Brazil (NI) – Corruption scandals, impeachment, power grabs, protest and a general strike this week. Mariana T Noviello explains the crisis engulfing her country – and what needs to happen. The consensus among the Brazilian Left is that the impeachment of President…
Protect Prisoners from Violence Behind Bars.
Brazil needs to seize control of its prison system from gangs and guarantee the safety of all detainees, Human Rights Watch said today.
“During the past several decades, Brazilian authorities have increasingly abdicated their responsibility to maintain order and security in prisons,” said Maria Laura Canineu, Brazil director at Human Rights Watch. “That failure violates the rights of prisoners and is a boon to gangs, who use prisons as recruiting grounds.”
On January 1 and 2, 2017, 60 detainees died in two prisons in the state of Amazonas, allegedly as a result of gang violence. Another 22 were killed in prisons in Roraima, Rondônia, and Acre in October 2016. Under Brazilian as well as international human rights law, Brazil’s government is obligated to protect prisoners from violence and abuse behind bars. Prisoners in Brazil are three times as likely to be homicide victims as members of the general population, according to the Ministry of Justice.
Any Brazilian interested in politics has developed a new morning habit: checking to see which politicians were arrested in the earliest hours of the day. Such arrests have become common lately.
This very morning, there was a police raid on two former big kahunas who are being investigated for taking bribes and disrupting investigations on the mega-company Petrobrás. On the evening of the same day, I left my gym to find that the president of the Senate has been ousted by order of the Supreme Court.
German arms manufacturer Heckler & Koch has announced they’ll no longer be supplying weapons to countries they deem “undemocratic and corrupt,” many of the countries that fit this criteria are US allies.
The primary countries who will lose access to the variety of pistols, rifles and submachine guns produced by the company will be a host of non-NATO nations. This includes the governments of places like Brazil, Mexico, India and Saudi Arabia.
Part of the reason Heckler & Koch won’t be selling to these countries is tight restrictions on bidding for these contracts imposed by the German government. The company has seen their profits decline around 90% in the last year due to difficulty obtaining the contracts with governments not on Germany’s list of “green” nations.
Impunity for violence against women remains a massive problem. Donald Trump hasn’t helped.
From historic convictions to impunity for gang rapes, 2016 has been a year of highs and lows when it comes to efforts to stem violence against women.
The annual 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (November 25-December 10) are a time to take stock of progress and failings in combatting this pervasive human rights abuse.
In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) reached its first conviction for sexual violence. It found a former Democratic Republic of Congo vice president, Jean-Pierre Bemba, guilty of rape, murder, and pillage in neighbouring Central African Republic. Bemba was found guilty under the concept of “command responsibility,” in which civilian and military superiors can be held criminally liable for crimes committed by troops under their control.
An initiative in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, seeks to combine political knowledge with hacker culture to democratize and strengthen development.
The Instituto Cidade Democrática (Democratic City Institute), in Brazil, is about to launch and coordinate a very interesting initiative, part of the public project Redes e Ruas (Streets and Networks) of the Municipality of São Paulo, called Laboratórios Livres de Participação Social (Free Labs for Social Participation).
The premise of the project is to unveil the universe of political participation in the internet by experimenting with four free applications that put collective intelligence at the service of communities.
Art can be a powerful tool for activists. It can grapple with the world and bring about change. This piece explores some of the artivism on display at AWID 2016.
There is a bridge in Cape Town, at a busy junction outside the city centre, under which homeless people shelter and cars pass throughout the day and night. For many years the long stabilising wall, which lifted the bottom of the bridge from the ground, boasted a colourful mural. I most clearly remember the months when it denounced then president Thabo Mbeki’s harmful stance on HIV and AIDS: I’m sick of President Mbeki saying HIV doesn’t cause AIDS! My memory has eroded much of the detail, but the line – and the lesson – remains clear.
Brazilian authorities should conduct thorough and impartial investigations into the police use of force and detentions of protesters during recent anti-government demonstrations, Human Rights Watch said today.
The demonstrators were protesting the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, who lost the presidency of Brazil on August 31, 2016, and was replaced by her former vice president, Michel Temer. The largest demonstration took place in São Paulo on September 4, which organizers said attracted 100,000 participants.
The Brazilian Senate overwhelmingly voted to remove Dilma Rousseff from office this week after a year-long impeachment process that has paralyzed South America’s largest country, exposing deep divisions among its society. Rousseff will be replaced for the remainder of her term by Michel Temer, her former running mate who help lead the campaign to oust her.
Protests against Rousseff’s impeachment took place in several Brazilian cities this week. São Paulo had daily protests since Monday — all of them met violently by the police — who used stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets against demonstrators. On Wednesday, the day when the impeachment was sealed and which saw the largest protest, university student Débora Fabri was hit in the face by bomb shrapnel and spent the night at a local hospital. She later wrote on her Facebook page that she has been blinded in her left eye.
Brazil is no stranger to non-monetary and alternative means of mutual assistance, but the country has shown there’s room for even more social initiatives with the arrival, a few years back, of time banks, and now of a grassroots campaign-turned-platform Mais Amor Entre Nós.
The project, which means More Love Between Us, started in March 2016 as a Facebook hashtag by Bahia-born journalist Sueide Kintê and focuses on the gift economy concept with an important difference — it’s exclusively for women.