Moment of truth, justice, accountability and memory

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By JORGE LUIZ SOUTO MAIOR*

The reconstitution of the democratic order requires the effective application of all criminal, civil, labor, electoral and political sanctions to the offenses committed during the pandemic and the elections

On July 18 of this year, the current president (a defeated candidate in the elections) met with international diplomatic representatives and, without any evidence, launched yet another attack on the electronic voting machines. This was just one of the countless attitudes and speeches of the current President of the Republic, confronting national institutions and public property and, above all, disregarding intelligence and human lives.

No effective legal and political reaction was produced in response to such acts, so that they were intensified and worsened every day. After the elections, the president doubled his bet and not only relapsed in the conduct, first, omitting himself with regard to the recognition of defeat and, later, even going so far as to encourage the performance of anti-democratic acts, even though he has manifested himself asking for the cessation of the roadblocks, but only for the preservation of the “right to come and go”.

It turns out that regardless of whether or not other spheres of the legal order are reached, including the one mentioned above, any demonstration that advocates a coup d'état is not part of the list of freedom of expression, because it is legally configured as a criminal act, notably when feeds on other crimes, such as physical violence,[1] xenophobia (with offenses against people born in northeastern Brazil[2]), the racism[3] and apologies for hate[4] and nazism[5].

The attacks on the legal order committed by the so-called “protesters”, or as they call themselves, “defenders of the homeland”, are far beyond, therefore, the obstruction of public roads.

The truth is that crimes have been expressly or implicitly encouraged by the President of the Republic, thus renewing his complete disrespect for the democratic order, as he had already done, in fact, reluctantly, with regard to human lives, whether when he discredited the measures of prevention and control of the pandemic, whether when it encouraged the arming of part of the population, consented to the destruction of the environment and conducted an economic policy aimed at the interests of a business elite and speculative capital, which made the country return to the hunger map , enhancing the suffering of millions of Brazilian men and women.

Presidential negligence, marked by disdain for preventive measures, including vaccination, certainly contributed to reaching the sad mark of almost 700 deaths from COVID-19 in Brazil (or even more, considering underreporting). In a country, with not even 3% of the global population, 11% of the total deaths resulting from the pandemic have been reached.

And it should be noted that the negligence in question went well beyond omission, since a deliberate policy of discouraging immunization and disobeying social isolation policies and the use of masks was developed in the period.

This set of elements outlines a genocidal agenda implemented in the country. Also in this regard, it should be borne in mind that the pandemic has more forcefully victimized not only the elderly and people with immunity deficits, but also the black and poor population of the country in an unequal and more pronounced way, which pronounced the immemorial genocide denounced since Abdias do Nascimento against black Brazilian men and women.

Thus, in order to succeed in the necessary process of revaluing life in a society marked by solidarity and respect for the human condition, it is essential that the illicit acts committed during this period do not remain forgotten and unpunished.

As for the acts carried out on the occasion of the elections, it is worth remembering the abusive use and with obvious deviation of purpose by contingents of the Federal Highway Police and even the Army to make it difficult for thousands of voters to vote, especially in the northeast, in São Paulo, in Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, contrasting with the total absence of the same police operations in regions with a predominance of voters of the current president and, above all, with the attitude of connivance and even explicit support of the same PRF.

Also remember the electoral harassment, which reached the absurd number of more than 3.000 cases denounced. It is extremely important, therefore, that the analysis of the complaints and their respective demands be continued, so that, once the facts are proven, all the moral and material damages experienced by the harassed employees are repaired, in a way that includes to restore their employment, with the necessary protection against arbitrary dismissal.

It is worth noting that it is exactly the certainty of impunity that makes part of the business sector, from which the harassment and even, according to the attorneys general of some states, the financing of anti-democratic acts,[6] do not have the slightest fear of already pronouncing to harass the president-elect, demanding that since the labor “reform” be kept in force,[7] which, as is known, was the main cause and effect of the 2016 coup. By reducing rights, undermining union action and obstructing access to justice, the labor “reform” aimed solely at expanding the possibilities of profit for part of the sector business, through the lowering of civilizing limits for the exploitation of work.

Specifically, those who used the public machine to “buy” votes or interfere in some way with the freedom to vote and all those (private and public companies, or even politicians) who committed any type of electoral harassment must be held accountable for their conduct. , given that the end of the electoral process (and even the result of the elections contrary to their evident interests) does not erase the crimes committed.

The reconstitution of the democratic order and the authority of the Rule of Law requires the effective application of all criminal, civil, labor, electoral and political sanctions to the offenses committed during the pandemic and the elections, this because, although there is a feeling that the pandemic was overcome, this new reality, in fact, was not offered to thousands of people and, even if it is taken for granted that the new president was democratically elected, the enormous amount of electoral offenses verified, as stated above, made explicit how much our Democracy still needs to evolve to move away from the time of the “owners of power”.

For those who are out there (now and for some time now) openly attacking life, fundamental rights and the democratic order, the fate cannot be a mere return home, as if nothing had happened.

Finally, for an effective social, cultural, political, economic and human reconstruction, it will be necessary to clean up Brazil and, for that, it is essential, breaking the shameless secrecy of 100 years, that a Commission of Truth, Justice be established and Memory of the period of the current government (with necessary popular participation), in order to investigate, register, document and hold accountable all the conducts practiced (in the public and private spheres) that constitute crimes against the democratic order, Human Rights and the environment.

*Jorge Luiz Souto Maior is professor of labor law at the Faculty of Law of USP and president of the American Association of Jurists – AAJ-Rama Brasil. Author, among other books, of Moral damage in employment relationships (Studio editors).

Notes


[1] Available at: https://noticias.uol.com.br/politica/ultimas-noticias/2022/11/03/bolsonaristas-agridem-estudantes-em-jundiai.htm.

[2] Available in: https://noticias.uol.com.br/ultimas-noticias/bbc/2022/10/02/apoiadores-de-bolsonaro-disparam-ofensas-a-nordestinos-por-votos-em-lula.htm.

[3] Available in: https://www.uol.com.br/universa/noticias/redacao/2022/11/02/estudante-negro-vitima-de-racismo-em-colegio-de-elite.htm.

[4] Available in: https://www.terra.com.br/esportes/automobilismo/nelson-piquet-participa-de-ato-bolsonarista-e-pede-lula-no-cemiterio-veja-video,f5ac74f5dea61db86cf2e8c423182583w9o3mkno.html.

[5] Available in: https://www.correiobraziliense.com.br/politica/2022/11/5048951-bolsonaristas-fazem-saudacao-nazista-durante-execucao-do-hino-nacional-em-sc.html.

[6] Available in: https://noticias.uol.com.br/politica/ultimas-noticias/2022/11/08/procuradores-gerais-moraes-financiadores-atos-antidemocraticos.htm.

[7] Available in: https://economia.uol.com.br/noticias/redacao/2022/11/05/demandas-setores-governo-lula.amp.htm.

 

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