quarta-feira, 1 de julho de 2015

Impeachment in Brazil is a political coup

Brazil is on the verge of yet another political coup against democracy and the rule of law.
The mainstream press in general, and some sectors of the public prosecutor's office, the Federal Police, and the judiciary are disrespecting the basic constitutional rights of Brazilian citizens.
Individuals, especially those belonging to the Workers' Party, are being accused and jailed with no due respect for the legal and criminal process, flying in the face of the law. As if such illegal activity weren't enough, the relatives of these individuals are also being arrested and harassed.

I repeat: only individuals who are affiliated and/or sympathizers of the Workers' Party (the PT) are being investigated, prosecuted, and imprisoned, and I maintain that this is against the law.

Dozens of cases and lawsuits involving politicians from the PSDB, just to give an example of a so-called "opposition party", have been drowsily and strategically shuffling through the bureaucracy of the judiciary and the public prosecutor's office for years. I can name the PSDB train case (the "trensalão"), or another, the PSDB monthly payoff scandal (the "mensalão tucano"), which preceded the PT monthly payoff case ("mensalão do PT"); this latter lawsuit, however, moved very swiftly through the courts and was featured in the mainstream media, resulting in several convictions and prison terms.

Moreover, I maintain that in this last ruling, the PT monthly payoff case, unorthodox and questionable legal principles were used to condemn people, in some cases without evidence, with the justices of the Supreme Court using a questionable legal theory known as “control over the act”.  And it appears that it will happen again.

We have witnessed signs and facts that highlight and insinuate glaring illegalities and disrespect to the constitutional rights of citizens and of Brazilian workers. These include the following:

1: Politicians, leaders, and former leadership of the PT are being held without legal basis, only by the determination and the will of a federal judge whose performance is suspected to be motivated by political preferences and passions.

2: Close relatives of these defendants have also been imprisoned, in an apparent attempt to use psychological torture to force the accused into confessing to the alleged crimes. It is common in these cases of "torture" for defendants to confess to crimes they did not commit in an attempt to escape this type of situation, which is a real affront to the civilizing dictates of law and principles as well as human rights.

3: The oligarchic press only accuses politicians belonging to the PT, pushing the limits of "political persecution". Here we should note the concentration of the media in the hands of half a dozen politically conservative families, in flagrant disrespect of the Constitution. The partiality of the media is also flagrant and scandalous, as is the selective nature of their accusations. The persecution and unequal treatment of the Worker's Party is immediately visible. For years, the media have been encouraging a hate campaign against members and sympathizers of this political organization.

4: Police are stopping journalists from the free, progressive, and independent press in a truculent manner, impeding them from reporting impartially on police responses to citizens who express their opposition to conservative measures and congressional efforts to undermine citizens' rights, such as bill PL 4330, just to name an example.

5: The imminent initiation of a suit to impeach the president, who was legitimately re-elected in the October 2014 election by a majority of Brazilians. It should be noted that the president is investigating cases of corruption such as the Petrobras affair, and was recently praised at the Summit of the Americas for this accomplishment.

This is the real political situation we are experiencing today in Brazil, a situation hidden by the country's traditional media which agrees with and encourages actions by these attackers.