Violence in Brazilian Society Part II
Paths to go
To close these loopholes, the human rights movement needs to win four battles.
The first is the battle for identity, a battle for the preservation of the individual identity of the victims, such as that of the hundreds of children and adolescents killed each year in the main Brazilian cities.
We know that most of the victims are young male adolescents from poor neighborhoods. We also know that, contrary to popular belief, most of them are neither street children nor have a criminal record.
But a victim is neither a statistical number nor a sociological category. A victim is a human being. And for many of these children and adolescents, death does not even confer the elementary human dignity of identification by name.
Of the more than 2,000 murder cases recorded in Rio de Janeiro over the course of a year, 600 of the victims have not even been identified. As a state prosecutor in Rio de Janeiro told Amnesty International, in too many cases, victims and rapists have one attribute in common: both are unknown.
The second is the battle against forgetfulness.
“Let’s forget about the past”, demand violators of crimes against human rights. But should we forget about the 144 “missing” during the years of military rule? Should we forget that Chico Mendes’ killers are still at large? Should we forget that those responsible for the death of Margarida Maria Alves have not yet been tried?
Justice does not mean forgetting crime. “Justice takes time, but it doesn’t fail,” says the popular saying. However, many times, “justice takes too long but it doesn’t arrive”, and it doesn’t arrive because it takes too long. Will it ever arrive for members of indigenous communities murdered in the mid-1980s, whose lawsuits are still stalled in the courts?
The third is the battle for compassion.
Many have turned against human rights organizations, considering their work to be little more than protecting criminals.
Anxiety about the scale of the crime is fueled by popular radio programs, which proclaim: “Good bandit is dead bandit! ”
Many people have long accepted the death of young suspects, as long as those killed by mistake are not their own children.
These people accepted the public display of the bodies of the victims, as long as it was not carried out in residential areas.
They accepted the fact that large sectors of the population are denied their basic human rights because they are poor, or live in the wrong neighborhood, or have the wrong color.
But fear policies do not bring security. On the contrary, they degrade the society that such crimes are tolerated and damage the international reputation, on which long-term prosperity depends.
The fourth battle is that of responsibility.
Of course, for impunity to end, those responsible for crimes against human rights must be brought to account for their actions before a court.
But there is a broader sense in which accountability is crucial in the fight for human rights. The Brazilian government is responsible, under international law, for ensuring that Brazil complies with the international human rights treaties to which it is a signatory.
The Brazilian government is also responsible to international public opinion, as respect for human rights is a moral obligation that transcends national borders.
Above all, the government should be accountable to the Brazilian people.
Violence is proportional to social discrimination
Low wages, unemployment and recession increase poverty and social violence. Violence may not be desired by civil society, but it is desired by the government, to keep people from participating in national life. It is also good to warn that the recession can lead the country to chaos, social upheaval and dictatorship.
Violence can be taken as a synonym for defense. It is a defense aggression. A people abandoned, frightened, humiliated, intimidated and frightened, even by the propaganda of violence, does not participate. In this situation, consciously or unconsciously, an intention of those in power to remove people from social, political and economic participation. This is in line with this system that privileges a small minority and harms the vast majority. Therefore, violence is often stimulated by those in power to remain in power.
The authorities are betting on violence, because now conditions are created for this violence to subsist and keep the people away from what is a people’s right, participation in national life.
We have big cities that are first world. Here, too, we have first-world crime. The criminality of drugs, police violence, organized gangs. Now, in real Brazil, which is not Brazil in the first world, we have a crime that is the result of social discrimination in which the people live, where few are the owners and many are slaves.
Because the people live insecure, frightened and intimidated, it would be wiser and more consistent for the media to talk about flowers and love instead of promoting programs of violence.
But the government owns the strings of the media and large companies maintain themselves by favoring the government and by manipulating information. That is why they promote violence exactly to show the people that they have to stay in the thicket, without the slightest hope. When the people come home, after 12 hours of work, and not only of work, but of involvement with all this madness of life, they watch again the violence of what was subjected. This means that he lives permanently in a world of violence, inside and outside the home. What hope can these people have of this world?