How will the German Government react facing today’s Brazilian situation?
While visiting Brazil I got received the news (still to confirm) that the Brazilian Foreign Minister, Aloysio Nunes, intends to visit Germany. According to the information he would meet the German Vice-Chanceler, Sigmar Gabriel, from SPD, in Berlin.
The German government showed frequently, and before many official visitors or visiting other countries, strong concern about the respect for human rights, the environment and the democratic guarantees towards citizens in their countries. Turkey’s President, Tayyip Erdogan, or Vladimir Putin, from Russia, are good examples of such concern by Berlin’s Government. Few days ago, in a very diplomatic way but also firmly, the German Government expressed its uneasiness – along with many other European leaders – towards the announcement, by President Trump, that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement about Climate Changes.
So, it is very appropriate to ask: how will the German Government react before the present Brazilian situation?
Will it show some sort of concern about what is happening in Brazil today, or will it forget what is actually going on in Brazil, pretending that Brazil and Brazilians live in a perfectly normal democracy, with total respect for human rights and Consitutional guaranties?
There is strong evidence that Brazil is going towards an expanding State of Exception (Ausnahmezustand, a word of a sad memory in Germany, associated with the Nazi Regime), and as the days pass the signs of such a situation become more and more clear before the whole world.
The most recent example of such a situation was the brutal repression by Brasilia’s Military Police over the demonstration organized by worker’s unions against changes in worker’s rights and their retirement rules, that the Brazilian Government intends to introduce through the Parliament. Thousands came to Brasilia from all over the country to demonstrate in face of the Parliament. Many analyses said in the media that it was the hugest demonstration ever in the Federal Capital. But at the end images of policemen firing at people with live ammunition were displayed throughout the world, besides scenes where the main actors were rubber bullets, tear gas and cavalry charges against the crowd.
Right after these grotesque scenes, President Michel Temer called the Army to occupy the main streets and avenues of Brasilia. This surprising moment shocked many a politician, journalist or jurist, reminding them of the days of the Military Dictatorship inaugurated in the 1964 Military Coup. Even Army authorities considered their calling into action as excessive and unnecessary. The Human Rights Commission of the American States Organization and the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Human Rights manifestedexpressed their concern with this repression in Brasilia – repeating similar actions that had taken place in other Brazilian cities. These international statements got an answer by Minister Aloysio Nunes whose terms were considered by many Brazilian analysts as absolutely inadequate and undiplomatic. For the first time in our History dozens of diplomats and civil servants of Itamaraty (as the Brazilian Foreign Relations Ministry is known) signed an open letter protesting agains against such attitude of the Brazilian Government, with a strong impact in the international media.
On another front there are many representatives in the Brazilian Parliament who are sponsored by big landowners, supporting measures against Indigenous Reservations, or those of the “quilombolas” (descendants of slaves that ran away from their owners), besides supporting the loosening of the Environment Legislation.
In Brazilian Courts the situation is not easier. One of the most outstanding problems nowadays is the authentic Lawfare (the use of law to harass political enemies) against the ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva through the so called Car Wash Operation (Operação Lava Jato). This operation showed many a disrespect for the Law and Constitutional Rights, such as the illegal taping of his telephone conversations, as well those of his family and lawyers, followed by the also illegal rendering of the transcriptions and audios to the Brazilian mainstream media, known for being extremely hostile towards him. Superior Courts, that should restrain such illegal procedures have declared that Car Wash Operation is above common law, due to its excepcional character. Such situation confirms today’s State of Exception in Brazil.
So it is an absolute must to ask what attitude will the German Government display considering the present and actual Brazilian situation.