Institutions did not work

Image: Matheus Natan


Institutions have failed to defend democracy

During the last few years, and even today, we hear that Brazilian institutions have worked — and that they continue to work.

No! Brazilian institutions did not work to defend democracy and the democratic rule of law.

If they had worked properly, Dilma Rousseff would not have suffered a impeachment no proven crime of responsibility; Lula would not have been convicted and imprisoned without proof that he had committed any crime; and Jair Bolsonaro would have had his mandate as federal deputy revoked, with the due loss of political rights, for lack of parliamentary decorum — on numerous occasions, including aggressive attitudes against colleagues in Congress, such as Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, then in PSOL, in 2013 ; and federal deputy Maria do Rosário (PT), in 2014 — in addition to countless racist, misogynistic and/or homophobic manifestations. And in praise of a torturer recognized as such by the Judiciary: Army Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, who died in 2015, who was director of the Operations and Information Detachment – ​​Internal Defense Operations Center (DOI-Codi), a body subordinate to the Army, in São Paulo, from September 1970 to January 1974, during the military dictatorship.

On April 17, 2016, in the vote for the admissibility of the impeachment of former president Dilma, then deputy Jair Bolsonaro declared, in the plenary of the Chamber: “They lost in 64, they lost now in 2016. For the family and for the innocence of children in the classroom, which the PT never had [sic]; against communism; for our freedom; against the São Paulo Forum; for the memory of Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra, the fear of Dilma Rousseff; by the Army of Caxias; by our Armed Forces; for a Brazil above all and for God above all, my vote is yes”.

By mentioning Ustra as “the terror of Dilma Rousseff”, Bolsonaro admitted, even if he later denied, the deceased colonel’s past as a torturer. And he was not impeached for praising torture, as he should have been. The process, then opened at the Council of Ethics of the Chamber, was filed on November 9, 2016, under the allegation that “the deputy only expressed his free political opinion, supported by parliamentary inviolability”.

It was accepted that Jair Bolsonaro attacked fellow parliamentarians. It was accepted that he defended a torturer, recognized as such by the Judiciary. It was accepted that a notorious defender of the military dictatorship would keep his parliamentary mandate.

Institutions failed to defend democracy. They allowed an heir from the basements of the military dictatorship to reach the most important position in the Republic, with the vote of more than 57 million Brazilian men and women, aware or ignorant of their past — and present — immersed in the horror of dictatorship, torture and militias.

That the institutions finally work, approving the removal of Jair Bolsonaro from the Presidency of the Republic, for proven crimes of responsibility.

* Katia Gerab Baggio Professor of History of the Americas at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).


See this link for all articles


  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • Impasses and solutions for the political momentjose dirceu 12/06/2024 By JOSÉ DIRCEU: The development program must be the basis of a political commitment from the democratic front
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table
  • A myopic logicRED MAN WALKING _ 12/06/2024 By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL: The government does not have the political will to make education a priority, while it courts the military or highway police, who do not move a millimeter away from the Bolsonarism that they continue to support
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives