Article | Bolsonaro’s Daily Coup on Human Rights

The 7th of September, which was supposed to mark the union of Brazilians, was this year a date of shame and the culmination of President Jair Bolsonaro’s coup season. In Brasília and São Paulo, he threatened to fail to comply with court orders, spoke of closing the STF. Although he backed off, Bolsonaro’s coup did not disappear. It’s daily. Since winning the elections, the president has routinely attacked the Brazilian institutions and people. If the economic policy of Paulo Guedes, who doesn’t like the poor and whose Ipiranga gas station sells gasoline for R$7, Bolsonaro has as part of his daily coup a constant harassment of human rights as part of his daily coup.

Bolsonaro doesn’t like people. The lack of empathy with the covid victims’ families and the criminal behavior demonstrated in the pandemic attest to this.

::: September 7th did not affect the government’s popularity, but left it more isolated, analysts say :::

Last month, the president vetoed the bill that prohibited the eviction of families during the pandemic. For Bolsonaro, it doesn’t matter if families are unemployed, if they manage to buy food with the inflation that is only growing, or if they go to live on the streets. In cities like São Paulo, the growth of the homeless population is visible. These are people who have lost the basic right to housing. It is interesting to note the reaction of sectors in the pockets of the economy to the problems they are unable to resolve and only increase. A few weeks ago, Congresswoman Janaína Paschoal criticized Father Júlio Lancellotti for distributing lunchboxes to homeless people. In the Pocket Ethic, the problem is to give food to those who are hungry, but it is okay to adopt a policy that takes away food and people’s homes.

Bolsonaro’s daily coup is also against the Afro-descendant people. The president finds racist speeches funny, like the one he recently made to a supporter’s hair. But it’s not just a joke. When the president himself refers to a black citizen in a dehumanized way, he endorses the racist on the corner. And that is how we see cases of discrimination multiply in the country. Episodes like that of a man in Limeira who had to take his clothes off in a supermarket to show that he wasn’t stealing. Bolsonaro’s racism also becomes public policy. Just look at what the Palmares Foundation has become, which now rejects the history and symbols of the black people. A report from the Federal Chamber showed that the government interrupted or dehydrated nine public policies to guarantee the rights of the black population.

In the case of policy for women, in March this year the Brazilian government shocked UN members by not supporting a joint declaration by more than 60 countries guaranteeing women access to sexual and reproductive rights. We are in the select group against, only with countries known for their contempt for equal rights. Bolsonaro’s involvement with the LGBT population is also well known. Perhaps this explains the so-called “blackout” of federal public policies for this population. Less than 5% of the R$3.3 million earmarked for LGBT policies at the Ministry of Human Rights was committed in 2020, according to official data.

The contempt for the real needs of the people is Bolsonaro’s cruelest blow against the lives of Brazilians. This is very vivid in his obsession to release firearms. Last year alone, the number of weapons sold grew by almost 100%, according to the Public Security Forum. In a country that has already lost nearly 600,000 lives to Covid and where more than 50,000 homicides occur each year, the number of deaths is only expected to increase.

In the government’s Brazil, which defends arms and despises beans, coup is felt every day. And even with all the aspiration to be a dictator, Bolsonaro has no basis to be able to carry out a military coup and expand his tyranny. Our mission is to defend life. It is against these human rights violations and attacks against the Democratic Rule of Law that we must act.

Emidio de Souza is a state deputy (PT) and president of the Human Rights Commission of the São Paulo Legislative Assembly.

Edition: Mauro Ramos

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