the Armed Forces to contain mobilizations in the country. Enforcement of such a measure may seriously undermine the fundamental freedoms and rights guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BLAMES GREENPEACE FOR NORTHEAST OIL SPILL
Environment Minister Ricardo Salles hinted that the NGO Greenpeace could be responsible for the oil spill in Northeastern Brazil. President Jair Bolsonaro endorsed the minister's statement. "To me, this is a terrorist act. For me, this Greenpeace only gets in our way", Bolsonaro said during a press conference. The charges were made without any evidence.
The president posted on his twitter a video in which a lion is about to be attacked by hyenas. The content published by the president indicates that the battered lion would represent Jair Bolsonaro, and the hyenas would be political parties, the Supreme Court, the press, and entities such as the Order of Attorneys of Brazil and the UN. The publication was widely criticized and caused discomfort among ministers of the Supreme Court.
Anti-corruption activist Marcelo Miguel D'Elia, businessman and director of the UNIDO-Union for the Development of Dourado, was murdered in the countryside of São Paulo. The NGO Transparency International sent out a note demanding that the authorities act against any attack or threat to persons or organizations combating corruption.
Commenting on a story in the Globo TV Nacional News, President Jair Bolsonaro implied that it could hinder the renewal of the broadcaster's public concession in 2022. The threat of hampering the procedures of a public broadcasting concession prompted comparisons with Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, who suspended RCTV concession in 2006.
Since the beginning of his term as president, Jair Bolsonaro has proposed eight decrees on gun possession and license. The first decree was targeted by Direct Actions of Unconstitutionality (ADIs) for violating the Federal Constitution, and other decrees were repealed and defeated in Congress. As a strategy to prevent further defeat, the government sliced decrees' content into four different texts to try to approve them.
"It's all Bolsonaro's fault. If the left radicalizes to this point, we will need to answer, and an answer may be via a new AI-5," said Eduardo Bolsonaro on a show by journalist Leda Nagle on YouTube. The speech was rejected by various sectors and caused parliamentarians to file a procedure against his statement in the Ethics Council of the House of Representatives and the Attorney General's Office.
GENERAL HELENO ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL ACT NUMBER FIVE
"It was talked about (AI-5), you have to study how you are going to do it, how you are going to conduct it. I think if there is something in the Chilean standard, it is logical that you have to do something to contain it. But until you get to that point has a long way to go ... "commented General Augusto Heleno, minister of the Institutional Security Office, about Eduardo Bolsonaro speech.
Under the pretext of investigating those responsible for the burning in the Amazon, but without any evidence, Senator Plínio Valério (PSDB party) requested the creation of a Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI, Portuguese abbreviation) proposing the investigation of all Non-Governmental Organizations operating in Brazil. The commission's request also suggests the start of a broad investigation on the nonprofit sector in brazil since 2002, potentially undermining the freedom of association guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.
UNJUSTIFIED THREAT TO USE THE NATIONAL SECURITY LAW
Jair Bolsonaro said he could use the National Security Law in response to statements made by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on his release. The president has threatened to sue if he thinks the former president is evoking mobilizations in the country. However, the National Security Law is conditional on crimes "against the territorial integrity and national sovereignty; the representative and democratic regime, the federation and the rule of law; and chiefs of the executive, legislative and judiciary power".
Paulo Paulino Guajajara, known for being a forest keeper, and responsible for overseeing and reporting forest invasions, was murdered in the Arariboia Indigenous Land. The lack of judicial resolution of cases of threats and murders to indigenous and environmental leaders, coupled with a persuasive discourse that favors the opposition to traditional communities, make the process critical for the democratic field.
The representative Coronel Tadeu (PSL party) broked and trampled an art piece that was part of a Black Awareness Day exhibition in the House of Representatives. The artboard that the deputy tore down contained a comic strip that mentioned police violence and genocide to the black population. Several members of Congress repudiated the action.
State Representative Frederico d'Avila (PSL Party) called for a tribute to the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, recognized worldwide for murder, torture, and kidnappings in his regime. The proposal was to celebrate it on December 10 at the Legislative Assembly of São Paulo, the same date that is celebrated International Human Rights Day. The Assembly's president, representative Cauê Macris (PSDB Party), barred the act.
President Jair Bolsonaro said he would send to Congress a proposal to create "Law and Order Guarantee" operations in rural areas. According to him, the objective is to speed up actions involving land restitution. The intention to use the Armed Forces for repossession is criticized because they are trained for situations of war and armed conflict, and not to enforce court decisions.
GUEDES ABOUT THE INSTITUTIONAL ACT NUMBER FIVE (AI-5)
"Don't be afraid if someone asks for an AI-5. Hasn't it happened before?" Or was it different? Taking people to the streets to break up all (protest) it is stupid, not up to our democratic tradition", said Paulo Guedes, Economy Minister, in a news conference in Washington DC.
The civil police went to the office of "Projeto Saúde e Alegria", an award-winning non governmental organization that works with communities in the Amazon. They seized computers, documents, and other materials without specific criminal proceedings and with a generic court order. This attack follows unsubstantiated accusations by the government that social organizations are behind the Amazon burning.
The same civil police operation that seized the "Projeto Saúde e Alegria" NGO preventively arrested four residents of Alter do Chão who were volunteers in the fire brigade. They were accused of causing fires that destroyed in September part of an Environmental Protection Area in order to attract financial donations to the organization. The Federal Prosecutor's Office reported that federal investigations ruled out brigade or NGO participation in the fires and pointed land grabbers and property speculation as primary causes.
Journalist Sérgio Camargo has been appointed as president of the Palmares Foundation, whose mission is to promote the Afro-Brazilian history and culture. In his social networks, Camargo states that there is no "real racism" in Brazil, that slavery was "beneficial", and advocates the "extinction" of the black movement. The appointment was suspended because it was considered contrary to the public interest.
Online guerrillas in support of President Jair Bolsonaro launched the #ilonanao campaign demanding the revocation of Ilona Szabó (Igarape Institute) nomination to the National Council of Criminal and Penitentiary Policy. Jair Bolsonaro demanded Szabo´s exoneration to the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Sergio Moro.
BOLSONARO EXCLUDES ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY CIRCULATED NATIONAL NEWSPAPERS FROM A GOVERNMENT BIDDING PROCESS
The Presidency of the Republic excluded the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo from the list of national and international media outlets in the bidding process to provide digital access to press to government agencies. The exclusion follows a sequence of critics to the journal and the determination that the entire federal government unsubscribes the newspaper's signature. Organizations representing the sector and civil society considered that the measure undermined freedom of expression. Bolsonaro stepped back.
DEATH OF NINE YOUTHS IN A CULTURAL PARTY DUE TO POLICE OPERATION
Nine young people, aged 14 to 23, died after a police operation at one of the largest funk parties of Sao Paulo, in Paraisópolis favela. The police reportedly cornered crowd in alleys, closing the street where the event took place and preventing the dispersal of the public, which is considered irregular by the police's conduct manual. The stigmatization of cultural manifestations coupled with police violence in peripheral territories throughout the country contradicts fundamental principles and freedoms for the functioning of the democratic regime.
Councilman Leonel Brizola (PSOL/RJ) has requested a motion of honor in the Municipal Chamber to the North Korean government and its leader, dictator Kim Jong-un. The initiative has been criticized for being a government responsible for democratic disruptions, maintenance of long authoritarian regimes, and severe violations of human rights.
RIO DE JANEIRO MAYOR FORBIDS GLOBO ACCESS TO PRESS CONFERENCE
Rio de Janeiro Mayor, Marcelo Crivella, barred journalists from Grupo Globo vehicles (including the G1, TV Globo, and GloboNews) in a joint press conference about the collapse of the municipality's health care system. The Municipal Guard prevented reporters and camera operators from entering the City Palace. Crivella's veto came after vehicles reported a shortage of vacancies in public hospitals and salary delays for health workers.
"I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH that" SAYS THE PRESIDENT ABOUT CORRUPTION INVESTIGATIONS AGAINST HIS SON
The day after the Rio de Janeiro Federal Prosecutor's Office's search and seizure at addresses linked to Fabrício Queiroz, Flávio Bolsonaro's former advisor at Rio de Janeiro State Legislative Assembly, and Ana Cristina Siqueira Valle, former wife of the president, Jair Bolsonaro tried to get away from the episodes.
The ‘Porta dos Fundos’ comedy group´s headquarters was the target of two Molotov cocktails. The attack was motivated after Jesus Christ was depicted as gay in the group's Christmas film aired this year, displeasing religious groups.
O Pacto pela Democracia é uma plataforma de ação conjunta da sociedade civil brasileira voltada à defesa e ao aprimoramento da vida política e democrática no país.
Trata-se de um espaço plural, apartidário e aberto a cidadãos, organizações e atores políticos que compartilhem do compromisso de resgatar e aprofundar práticas e valores democráticos diante dos inúmeros desafios que temos enfrentado ao longo dos últimos anos no país.