INVITATION TO INTERNACIONAL OBSERVERS
"People’s Tribunal: the Brazilian State on Trial"
Since the late eighties, with the promulgation of the 1988’s Federal Constitution and the holding of direct elections to all spheres of government throughout the country, Brazil has been considered as a nation under the Democratic Rule of Law – in which we should remember the fact that Brazil signed the main international treatises and conventions that regulate human rights issues. In the present year, 2008, when it will commemorated the 60th anniversary of the 1948’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights approved by the UN, in Brazil there are other historical anniversaries being commemorated as turning points in the building of the a democratic country, like the formal abolishment of slavery in 1888 and the, already mentioned, Constitution from 1988.
But, these celebrations praise judicial systems that establishes a great number of rights that are, as is common knowledge, not been guaranteed. On the contrary, in the brazilian case, we see the state, through its employees and representatives in all the three branches of government (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) and in all federal and local spheres, constantly violating the human rights of poor people from the country, slums, favelas and ghettos (with greater violence towards the young, black, descendants from slaves, indigenous people and theirs children). As each day passes by it gets clearer that the Brazilian State is one of the main human rights violator, even though it is the institution that should guarantee those rights, as well as provide security and promote social justice.
We often see a state used to judge, sentence and punish a vast number of its citizens, especially the poorer (indigenous and blacks in particularly). A state that increasingly has been trying to criminalize the employed and unemployed worker, as well as the organizations, syndicates and popular social movements that fight for implementation of the fundamental rights that the state denies to the people, aiming for a greater degree of social justice and, for that reason, being repressed with truly fascist measures. A state that’s always ready to make preventive detentions and to keep in jail, without trial, that, in the majority of cases, have practiced (or supposedly practiced) small crimes against the wealth of the rich or against a so called social order.
Meanwhile, the rich and famous, which crimes become widely know, have a completely different and privileged treatment that is marked by impunity in Brazil and around the world. In the other hand, this same state punishes small crimes, practiced or allegedly practiced by the poor (like theft and small drug commerce) with an enormous severity. And, after a questionable trial, the state doesn’t respect the rules that the law established for incarcerations, mainly due to the government and judicial omission, which is, in many cases, a deliberated position.
In top of all that, the violent approach that the police uses against the social movements and poor communities (through a series of legal and judicial measures created by the brazilian authorities) usually leads to summary executions. According to a preliminary report by Philip Alston, a UN member responsible for the study of summary and extrajudicial executions, presented in May 2008: the police kills in and out of duty. But, no investigation is made in an attempt to uncover what motivated that killing. All of these cases are closed under the name “autos de resistência” ou “resistência seguida de morte”, in which the very police man who committed the murder says that he did in self defense, and, so, the death is justified by the simple presentation of the deceased criminal record. The police is trained and oriented to kill,
Is as a democratic nation that Brazil is often been called to participate in military and humanitarian missions managed by the UN. An important example is the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah). An operation produces growing denunciations of assassinations, abuses and violence against the black and poor people of that country by the occupation forces. Denunciations that only adds to the thesis that the theses operations are, in fact, a military laboratory for the exchange of oppressive operations against popular organization in national territory.
As a response to the scenery, by the initiative of series of organizations and social movements from Brazil, a People’s Tribunal for the judgment of the Brazilian State is being proposed. A tribunal that shows the responsibility of the state in the everyday violations and presents a profound debate about its actions. Our idea is to revert the unilateral debate that is seen as natural and cloaked by a allegedly democratic logic, pointing to the many contradictions and atrocities of the present capitalistic social order that uses this state as an instrument for the reproductions of injustices and violence. That is why we propose a tribunal that puts the Brazilian State on trial, in the same intention of popular initiatives alike, like the Katrina Tribunal, with a critical and didactic approach.
The idea is to judge the Brazilian state, using the international and national law that is has acknowledge and signed to, in respect to the systematic violations of human rights in these four areas: violence against peasants and theirs movements; violence against the poor youth; violence in the prison system; and the use of violence in poor urban areas as a allegedly effective approach to security issues. We will make this of these four themes analyzing the situation of four brazilian states: São Paulo, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and, in respect to the agrarian issues, probably Rio Grande do Sul and Pará.
In the Tribunal the presence of international observers is fundamental – starting by Amnesty International that throughout these years has condemned Brazil in respect to these problems. This importance is heightened by the fact that one of the main objectives of the initiative is to fortify the international solidarity among those that can’t stand the, nowadays common, violations of the Human Rights.
That is why we are inviting you to be present at the “People’s Tribunal: the Brazilian State on Trial”, to be going on in São Paulo, Brazil, in the December, 4 to 6, of 2008.
THE FOLLOWING ORGANIZATIONS AND MOVEMENTS SIGN THIS DOCUMENT AND BILD THE "PEOPLE'S TRIBUNAL" IN BRAZIL:
ALAIETS, ANDES, APROPUC-SP, ASFAP/BA, Assembléia Popular, Associação Amparar, Associação Paulista de Defensores Públicos, Brasil de Fato, CAJP Mariana Criola, CDHSapopemba, CIMI-SP, Coletivo Contra Tortura, Comitê Contra a Criminalização da Criança e Adolescente, Comuna Força Ativa, Comunidade Cidadã, CONLUTAS, Conselho Federal de Serviço Social, Conselho Regional de Psicologia 6ª região, Consulta Popular, Correio da Cidadania, CRP/RJ, DCE-Livre UFSCAR, DCE-Livre USP, Escritório Modelo Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns (PUC-SP), Fórum da Juventude Negra/BA, Fórum das Pastorais Sociais e CEBs da Arquidiocese de SP, Fórum Estadual de Defesa dos Direitos da Criança e Adolescente/SP, Fórum Social por uma Sociedade sem Manicômios, IDDH/RJ, Instituto Carioca de Criminologia, Instituto Palmares de Direitos Humanos/RJ, Instituto Pedra de Raio/BA, Instituto Rede Ação/RJ, Juízes pela Democracia, Justiça Global, Kilombagem, INTERSINDICAL, MLST, Movimento Defesa da Favela, Movimento em Marcha/SP, Movimento Nacional de Direitos Humanos, Movimento Negro Unificado (MNU), MORENA - Círculos Bolivarianos, MST, MTST/PE, NEPEDH, Observatório das Violências Policiais de São Paulo (OVP-SP), ODH Projeto Legal, Quilombo X/BA, Reaja ou será mort@!/BA, Rede de Comunidades e Movimentos Contra a Violência/RJ, Rede Social de Justiça e Direitos Humanos, Resistência Comunitária/BA, Sindicato dos Advogados de SP, SINTUSP, Tortura Nunca Mais/RJ
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or acess www.tribunalpopular2008.blogspot.com