Being a Human Rights Activist Is High Risk in Brazil. 66 Were Killed Last Year Alone

    Brazilian police grab a protester - Photo: ABr

    According to a report by the Brazilian Committee for Human Rights Defenders, violence against human rights activists in Brazil has been growing at a disturbing rate in recent years, particularly since President Michel Temer took office.

    According to the report, in the last year alone 66 activists were killed. Before 2017 had reached its halfway mark, 42 murders had been recorded, a trend which the Committee’s Land Rights coordinator said was growing “exponentially.”

    The report also discusses the sharp rise in other increasingly sophisticated forms of violence, threats, arrests, torture, harassment by state and private security forces, and spying that has been perpetrated against activists and social movement leaders in 2016 and 2017.

    The violence toward activists first became a trend in 2015, and worsened significantly in 2016 and 2017.

    The report does not hold back in pointing out that the violence is a direct result of structural changes that have taken place since Michel Temer assumed the presidency after the parliamentary ousting of President Dilma Rousseff, leading to an increasingly unstable situation for social movement leaders.

    “The architecture of the coup was built and directed by the most conservative and reactionary elements in Brazilian politics,” the report says.

    “Religious fundamentalists, big businesses, defenders of the incarceration and ongoing genocide of Brazil’s black population, proponents of a small state, and the removal of worker’s rights composed the classes that assumed power in this context.”

    “This is part of an ongoing process within the larger political, economic and institutional framework that has developed in recent years in Brazil and the world as a whole in which reactionary forces throughout society intensify,” it continues.

    “It all starts with the movement toward an agribusiness and large enterprise based development model,” Alice de Marchi, a researcher said according to Brasil de Fato.

    The rising violence and repression of activists is occurring in both rural and urban contexts.

    While campesino and land rights leaders are targeted in rural areas, in urban areas those fighting for housing access, LGBTQ rights, sex workers, journalists who operate in urban favelas, student activists, and black youth are targeted by state forces and incarcerated at disturbingly high levels.

    The conservative Temer government is currently rocked by corruption scandals, and boasts a record-low approval rating in the single-digits.



    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *


    You May Also Like

    Expo should have extended till October 8, 2017 - Photo: Fredy Vieira/Publicity

    The Moral Crusade of the Right Is Now Investing Against the Arts in Brazil

    An art show has become Brazil’s latest political battleground. For those who didn’t get ...

    Until Recently Brazil’s Most Powerful Politician, Ex House Speaker Is Now a Jailbird

    Impeached Deputy Eduardo Cunha was arrested this Wednesday, October 19, in Brazilian capital Brasilia, ...

    Former speaker of the House, Eduardo Cunha - ABr

    Brazil’s Former House Speaker and Jailbird Threatens to Blow Up Business World

    In jail for fraud, Eduardo Cunha, Brazil’s former lower house speaker and chief architect ...

    Election day in Brazil - Marcelo Camargo ABr

    Mayors Are Up for Election in Brazil. It’s a White Game

    Brazil, a country where a majority of residents identify as non-white, will head to ...

    By Law Kids Cannot Hold a Job in Brazil. Three Million of Them Work Anyway

    Brazil’s Prosecution Service for Labor (MPT) is launching a national campaign against child labor. ...

    Police drag protester in Rio - Photo by Pedro Prado

    International Court Rules Against Brazil’s Police Indiscriminate Killings

    Amnesty International lambasted “impunity” for Brazilian police who kill suspects during operations, after a ...