We publish an unofficial translation of the joint statement of CEBRASPO and ABRAPO published here.

In the last months of July and August 2023, three massacres and two ways of repressing popular demonstrations presented a dangerous direction taken by the Brazilian State in its escalation of social control of the poor people.

In São Paulo, the massacre in Guarujá (SP) left at least 16 dead people and several injured. The reason: revenge for the death of a MP [Translator’s note: Military Police] while he was on patrol, a consequence of the “fight against drugs” policy implemented in the country. On this occasion, once again, it became clear how the “fight against drugs and drug trafficking” actually occurs: raids without respect for residents, dozens of denounces of torture, hooded police officers forcibly entering several homes to impose terror. Practices that resemble the tactics implemented by the Israeli Army in the occupation of Palestine. Residents were executed without any excuse of armed resistance that threatened the police. There are reports of killings of unarmed people, tortured and then murdered. There they were judged, condemned and executed! Schizophrenic people were killed. In Bahia, a state governed by the Partido dos Trabalhadores [Translator’s note: the social democrat party that is currently on government], 10 dead people were reported in similar circumstances. In Rio de Janeiro, 10 residents were murdered and 3 injured in another massacre in the Penha complex. The genocidal governor of São Paulo says he is extremely satisfied with the operation. Luiz Inácio, after a long time in silence said: “The police have to know how to differentiate between criminals and poor people walking on the streets. To do this, they need to be well informed. I’m not putting the blame on any governor. The federal government has to take responsability to help governors to combat violence, because organized crime is taking over the country.” In fact, the Public Security Fund for governors recently excedeed 1 billion without demanding, at least, compensation for the end of illegal police raids and recurring massacres in the country’s favelas and outskirts.

The right to demonstrate is now being combated, including with rifle bullets.

In the first week of August, the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro killed the 13-year-old boy Thiago in the favela of Cidade de Deus (RJ) with the same old excuse of an armed reaction to the police assault. The demonstration scheduled for August 7th was harshly repressed, initially with the usual armament, stun bombs, gas and rubber bullets, and soon the protesting people was being shot by police officers. A military armored vehicle, known as Caveirão, even fired against the buildings in the popular neighborhood. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but several residents were injured by rubber bullets and passed out due to the gas. The residents of the Dendê favela (Ilha do Governador, RJ) did not have the same luck. After a similar episode in which a young man was murdered by the police on a motorcycle, the repression of the popular protest that followed with the same repressive armament used in Cidade de Deus and resulted with the death of the 5-year-old girl Eloah by a rifle bullet that entered through her window after bouncing in the asphalt. The police fired shots towards the community. Any protest with banners, posters and slogans was shot with a repressive apparatus, as occurred in August with residents of Parque União (Complexo da Maré, RJ) who asked for the freedom of a motorcycle taxi driver unjustly arrested during his work.

Reactionary War against the People

These are just small examples that Brazilian democracy does not exist for the broad masses. Democracy presupposes civil rights such as the presumption of innocence, the inviolability of the home and the right to come and go. Do such rights exist in these communities? With the gun repression against the constitutional right to demonstrate, do they want to implement the peace of terror, the peace of cemeteries? Is this the policy of pacification, of love against hate promised by candidate Lula?

The barbarism recorded in recent days in all these territories is not an isolated phenomenon, and there is an undeniable characteristic among them all: unemployment, lack of healthcare and education, and in many homes, hunger, is daily in the favelas where working population live. There is an ongoing reactionary civil war initiated by the old Brazilian State against the masses as a way of neutralizing any impetus of rebellion against the crisis and worsening conditions.

Intellectuals and several lawyers defended that the executors, instigators, agents and managers of this policy of massacres should be taken to the International Criminal Court. In fact, all democrats must fear for the democratic freedoms in the country because the sacred right to fight for their rights is being taken away from poor people when any protest takes place, either with a rubber bullet or a rifle bullet. However, repressive social control has a limit, let’s see the apartheid regime in South Africa, let’s see the resounding defeat imposed on Yankee imperialism in Vietnam. It is necessary to strengthen a front of struggle with all those who consider police violence not just a matter of poor training or lack of technologies to discipline possible misconduct.

We must denounce the big landlords and big bourgeoisie, who really profit from such illicit means. It is necessary to get thousands of poor black young people out of jail by giving them life opportunities: land and work. It is necessary to completely end this policy of repressing drugs and weapons trafficking, where the only result has been the death of poor residents of favelas and poor neighborhoods in the country, the majority of whom are young and black. And it is up to democrats, entities defending the rights of the people, honest intellectuals and the entire popular movement to uncompromisingly defend democratic rights, freedom of free organization and demonstration not only in universities, unions, public roads but also in the countryside and particularly in the country’s favelas and outskirts.



Rio de Janeiro, 24th of August of 2023

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