Our daily death

Image: Elyeser Szturm


Are the president and his supporters especially hateful, even when compared to the neoliberals who until yesterday rallied behind him? Or is Bolsonaro just the most shameless face among enthusiasts of a social structure that has become accustomed to killing?

“Populus, my dog ​​/ The indifferent slave who works / And, as a gift, has crumbs on the floor / Populus, my dog ​​/ First, it was his father / Second, his brother / Third, now, it's him, now it's him / From generation to generation to generation” (Antonio Bechior)[I]

When the recent deaths caused by the new Coronavirus are counted in the thousands[ii] and in front of them the President of the Republic reverberates a resounding “so what”[iii], there is an undeniable feeling of indignation. Although a third of the Brazilian population seems to continue endorsing everything the president does and says, one can see the growth of revolt in the face of his, let's say, lack of sensitivity, in the face of the death of thousands of Brazilians.

Before asking ourselves, however, what is the reason for the lack of presidential empathy and revolting in the face of the naturalization of death in the name of economic progress, we should ask ourselves how it was possible for us to get to this situation. Are the president and his supporters especially hateful, even when compared to the neoliberals who until yesterday rallied behind him? Or would Bolsonaro be just the most shameless face among enthusiasts of a social structure that has become accustomed to killing? It seems to us that the last alternative is more faithful to history and this brief text proposes to demonstrate this.

Almost nothing that will be written here should be seen as a Brazilian specificity. The fact that we take our country as the object of analysis is not due to any special characteristic and almost everything that is concluded here could be said about any other country. It is certain, however, that “below the equator” all terror is shameless. Here we see closer and better.

If we tried to defend that the naturalization of death in the name of the economy, which the president seems to reverberate, was a specificity of his disastrous government, therefore, totally incompatible with modern capitalist sociability, we would have to demonstrate that such a phenomenon does not appear in other moments of our history. history, dealing with an unfortunate exception to the rule. Such an ingenuity would certainly be a daunting task. The fact is that the naturalization of death does not occasionally appear in our history, but imposes itself as the most striking feature of our lives since the formation of what we now call Brazil.

It is not a question of questioning the existence of death itself, as a condition proper to everything that is alive, but rather of analyzing the way in which the death of the other was assimilated as a necessary condition for the survival of the social organism. It would not be possible to reduce this form of sociability that feeds on death to the capitalist system, given that death as a result of the clash between different social groups is present throughout the history of mankind. The novelty arising from this new capital-centered social organization is the pricing of death, that is, the monetary justification for the accumulation of corpses. And in this History, Brazil occupies a central chapter.

Established as a mercantile company destined to offer natural resources to the newly created European States[iv], the Brazilian economy was born contaminated by the original sin of exterminating the Indians. Despite the difficulties in assessing the number of inhabitants in the territory where Brazil is today, before the arrival of the Portuguese, the most conservative estimates[v] point out that around 2,5 million natives lived here. After the occupation, in the middle of the 10th century, these populations did not reach 2% of that number, decimated by conflicts, forced labor and, mainly, by various diseases brought by Europeans, against which they had no immunity. The massacre of at least XNUMX million natives[vi], in the name of the entry of the New World into the European mercantile economy, was our baptism in a history full of corpses produced by economic progress.

At the same time that natives were being killed, the success of sugar production, and later mining and coffee, demanded more and more hands. The kidnapping and subsequent trafficking of Africans to work in the Americas met this need for European capital. From 1514 to 1853, around 5,1 million enslaved black men and women arrived in Brazil. As if the tragedy contained in this issue alone was not enough, it hides one of the most cruel aspects of the history of the slave trade during the colonial period. Data referring to the transport of human cargo between Africa and Brazil record a difference of almost 800 men between the number of people embarked in African ports and the total disembarked in Brazil. This difference reflects the large number of blacks who embarked, but did not arrive at their destination alive, having their bodies thrown into the sea.[vii]. Throughout the XNUMXth century, with English pressure to end the trade, the number of deaths during the voyage would be even higher, as it became common practice to throw all the cargo of men still alive into the sea, thus destroying any evidence. that could lead to proceedings for non-compliance with the ban on trafficking[viii]. The fact that trafficking did not stop even in the face of this revolting practice only reinforces the perception of the enormous volume of resources raised by people traders. Death in its most terrifying forms was but a detail among so much gold.

The situation of those arriving at the ports of Recife, Salvador or Rio de Janeiro was certainly not much better than that of those who stayed along the way. Once disembarked in Brazil, blacks would wait for hours or days in the various men's markets scattered around the port regions of these cities until they were bought and taken to their place of work. Most enslaved people in Brazil worked on farms, mines or mills and the strenuous work practiced in these fields meant that death from overwork, disease or even the result of violence by the masters was the rule. In the middle of the 88th century, it was said that after three years of buying a healthy batch of men, little more than a quarter of them would still remain alive on the farms. Around XNUMX% of blacks born into slavery did not survive childhood. Physical violence was the law in relations between masters and enslaved blacks. Cases of rebellion were punished with exemplary brutality and handcuffs, rings, paddles, trunks, whips, little angels[ix], and, at the limit, death were recurrent instruments in the control of the workforce[X]. The blood of the blacks in the field or in the trunk was the fuel for the mills, mines and coffee plantations. As no alchemist would dare to imagine, in colonial Brazil people learned to turn blood into gold. Death walked on our side, hidden and unseen amidst the opulence. It was the cost of the colonial enterprise's success.

Freed from political submission to the Portuguese Crown since 1822, in 1850 Brazil had just over 7 million inhabitants, of which 2,5 million were enslaved blacks. In 1872, when the Brazilian population reached 10 million, the number of captive workers had been reduced to 1,5 million and on the eve of abolition it was even smaller, just over 700 thousand. This reduction in the number of enslaved people between 1850 and 1888 was mainly due to manumissions granted by agreements[xi], of deaths[xii] and the growing leaks[xiii], especially in the 1880s. In this context, the Lei Áurea, far from being a redemption for blacks, meant the abandonment by the most dynamic part of the rural aristocracy of a dying system[xiv]. As a consequence of this, after the definitive liberation of those who remained as slaves on May 13, 1888, nothing was offered to them as a reward for the years of forced labor. Left to their own devices, these men and women found themselves overnight “free[s] from the scourge of the slave quarters, [and] trapped in the misery of the favela”[xv].

“Free”, the May 13th freedmen joined the millions of sertanejos, caboclos, blacks and mulattos, who wandered across the country in search of a piece of land, a tenement or at least a cause to live for. Lost amid absolute misery, they multiplied throughout Brazil, saints and demons, heroes and bandits, like condensing icons of the last hopes of a people. Sons of hunger, both the followers of Antonio Conselheiro's religious messianism and those of Virgulino Lampião's contesting banditry paid with their lives for daring to challenge order, the latifundia, the integrity of the territory and the law. It was the contribution of the Republican State to thicken the blood trail of quilombolas, Cabanos, Sabinos and Balaios[xvi] produced by the imperial rifles.

Once the Empire was overthrown, Brazil entered the XNUMXth century as a liberal Republic. The free workforce, composed mostly of immigrants, allowed the great growth of crops in the interior of the country. The dynamism of the economy driven by coffee would make the then small city of São Paulo the largest economic center in the country in a few years. Poverty, dispossession and death would go hand in hand with progress. In the countryside and in the cities, strenuous working conditions continued to kill thousands.

In the largest urban center of the early XNUMXth century, the city of Rio de Janeiro, the persecution of black people, their cults and their culture was part of a context of “modernization” and the search for a new morality of post-slavery work . Pointed out as loafers, unwilling to work freely and undisciplined, these men were gradually expelled to the outskirts of the city, starting to occupy suburban areas or hillsides. Misery then appeared in the hills, in the suburbs or in prisons, since the criminalization of black people's ways of life was used as a resource for the construction of a sociability considered "modern"[xvii].

Without any guarantee of access to housing, sanitation, education and work, these people have become a mass totally marginalized in the face of economic progress. In place of the punishments of slavery, hunger; instead of death by the captains of the bush, death by the public forces of justice; instead of incessant work on the farm, precarious work in the worst occupations.

In the corners of the country the situation was no different. While coffee produced kings and barons in São Paulo, concentration camps were produced in the north. In the midst of the northeastern drought, poverty led to hunger and with it to despair. Fearful of what hordes of hungry people could do, between 1915 and 1933 several isolation camps were built for migrants in the interior of Ceará to prevent their arrival in the capital, Fortaleza. These fields, which continued to exist throughout the first half of the XNUMXth century, produced corpses by the thousands. The gap between those chosen to live and those chosen to die was so great that a new cemetery was built just to receive these victims. Not even dead, the poor evacuees were worthy of joining “civilization”[xviii].

The “progress” continued and, in the 1950s, during the height of Brazilian industrialization, in the largest economic center in the country, in Favela Canindé, on the banks of the Tietê River, a paper picker pointed out Juscelino’s insensitivity to poverty and write to ward off hunger[xx]. At the same time, far away, in the Galileia mill, in Vitória de Santo Antão, the lack of coffins to bury their dead was the trigger for a rebellion in the interior of Pernambuco. The order could not tolerate rebellions and, if drought and poverty were not enough, the rifles imposed the verdict on goats marked for death.[xx] in the Northeastern Sertão. The economy was booming. The GDP numbers were more than enough for the deaths and suffering of blacks, poor people and country people to be quickly forgotten. Amidst the courtyards overflowing with newly produced automobiles, of roads tearing from North to South the country, in the sertão and in the slums, lives were dry and deaths were invisible.

The refinements of cruelty are always reserved for the rebels. In these cases death is not enough, example is essential. Physical extermination here fulfills a disciplinary function, it is no longer just natural and legitimate, but becomes necessary for the maintenance of order. In this context, sadism and terror come to be accepted as part of the mechanism that guarantees the functioning of the system. Over the 25 years of military dictatorship in Brazil, we have seen very clearly how this machine operates. More cars, more roads, more energy justified and concealed more deaths. Deaths of poor people and blacks in the hinterlands and slums, deaths of Indians from North to South and deaths and torture of rebels in basements. The economy was doing well, but the people were doing poorly.[xxx]. The cake rose but was not sliced.[xxiii]. The “miraculous” economic growth of the 1970s contrasted with the growing misery in the countryside and in the cities. The wage squeeze and the increase in income concentration,[xxiii] added to the more than 400 deaths[xxv] and disappearances practiced by the State, are the hidden face of the golden years of the national economy. Death was still justified in the name of economic prosperity.

At the end of the 1980s, the economic crisis meant that military governments were no longer able to feed the gleam in the eyes of an elite already accustomed to killing[xxiv]. Torture and death in prisons have returned to their place of origin, to places where nobody sees them, to the outskirts, to the hills and slums. After redemocratization, in the midst of a new wave of “modernization”, democracy, now neoliberal, continued to coexist very well with death. While the Real Plan caused euphoria by containing the acceleration of inflation, businessmen applauded the opening of trade[xxv] and the killing gear continued to churn out corpses by the thousands.

It is estimated that in 1995, over 22 million[xxviii] people were below the extreme poverty line in Brazil. This means that one in seven Brazilians did not have enough income to consume the amount of calories considered necessary for their survival. This number was less than the 28,7 citizens in these conditions recorded in 1993. The drop was certainly due to containment of the inflationary acceleration that eroded the income of the poorest families. The reduction in misery resulting from the new post-dictatorship economic policy, however, stopped there and, in 2002, the number of miserable people remained at 23,8 million.

Coexisting with these astonishing numbers did not happen without the naturalization of a reality that was becoming clearer every day before our eyes. Poverty left the sertões and the hills and reached the centers of the main cities of the country, in the form of a growing contingent of miserable people roaming and living in the streets[xxviii].

The growth of violence was the other facet of this social tragedy. “Those who are hungry are in a hurry” was the slogan of the “Ação da Cidadania[xxix]”, organized by sociologist Herbert de Souza, Betinho. The rush of the hungry could often lead to the subversion of order in what is most sacred to it, private property. In this context, the State is always summoned to detain individuals, repossession and, at the limit, kill, after all, whenever necessary, a “German or Israeli machine gun shreds a thief like paper”[xxx]. It was possible to naturalize poverty and misery, but not their consequences that endangered order. It was imposed on the poor to die in silence.

To ensure the success of this social cleansing, purging society of those who dared to revolt, massacres spread across the country. In 1992, 111 inmates at the São Paulo House of Detention, known as the Carandiru Penitentiary, were killed after the invasion of the prison by the Military Policy Shock Troop to “contain” a rebellion.[xxxii]. In 1993, eight teenagers were murdered by military police who shot more than 70 homeless people who were sleeping in front of the Candelária Church, in downtown Rio de Janeiro.[xxxi]. A month later, another 21 young people were murdered by police and former military police, during the early hours of the morning, in the Vigário Geral favela, in the north of Rio de Janeiro.[xxxii]. In 1996, military police from the state of Pará murdered 19 landless rural workers in Eldorado dos Carajás[xxxv].

As much as these forms of action can be treated as excesses of radicalized sectors of the public security forces and their paramilitary militias that were already formed in this context, it is not possible to understand the progress of these practices without perceiving a growing social acquiescence in their face. . Deep down, such phenomena were always seen with painful wounds and difficult to be faced, but at the same time considered necessary for the maintenance of order. Such a perception does not crystallize, however, without further corroding the organic structures of a society already divided from top to bottom. Living with all these deaths without collapsing the social order requires that their victims be placed in a separate location. The place of the “other” is reserved for them, the one who does not matter, who is disposable for the social organism.[xxxiv]. It was like this, with the “barbaric and violent” indigenous person, it was like this with the “savage and dehumanized” black person, it was like this with the “mixed-breed of vicious blood”, it was like this with the “vague and disqualified” national worker, it has been like this with the marginalized, “incapable of living in society”. A plot is constructed in which all these can die, since they produce nothing, are sterile from an economic point of view and even deform the social order.

For all these reasons, such massacres were not isolated cases. In 2020, killing and dying in the name of economic progress is common practice. Movements in favor of facilitating the ownership of weapons are growing, at the same time that the number and power of militias of hired killers is growing. Nothing is closer to today's Brazil than Achille Mbembe's observation of the reality of several African states at the end of the XNUMXth century, in which “urban militias, private armies, armies of regional lords, private security and State armies all proclaim the right to exercise violence or kill.”[xxxiv]

In the rural zone, the expansion of the agricultural frontier continues to kill and enslave in the name of the success of agribusiness. According to data from the Dom Tomás Balduíno Documentation Center, of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), in 2019 there were 32 executions in the field[xxxviii], most of them union leaders and rural workers. There are already 247 murders registered by the CPT since 1985. In the same year, according to the CPT, complaints led to the discovery of 880 people in conditions analogous to slave labor in Brazil, of which 745 were freed.[xxxviii]. Solving these cases is not always easy, given the enormous difficulties and risks involved in the task of those who are willing to monitor and denounce cases of labor exploitation. The fate of these inspection agents is often also death.[xxxix]. In addition to these deaths, there are many others caused by agrarian expansion, which leads to the proliferation of conflicts between landowners and small producers and/or indigenous people.[xl]. The recent cuts in the number of labor inspectors and auditors, the scrapping and ideological leadership in bodies such as Ibama, ICMBio[xi], Funai[xliii] and Incra, as well as the criminalization of social movements such as the MST[xiii] point to a genocide of even greater proportions in the coming years.

In the middle of the 2019st century, this climate of lawless land is also the rule in the largest metropolises in the country, where people kill and die indiscriminately. According to the Atlas of Violence 2017, produced by the Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) and the Brazilian Public Security Forum, in 65.602 there were 180 homicides in Brazil. There were 2017 deaths per day, on average. These deaths do not arouse attention. They are more than invisible, they are naturalized, as they generally deal with young black people and poor people living on the outskirts of large cities. Of the murders that took place in 75,5, XNUMX% victimized black individuals[xiv]. When it appears in the mainstream press, basically in sensationalist newspapers, it is not uncommon for this extermination to be endorsed by a discourse of social cleansing: “one less criminal”, especially when the death is caused in conflicts with the police.

In recent years, as a result of the intensification of the dispute for power between criminal groups, such as the Primeiro Comando da Capital (PCC) and the Comando Vermelho (CV), the execution of rival groups within prison units has been recurrent.[xlv]. In these cases, death, even characterized by terrible brutality, is even less shocking. We have become a sadistic, shameless society that not only accepts these deaths, but revels in them. Death must come into the house, have breakfast and lunch every day with each one of us and not frighten us anymore. Such sadism takes shape from the growing number of sensational journalistic programs, audience successes, centered on the spectacle of violence. Fear of violence does not arouse indignation, but fuels hatred of the “other”, reinforcing social division. In this sense, the perception reproduced in recent years of a society divided between "good citizens" and "marginal" appears as the most modern version of the polarization between Casa Grande and Senzala.

If the deaths revealed by severed corpses and charred bodies[xlv] presented in these programs do not cause terror, let alone those that occur silently in thousands of homes without basic sanitation, in hospitals without doctors and on the streets. The access to health so vividly remembered in recent days is not a new problem for poor Brazilians, who depend on the Unified Health System. Its problems include the insufficient number of doctors and their unequal distribution across the country, the lack of hospital beds, the delay in scheduling consultations and exams, among others.[xlv]. The growth in the infant mortality rate[xlviii] in 2016, after years of decline, indicates how much the fiscal austerity policies of recent years have further compromised the fragile Brazilian health system.

So what about the thousands of deaths today and tomorrow caused by environmental destruction, pollution, pesticides, the displacement of communities, the destruction of rivers and seas, the flood of mud caused by the criminal breaking of dams, landslides, hillside constructions, among many other preventable deaths. Dying and killing has not been an issue for years. Why now?

Thus, looking back is a necessary condition to understand why, faced with queues at cemeteries to bury the dead, the shortage of coffins in some cities and hospital beds in others, some insist on being more concerned with the “death of CNPJs” ”. One cannot go unpunished for a story based on corpses. From 1500 until now, not only have we learned to live with them, but we have also learned to accept how important they are for our evolution. “People die”. "The economy cannot stop for 5 or 7 thousand deaths". No one wants to “drag a graveyard of dead people behind [their] back”. “The wheel of the economy needs to turn again”. They are thoughts exuded by heads of today as they could have been said 20 years ago or on any day in our history.

Within this context, Bolsonaro's current eugenics policy, although going against practically everyone else's, does not hang in the air. It is sustained by an ideological apparatus that sees the death of the “other” as a redemption, a final solution, in the name of social evolution. His adherence to this ideology did not happen now either, it was already clear throughout his political career. It was already possible to perceive it when, still a deputy, Bolsonaro defended in 1999 the need to “kill about 30 thousand”, starting with then-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, in “work that the military regime did not do” or when he dedicated to a torturer his vote for the impeachment of Dilma Roussef, in 2016, to mention just two examples[xlix]. The fact that even so, a large part of the population, starting with its economic elites, did not blush to endorse his speech during the election campaign says much more about us, as a society, than about him.

If this is all true, even if opposing the policy of death represented by the current government is now an imperative, any attempt to surgically remove the president from the post he is in will not transform us into a better society. For that, much more is needed than this. In order to start building a less cruel future for after the crisis, it will be necessary, right now, to start disinfecting ourselves from a much worse virus than the one plaguing us today, from which we have been infected en masse hereditarily for centuries, and which has prevented from seeing in the other a part of ourselves. Call this disease capitalism, or whatever other name you want to give it, the fact is that we need to combine urgent efforts to collectively find its cure.

*Rafael Moraes is a professor at the Department of Economics at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (UFES).


[I] I would like to thank my colleagues from the Economic Conjuncture Group at Ufes, Ana Paula, Henrique, Gustavo and Vinícius, for reading and making suggestions to the text, exempting them from any responsibility for its content.

[ii]The number of deaths caused by the Coronavirus in Brazil surpassed 16 thousand, on May 17, 2020, based on information resulting from numbers that are certainly underreported. See more in “Underreporting: 6 indicators that there are more cases of Covid-19 in Brazil than the government discloses” available at:


[iii] His indifference to the consequences of the disease for millions of Brazilians is materialized not only through his speeches, but also through the measures taken so far, which make clear the option to protect companies and rentiers, even if to the detriment of the most vulnerable. See more about this in: “Brief comments on EC 106”, available at:  https://blog.ufes.br/grupodeconjunturaufes/2020/05/15/breves-comentarios-sobre-a-ec-106/ and “Pandemic and precariousness: the naturalization of social dramas”, available at:  https://blog.ufes.br/grupodeconjunturaufes/2020/04/20/607/

[iv] Caio Prado Jr. Formation of Contemporary Brazil (1942)

[v] Leslie Bethell. History of Latin America (vol. 1) published by Edusp and Funag in 2012 (2nd ed.). Notes on American Populations on the Eve of the European Invasions.

[vi] There were more than 30 million across America, as can be seen in Nicolás Sanches-Albornoz (The Population of Colonial Spanish America) in História da América Latina (vol. 2) edited by Leslie Bethell and published in Brazil by Edusp/Funag in 2008 .

[vii] The most accepted estimates point to 12,5 million embarked in Africa and 10,7 disembarked in the Americas from 1514 to 1866. There are practically 2 million dead during the crossing of the Atlantic. To see: https://slavevoyages.org/

[viii] See about it in Caio Prado Junior. Economic History of Brazil (Ed. Brasiliense, 1945, p. 109). Eric Willians also shows that the practice of throwing black people still alive overboard was already used by traffickers even before the 1975th century, either to contain black rebellion movements during the voyage, or to prevent the spread of diseases on board. In these cases, mass murder was reciprocated with insurance payments to merchants for the lost cargo (Capitalism and Slavery, American Ed., 52, p. XNUMX).

[ix] Rings in which the victim's thumbs were attached, compressing them by means of a screw.

[X] See, by Emília Viotti da Costa, “Da Monarquia a República” published by Editora da Unesp in 2010 (9th edition) p. 290-294.

[xi] Realizing that the slave regime was nearing its end, many landowners sought to reduce their losses, reinventing ways to keep workers tied to their farms. Soon some realize that freeing the captive, before the law does, could be a good deal. This is what we see, for example, in a letter written by the São Paulo farmer Paula Souza to the Bahian doctor and politician Cézar Zama. Says Souza, “I have concrete examples in my family. My brother freed all [enslaved blacks] he owned. Some of these left and went to look for work far away. Eight days later they sought me out, or my own brother, and they settled with us, bringing with them unfavorable impressions of the vagabond life they led during those eight days. […] As I told you, I have the same contract with my former slaves that I had with the settlers. I give them nothing: I sell them everything, even a penny worth of cabbage or milk! You understand that I only do this to moralize the work, and so that they understand that they can only count on you, and never out of greed”. Excerpts from a letter written on March 19, 1888, published in the newspaper The Province of Sao Paulo in the same year and reproduced by Florestan Fernandes in Integrating the Negro in Class Society (Editora Globo, 2008, vol. I, p. 48-49)

[xii] The high mortality rates of enslaved workers are explained by the poor living conditions and the hard and precarious work on the farms. In addition, it is worth noting the existence of a number, for which there are few estimates, of enslaved blacks who enlisted to fight in the Paraguayan War (1864-1870) excited about the possibility of manumission, and did not return alive.

[xiii] Supporting the escape of enslaved workers became a common practice for part of the abolitionist movement throughout the 1880s. This was the case of the Caifazes, led by Antonio Bento, in São Paulo. See in “Alencastro: abolition, maneuver of the elites”, available at: https://outraspalavras.net/outrasmidias/alencastro-abolicao-manobra-das-elites/

[xiv] “It was the landowner who freed himself from the slave, and not the slave who, properly speaking, freed himself from the landowner. The Abolition proposal, in theory, was not intended to redeem the captive, but to free capital from him, which writhed in the limitations, impediments and irrationalities of slavery.” José de Souza Martins, The captivity of the earth (Contexto, 2010, pg. 227).

[xv] “One hundred years of freedom, reality or illusion”, samba-plot of the 1988 parade, from GRES Estação Primeira de Mangueira. Composed by Hélio Turco, Jurandir and Alvinho.

[xvi] They refer to three among the dozens of rebellions that took place during the regency period of the II Empire, all of them massacred by the imperial military forces: Cabanagem (Grão-Pará – 1835-1840), Balaiada (Maranhão, 1838-1841) and Sabinada (Bahia, 1837-1838).

[xvii] See, by Sidney Chalhoub, “Trabalho lar e botequim”, published by Editora da Unicamp in 2012.

[xviii] See more in “When the drought created the 'concentration camps' in the backlands of Ceará”, available at:


[xx] See the book “Quarto de Despejo: diary of a favelada” written by the paper collector and writer Carolina Maria de Jesus, throughout the 1950s and originally published in 1960. Highlight for the passage: “I woke up. I didn't sleep anymore. I started to feel hungry. And those who are hungry do not sleep. When Jesus said to the women of Jerusalem: – 'Don't cry for me. Cry for you' – his words prophesied the government of Senhor Juscelino. Pain of hardship for the Brazilian people. Too bad the poor have to eat what they find in the trash or go to bed hungry” p. 134.

[xx] Eduardo Coutinho's film “Cabra Marcado para Morir” (1984) narrates the death of peasant João Pedro Teixeira, in 1962, with rifle shots in his back in the municipality of Sapé, in Paraíba. João Pedro was a local peasant leader and was killed at the behest of landowners involved in agrarian conflicts. 

[xxx] This was what Emílio G. Médici, the third president of the military regime that ruled between 1970 and 1969, concluded in 1974. See: http://memoria.bn.br/pdf/030015/per030015_1970_00285.pdf

[xxiii] Idea attributed to Antonio Delfim Netto, economist who was Minister of Finance between 1967 and 1974, during the period of the “Economic Miracle”.

[xxiii] See “50 years of AI-5: The numbers behind the 'economic miracle' of the dictatorship in Brazil”, available at: https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-45960213.

[xxv] See Final Report of the National Truth Commission, available at: http://cnv.memoriasreveladas.gov.br/images/pdf/relatorio/volume_3_digital.pdf

[xxiv] See more in “Fiesp's link with the basement of the dictatorship” available at: https://oglobo.globo.com/brasil/o-elo-da-fiesp-com-porao-da-ditadura-7794152 and in “Volkswagen admits ties with the military dictatorship, but fails to detail participation, says researcher”, available at: https://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2017/12/15/politica/1513361742_096853.html

[xxv] See: Documento Fiesp “Free to grow: proposal for a modern Brazil” (1990).

[xxviii] Data from the National Household Sample Survey, available at www.ipeadata.gov.br

[xxviii] See more in the report “In 1990, miserable people invaded the country's big cities” available at https://veja.abril.com.br/blog/reveja/em-1990-miseraveis-invadiam-as-grandes-cidades-do-pais/.

[xxix] See more at https://www.acaodacidadania.com.br/nossa-historia

[xxx] “Diário de um detento” (1997), rap written by Pedro Paulo Soares Pereira (Mano Brown) and Josemir Prado, former prisoner of Carandiru.

[xxxii] See more in “Survivor of Carandiru: 'If the door opens, you live. If not, I'll execute you'”, available at: https://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2017/06/14/politica/1497471277_080723.html.

[xxxi] See more in “Majority of survivors died, says activist, 25 years after massacre”, available at: https://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/direitos-humanos/noticia/2018-07/nao-consegui-salvar-aquelas-criancas-diz-ativista-25-apos-chacina

[xxxii] See more in “Survivor of Vigário Geral massacre says PM wanted to kill children”, available at: https://noticias.uol.com.br/cotidiano/ultimas-noticias/2013/08/29/sobrevivente-da-chacina-de-vigario-geral-diz-que-pm-queria-matar-criancas.htm

[xxxv] See more in “Police massacre in Eldorado dos Carajás”, available at: http://memorialdademocracia.com.br/card/policia-massacra-em-eldorado-dos-carajas

[xxxiv] See “Necropolítica” by Achile Mbembe, published in Brazil by N-1 editions in 2018.

[xxxiv] Necropolitics, Achille Mbembe (2018, p.53).

[xxxviii] See more in Pastoral Land Commission, available at: https://www.cptnacional.org.br/component/jdownloads/send/5-assassinatos/14169-assassinatos-2019?Itemid=0

[xxxviii] See more in Pastoral Land Commission, available at: https://www.cptnacional.org.br/component/jdownloads/send/12-trabalho-escravo/14174-trabalho-escravo-2019?Itemid=0

[xxxix] See the slaughter involving Ministry of Labor inspectors, in 2004, in the city of Unai/MG. https://g1.globo.com/df/distrito-federal/noticia/2019/07/30/chacina-de-unai-apos-15-anos-justica-federal-mantem-condenacao-de-tres-mandantes-do-crime.ghtml

[xl] See more in “Genocide of the Guarani-Kaiowá people in MS is incontestable, concludes mission of the European Parliament and CDHM”, available at: https://www2.camara.leg.br/atividade-legislativa/comissoes/comissoes-permanentes/cdhm/noticias/genocidio-de-povo-guarani-kaiowa-no-ms-e-incontestavel-conclui-missao-do-parlamento-europeu-e-cdhm

[xi] See more in “Doors open to the devastation of Brazil”, available at: https://outraspalavras.net/outrasmidias/o-campo-minado-da-fiscalizacao-ambiental/

[xliii] See more in “Funai’s suffocation and the announced genocide” by Karen Shiratori, available at:: https://brasil.elpais.com/brasil/2017/05/08/opinion/1494269412_702204.html

[xiii] See more in “Bolsonaro on MST and MTST: 'Invaded, it's lead'”, available at: https://politica.estadao.com.br/noticias/geral,bolsonaro-diz-que-e-melhor-perder-direitos-trabalhistas-que-o-emprego,70002317744

[xiv] See more at: http://www.ipea.gov.br/atlasviolencia/download/19/atlas-da-violencia-2019

[xlv] Massacres such as those that occurred in the Prison of Pedrinhas/MA, in 2010 (18 deaths), in several prisons in Ceará, in 2016 (14 deaths), in the Agricultural Penitentiary of Monte Cristo/RR (10 deaths), in the Penitentiary Ênio dos Santos Pinheiro /RO, in 2016 (8 deaths), in the Penitentiary Complex Anísio Jobim/AM, in 2017 (60 deaths) and in the Altamira Regional Recovery Center, in 2019 (57 deaths).

[xlv] See more in “Cut off heads, charred bodies – what lies behind extreme violence in faction warfare”, available at: https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/brasil-49181204

[xlv] See more in “Medical Demography in Brazil 2018”, published by the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo, available at: http://jornal.usp.br/wp-content/uploads/DemografiaMedica2018.pdf and in “Lack of doctors and medicines: 10 major problems in Brazilian health”, available at: https://www.ipea.gov.br/portal/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=33176:uol-noticias-falta-de-medicos-e-de-remedios-10-grandes-problemas-da-saude-brasileira&catid=131:sem-categoria&directory=1.

[xlviii] See more in “Infant mortality returns with increasing social inequalities”, available at: https://jornal.usp.br/atualidades/mortalidade-infantil-retorna-com-aumento-das-desigualdades-sociais/

[xlix] Read more about this in “Inside the nightmare” by Fernando Barros e Silva, available at: https://piaui.folha.uol.com.br/materia/dentro-do-pesadelo-2/

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