Alarming Letter from Brasil

@ig aronovich/lost art
The sad news striking the world about Brazilian elections’ outcome, has been hourly growing our fears regarding the future of the Democracy in our country. The photo above is the better expression how most of us feels at the moment … sad, opressed, betrayed … questioning the reasons why a little more of 1/3 of people in our country deposited their hope for a better country on the hands of the President-elected Jair Bolsonaro.

It is not easy to accept a President-elected who, during his campaign was all time expressing discrimination and attacks to diverse groups in society and to people freedom of thinking and express their values and believes. Even before assuming the presidency, he and his supporters accelerate some agendas, pushing for changes that are in line with his campaign words and interests. From his words, he makes clear that he believes the solution to social problems is the annihilation of minorities, that the management of the state shall be provoking fear, acting to promote the censorship and defending the school without ideology.

“The president-elect campaigned stood out by anti-human rights speeches and often made discriminatory statements about different groups in society. His election as president of Brazil represents a huge risk for indigenous peoples, afro descendant communities, traditional rural communities, LGBTI people, women, activists and civil society organizations, if their rhetoric is transformed into public policy, ”
said Erika Guevara- Rosas, Director of Amnesty International for the Americas.

Even during his campaign, his public speeches inspires and authorises acts of violence and intimidating from his followers. Starting from his son Eduardo Bolsonaro, member of the National Congress, who, a week before the elections threatened the Supreme Court, by saying:

“The Supreme Court could be forcibly disbanded by the Army, in case it would stripped his father of an electoral victory” (!!!!)

During his campaign, Bolsonaro promised easing gun control laws and prior authorization for police officers to kill on duty. He threatened the territories of indigenous peoples with the promise of altering the processes of demarcation of lands and authorizing large projects of exploitation of natural resources. Meanwhile, the same Eduardo Bolsonaro was publishing a photo alongside Steve Bannon, where he affirms: “We are certainly in contact to join forces, especially against cultural Marxism”… Steve Bannon made compliments to the Brazilian candidate, describing him as someone “leader”, “brilliant”, “sophisticated” and “very much like” Trump. (I don’t need to explain who Steve Bannon is …)

The following days after his election has been noticeable by a crescent of violence, intolerance and retaliation against the people who doesn’t feel represented by him and his ideas. A number of cases have been reported of attacking to the principles of ethics, morality and democracy, on actions disseminated by his blind followers and sympathisers, in response to everything he said out loud during his campaign. People who feel rights to start acting accordingly to his believes…
We have been daily bombarded by threats of all kinds.

Here are some key facts that happened since after he was elected …

  • A politician, affiliated to Jair Bolsonaro’s Party, created an anonymous platform to intimidate and collect accusations against educators, by encouraging students to film their teachers and lecturers in the classroom, to record expressions of any ideological or party-political speech, justified under the ideal of *school without party*, a project in discussion at the Congress.
    *School without a Party* is a political movement, which has been harshly criticized by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, who considered the bills promoted by him as threats to basic human rights. It had already been repudiated in Brazil by relevant organizations related to education and science, as such as the Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science, the National History Association, among others, which affirm that the School without a Party is a serious threat to the sciences, education, secular state and freedom of expression in Brazil.
  • Pankararu Indigenous tribe reported an hospital and a school were destroyed in their village at the state of Pernambuco, consequence of a tension between the indigenous who defend their land from the squatters.
  • Congress session oppened to vote for rescind the Statute of disarmament, in favour of the release of the arms.
  • Followers of Bolsonaro disclosed a list of 700 names of artists and celebrities to ask for boycott them publicly. Among them is my friend Antonio Grassi, with whom I had the honour to share the curatorship of Brazil on PQ2011, when we conquered the Golden Triga.


  • Bolsonaro`s sympatisers and party members trying to aprove another series of projects at the Congress, accelerating decisions regarding to the following matters:
    • To approve the “School without Party“
    • To become education of gender ideology in schools a crime
    • To criminalize the apology to communism (or what they think is communism)
  • President-elected announce the intention to reduce from 29 to 15 Ministris, in witch he mentioned the extinction of the Ministry of Culture.
  • Social, union and student movements protested in São Paulo against the president-elect, to claim for the maintenance of democratic values, freedom of expression on account of the statements made by the president-elect to his opponents.

“Bolsonaro was elected president, but not emperor, he cannot go beyond the democratic values and freedom of expression, he must respect the opposition and social movements, not threaten them. For our rights, this resistance is legitimate and we will not be silent in the face of any attack. Let’s go without fear!” *said Guilherme Boulos, leader of PSOL Party*


  • President-elected announces the judge Sergio Moro for the Ministry of Justice. Press news today enmphasizes the fact that Sergio Moro is the main responsible for imprisoning the ex-president Lula, from Labour Party in April/2018, leaving a clear path on elections for Bolsonaro
  • President-elected announces the fusion between the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture, what visibly drives Brazil to an environmetal disaster. aAfter a huge presure and criticism, he steped back… not sure how long for, though.

„The president-elect should not imagine that Brazil is going to be seen as an enemy of the environment, a serious decision that impacts on increasing deforestation and global warming, not just a bad idea, and an unreasonable idea”.
*said by the federal deputy Alessandro Molon, at the Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development*

I decided to share this with you all, as it doesn’t show the President-elected is guiding us to a healthy democratic pathway, but to the darkness. Jair Bolsonaro is no longer brilliant, neither sophisticated, but the one who while candidate never faced a debate or a dialogue. We all hope he does not perform as he promised during the campaign, because his monologues are all focused on the massive privatization, the taking over indigenous lands, the neglect with the environmental issue, the education without school, the gun as an instrument of society, etc…, and in addition to all these non-care about the country and its people, he endorses the homophobia.
I am sorry, but I don’t have a clear answer to the question: “How in Earth a person becomes President with a program like that!!

He was voted by 57 million people… while 47 million voted for the second candidate, but unfortunately, another 42 million decided to abstain, voting null or blank… Despite all our effort on daily meeting and talking with people we know and we don’t know, trying to revert this disgrace, the attitude of 1/3 of the voting population on making like it doesn’t matter, it is not their responsability… resulted on electing him.
Today, I feel shamed for my country to become represented by a man like him and frightened of the 57 million who sympathize with his way of thinking. There are loads of families and friendships that has broken down because it became unacceptable for many, and I include myself, to live with people who support his believes …
We are millions, working hardly every day as resistance, to try to revert an announced catastrophe. I wake up every morning wishing nonn of this is real, but just a nighmate… and as many others, spending loads of time sharing information, inviting people to follow and digitaly voting in all public petitions of interest, alerting people to what is going on, and how to defend themselves from all the treathening.
We have been already turned around the increasing of votes for rescind the Statute of disarmament. At the Congress, the opposition put on hold until next week two important matters that Bolsonaro and his gangue are trying to push and get it approved: the future of the education (the School witout Party) and the future of peoples rights to express freely (as they want to classify social manifestations as crime).
I voted for first time for President on 1989, consequence of a movement for Democracy (#DiretasJá)… less than 30 years latter, here we are risking going backwards, loosing everything. This was my daughter`s first election who completed 17 years and voted by option (the obligatory is from 18 years); I hope it was not her last, and we will fight to keep our rights for voting in 2022.!
Brazil is a beautiful country where the sun shines undoubtedly, and we will not let obscures interests to erase its colorful and joy! We are 47 million, at least, who believe in a diffrent future and is already faighting to keep the respect and integrity of the human rights and our Constitution. It is urgent and necessary to keep vigilant, not in Brazil only, but in the world, the Democracy is in danger!

Aby Cohen
PQ2019 Brazilian Curator
Former vice-president of OISTAT 2013-2017

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