We must defend democracy in Brazil

Thursday, April 14, 2016 - 10:22

Brazil is currently experiencing huge political instability with an ongoing impeachment process being taken against the President of the nation. This process is leading to a very serious situation which is polarising society, stimulated by conservative sectors. As such, it is being questioned by broad sectors of civil society and social movements given what it means for the democracy so arduously achieved by the Brazilian people.

This context has raised concerns for the threat of shrinking political space for civil society, a phenomenon that is affecting many other countries in and beyond Latin America, fuelling the emergence of a discourse of hate and intolerance.

Alongside the polarization of society and the reduced political space for civil society sits a risk of criminalization of social movements, mainly of whom defend poor and excluded people, particularly black women and youth in urban and rural areas.

We must defend democracy as a principle as well as to deeply criticize the political system that sustains a relationship of dependency on economic interests.

As civil society organization that advocate for human rights and social justice we appeal for democratic principles to be maintained, for political space for civil society to be guaranteed, for the discourse of intolerance to be discarded, for the non-criminalization of social movements, and for the advances and achievements in terms of both collective and individual cultural, economic, political, social and human rights, to be safeguarded.