The new Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship must promote links with the international community, especially in Latin America, understanding common problems and experiences. This was the first highlight that Minister Silvio Almeida made about the objectives of his management at the head of the portfolio, during the 3rd World Forum on Human Rights this Wednesday (22nd), in Buenos Aires.
During a brief visit to Argentina, the minister participated in the table “The struggle of peoples for dignity in the new democratic contexts”, alongside the undersecretaries for Human Rights of Colombia, Juan Manuel Morales, and Chile, Xavier Altamirano Molina, and the secretary of Human Rights of Argentina, Horacio Pietragalla.
“One of the objectives of the Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship of Brazil, which I have the honor, by appointment of President Lula, to lead, is precisely to strengthen ties with the international community, and especially and necessarily with the countries of Latin America”, emphasized the minister.
“This is one of the fundamental objectives so that we can, at the same time, make the very notion of humanity, which was the basis for the construction of the policy and the very idea of human rights, start to encompass what (Ailton) Krenak says that they are the people who were left out of the humanity club. A club to which we were not invited, and which we entered because we forced the door, ”he emphasized. “By the way, what marks our Latin American identity is precisely this: the struggle, the resistance.”
Another point cited as a management objective by Silvio Almeida was the establishment of a standard of action at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in order to follow the guidelines, determinations and judgments of the IACHR. To this end, create “instances for the amicable solution of international conflicts” and having sovereignty respected on the international stage.
The third point was the institutionalization of human rights policies, so that “it is not just a government policy, but a State policy”. To this end, it seeks to involve all other ministries and reinforce the defense of public service.
“Brazil went through yet another tragedy in the last 4 years, and we had essential public policies saved by a stable bureaucratic body. For example, the career civil servants at the Ministry of Health, who saved health in Brazil”, he said, followed by effusive applause. He also cited career civil servants in environmental policy who prevented the genocide of indigenous peoples from being greater, in the case of Funai.
“You see, we need to think about how important the defense of the public service is and how important it is to have career civil servants”, he concluded.
To this end, the minister plans to launch a public participation seminar “to discuss the ideal model of public administration to carry out a human rights policy”, from the bureaucratic structure to the budget. “How should we organize the State and its institutions to promote human rights? What do we need for this?”, He cited as some of the guiding questions.
Almeida also highlighted the objective of bringing the debate on human rights closer to the economic debate.
“They are housing and social assistance policies, but also employment and income policies, health. We have to coordinate with other ministers,” she said. “We need a serious discussion about business and human rights. We have to discuss this issue,” he said, followed again by applause.
The meeting took place at the main headquarters of the Forum, the former Esma, a building recovered by human rights organizations in Argentina that functioned as a clandestine detention center during the dictatorship, when it operated as the School of Armed Mechanics.
The minister said he was inspired by the bilateral talks, especially as he gained a deeper understanding of public policies and movements to repair crimes against humanity during the dictatorship in Argentina.
“I realize that the national policy of each of our countries on human rights has a fundamental side, which is the fight against one of the most visible and perverse effects of the colonial legacy, which were dictatorial regimes,” he said. “However, I want to propose a reflection on the need to always look at our starting point, so that we can overcome it.”
In this sense, he highlighted what he called three structural consonants that mark a common history in the countries of the region: the direct legacy of colonialism, inequality; authoritarianism, averse to popular participation in political processes; and racism.
“Our countries have racism as a fundamental element in the formation of socio-political hierarchies”, said the minister. “I often say – half jokingly, but partly scientifically – that colonialism, inequality and invasions made it essential to create an element that did not exist in the Latin America that was: white people.”
“It was essential to create this type of parameterization of racial relations in order to facilitate the processes of domination, naturalize inequality and make the murder of indigenous peoples and black people on our continent a daily occurrence”, said Almeida, highlighting that these references are in documents and even foundational romances of the countries.
Marielle Franco in pictures
At the end of his journey on Wednesday in Buenos Aires, minister Silvio Almeida attended the book launch event Marielle Franco – a photobiographyin Parque da Memória, another space dedicated to the memory of victims of the Argentine dictatorship, on the banks of the River Plate.
Monica Benicio, councilor of Rio de Janeiro and widow of Marielle Franco, was also present at the event, organized by the Brazilian community in Buenos Aires, by the militant collective Passarinho.
“To talk about this woman who becomes a symbol is to understand the importance of this construction of memory and what the image represents in this sense”, said Monica Benicio during the event. She said that Marielle liked to take pictures, unlike her, and that these are the memories that remain of Marielle. “We cannot talk about justice without memory, nor can we talk about the construction of truth without memory.” He also referred to Marielle Franco’s painted walls and graffiti around the world.
In the final speech, Minister Silvio Almeida cited the tragedy of the murdered councilwoman in a context of institutional and social degradation of Brazilian society.
“This event is the fusion of all the problems of our Latin America”, said the minister, referring to the murder of Marielle Franco. “There is no justice without memory, it is true. But I learned something very beautiful today: there is no memory without justice.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho
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