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In defense of Brazil’s democracy

Solidarity with the struggle and resistance of feminists and diverse social movements in Brazil.

On 12 May 2016, the Brazilian Senate held a historic vote approving the removal of Dilma Rousseff, the first woman president of Brazil. She was effectively separated from her office for 180 days while impeachment proceedings get underway.

This attack against a president elected by the popular vote of more than 54 million people less than two years ago has led the undersigned individuals and organizations to express:

  • Our alarm at the blatant attack on democracy through the separation of President Dilma Rousseff from her office, for an ambiguous and legally imprecise tax-related crime, in a process that can be described as a parliamentary or institutional coup d’etat.
  • Our condemnation of the different forms of political and gender-based violence to which President Dilma Rousseff was subjected throughout this process, which are part of a deeply sexist and misogynist culture and political system. No self-respecting democracy can allow this degree of violence against its citizens, much less their legitimately elected President.
  • Our concern regarding the apparent regression in interim President Temer’s choice of cabinet appointees, whose members come from a list of white, center-right politicians from the new and old oligarchy of Brazil, including several politicians implicated in the ongoing Lava Jato investigation. There are also names associated with dogmatic religious groups that currently have a lot of power in the Brazilian Congress. This cabinet in no way represents the diversity of Brazilian society, as it is made up of only men (which had not happened for the last 40 years), and excludes women, Afro-descendent and indigenous Brazilians. 
  • We are concerned that the interim government, which was not elected by popular vote, is rapidly pushing through reforms and agreements to advance an agenda of economic liberalization, privatization, and austerity. The strongest indication of this agenda is the subordination of the Ministry of Social Security under the Ministry of Finance. Cuts have been announced in 4,000 public jobs, labour laws are being made more flexible and precarious, and a tax increase has deepened regression in the tax structure.
  • The interim President’s rapid ministerial restructuring is further evidence of the new political scenario. Of the 31 existing ministries in President Rousseff’s government, Temer decided to turn 5 into secretariats and to abolish the Ministry of Human Rights, Racial Equality, and Women. In a country with a majority of women and Afro-descendants, we condemn the closing of that ministry, whose establishment was the product of historic activism by these groups. This action puts us on alert for potential regression in topics such as: recognition of diversity of families, gender education, sexualities, sexual and reproductive rights, and the rights of indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples.
  • Given the enormous power that sectarian religious groups are wielding in the Brazilian parliament and interim government, we reject the potential approval of the Statute of the Unborn, Statute of the Family, and PL5069 which would restrict access to Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy in case of rape and criminalize professional service providers, as well as other measures which seek to impose laws and public policies on the population based on their interpretation of morality.
  • Finally, we absolutely condemn the repression against diverse forms of social dissent and representatives of various organizations and social movements which have been resisting this grave blow to democracy and human rights in Brazil. Recent declarations of the so-called “BBB bench” (bulls, Bibles, and bullets) of the Congress of Brazil, which is made up of the agribusiness sector, dogmatic religious, and gun rights enthusiasts, raise the possibility of lowering the criminal age of responsibility and revising the Statute on Disarmament. The new Minister of Justice, who oversees the security forces, has a long history of repressing social movements. We will be closely following the unfolding of events in Brazil in terms of domestic and foreign policy, and will be denouncing any repressive actions that this interim government may carry out against the opposition to the international community.

For these reasons, the undersigned individuals and organizations have written this letter to express our solidarity with the struggle to resist this grave regression of democracy in Brazil. We support the mobilization of diverse movements of formal and informal workers; rural and urban people; quilombola and indigenous people and communities; rural and campesino movements; LBGTIQ and human rights movements; student movements, artists, and journalists; feminist and women’s movements; and the voices, both organized and independent, that have spoken out in Brazil and elsewhere.

The undersigned are feminists who are making a call for international solidarity with the struggle and resistance in Brazil on behalf of all organizations that fight for human rights, democracy, gender justice, and social, racial, environmental, and political justice.

Without feminism there is no democracy!


23 May 2016

  1. A.F.M , Articulación Feminista Marcosur, Regional
  2. Adelaida Entenza, Abogada Activista por los Derechos de las Mujeres y los Derechos Humanos, Uruguay.
  3. ACDemocracia Ecuador
  4. Akahatá - Equipo de Trabajo en Sexualidades y Géneros,  Regional.
  5. Alejandra Massolo, Argentina.
  6. Alessandra Nilo, Brasil.
  7. Alicia Villanueva, Perú
  8. Amparo Claro, miembra del Comité Consultivo de l Coordinadora General de la Red de Salud de las Mujeres Latinoamericanas, Chile.
  9. Ana María Portugal, Grupo Cultural Adela Montesinos. AREQUIPA- Perú.
  10. Andrea Andújar, Argentina
  11. Angie Dahiana Nievas Aguilera, Uruguay.
  12. Asociación Alianza de Mujeres de Costa Rica, Costa Rica.
  13. Asociación Aurora Vivar, Perú.
  14. Asociación de Mujeres Profesionales por el Desarrollo Integral. AMPDI. Nicaragua.
  15. AWID, Asociación for Women's Rights in Development , Internacional
  16. Asociación  Nacional de Mujeres Rurales e Indígenas de Chile, ANAMURI. Chile
  17. Beatriz Galli, Brasil.
  18. Blanca Olivia Peña Molina, consultora en género, México.
  19. Cai Yiping .- China
  20. Carmen Alanis
  21. Carmen Colazo, Argentina, Paraguay.
  22. Carmen Espinoza, Perú.
  23. Cecilia Fernández, Uruguay.
  24. Celita Eccher, DAWN Comité. Uruguay.
  25. Claire Slatter, Fiji Islands
  26. CLADEM (Comité de América Latina y El Caribe para la defensa de los derechos
  27. de las mujeres), Regional.
  28. Clara Fassler, Uruguay.
  29. CMP Flora Tristán, Perú.
  30. Centro  de Apoyo para el Movimiento Popular de Occidente, CAMPO, Guadalajara, México.
  31. Centro de Documentación y Estudios de Paraguay, Paraguay.
  32. Centro Mujeres A.C., México.
  33. Centro Mujeres Graciela Hierro A.C. , México
  34. Colectiva de Antropólogas Feministas. IIEGE-FFyL-UBA
  35. Colectiva Mujeres de Uruguay , Uruguay.
  36. Colegio de las Américas (COLAM) Organización Universitaria Interamericana (OUI)
  37. Constanza Moreira, Senadora de la Republica Frente Amplio, Uruguay
  38. Coordinadora Civil de Nicaragua.
  39. Coordinadora de la Mujer. Bolivia.
  40. Corina Rodríguez, Argentina.
  41. Cotidiano Mujer, Uruguay
  42. Cristiana Schettini - Instituto Interdisciplinario de Estudios de Género/ CONICET - Argentina
  43. DAWN, Development Alternatives for Women for a new Era, International
  44. Ddeser - Red por los derechos sexuales y reproductivos en México
  45. EIRENE Suiza.
  46. Equidad de Género, Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia - México
  47. Equipo Feminista de Comunicación, Paraguay.
  48. Elena Fernández Correa, Uruguay.
  49. Estela Cáceres,  Uruguay.
  50. Fabiana María Santos Uruguay
  51. FEIM, Argentina.
  52. Feminist Task Force, Internacional
  53. Florencia Partenio, Argentina.
  54. Foro Nacional de Mujeres y Políticas de Población - México
  55. Gabriela Delgado Ballesteros, Investigadora Instituto de Investigaciones sobre la Universidad y la Educación UNAM, México.
  56. Genero y Economía, REMTE, Perú.
  57. Gestos, Brasil
  58. Gita Sen, India.
  59. Gloria Careaga, México.
  60. Ivonne Lima Soria, Uruguay.
  61. Kumi Samuel, Sri Lanka.
  62. Iliana Pereyra Sarti, Uruguay
  63. INECIP Regional Centro, Argentina
  64. Instituto de Genero, Derecho y Desarrollo.
  65. JASS, Asociadas por Lo Justo
  66. Julia Carmen Espinoza Bernal, Movimiento Manuela Ramos, Perú.
  67. Laura Rosa ,Uruguay.
  68. Leticia Bonifaz, México.
  69. Lilia Bell Gómez Cuña, Uruguay
  70. Liz Lange,  Uruguay
  71. Lilian Abrancinskas, Uruguay.
  72. Lilian Celiberti, Uruguay.
  73. Liliana Huguet,  Uruguay.
  74. Liliane Fazan, Suiza .
  75. Line Bareiro, PRIGEPP/FLACSO / AFM, Paraguay
  76. Lujan Bica, Uruguay
  77. Lucy Garrido, Uruguay.
  78. Luisa Cruz Hefti,  Perú.
  79. Judith Lemos, Uruguay.
  80. Marcelo Ernesto Ferreira, Latin America and Caribbean Coordinator, Global Initiatives for Human Rights - Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights,
  81. María Alejandra Scampini, Uruguay.
  82. María Cecilia Fernández, Uruguay.
  83. María Christina Ribeiro Co, Brasil.
  84. María Graciela Cuervo, Republica Dominicana.
  85. Dra. María Luisa Tarrés Barraza, profesora investigadora El Colegio de México, México
  86. María Margarita Escobar Ferraro,  Uruguay.
  87. Mariana Guarino, Uruguay.
  88. Mariela Arce. Panamá
  89. Marisa Viana, Brasil.
  90. Marta Benavides,  El Salvador.
  91. Martha Grizel Solano Pereira,  Uruguay.
  92. Movimiento Manuela Ramos, Perú.
  93. Movimiento Amplio de Mujeres, Puerto Rico.
  94. Mujer y Salud, MYSU, Uruguay.
  95. Natalie Raaber, USA.
  96. Nirvana González Rosa, Puerto Rico.
  97. Nora Domínguez. Argentina. Directora, Instituto Interdisciplinario Estudios de Género, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. Universidad de Buenos Aires. Argentina
  98. OSC Centro Cultural Esperanza Rodríguez, AC, México
  99. Observatorio de Equidad de Género en Salud - Chile
  100. Pamela Eguiguren Bravo - Académica Universidad de Chile, Chile.
  101. Paulina Marques, Uruguay.
  102. Patlatonalli, A. C. México
  103. Programa Feminista Centroamericano La Corriente, Nicaragua.
  104. Programa Jóvenes en Acción. BCS, México
  105. REPEM , Red de Educación Popular entre Mujeres, Regional
  106. REPEM, Red de Educación Popular entre Mujeres, Colombia.
  107. Red Mujeres, Géneros y Desarrollo con Equidad (RIF GED).
  108. Red de Mujeres Afro latinoamericanas caribeñas y Diáspora
  109. Red Paraguaya de Género, Ciencia y Tecnología (RAGCYT), Paraguay.
  110. Realising Sexual and Reproductive Rights. RESURJ.
  111. Rocío Gabriela Caldentey, Argentina
  112. Rocío Rosero Garcés, Ecuador
  113. Rosa Lizarde, Costa Rica.
  114. Rosario de los Santos, Uruguay
  115. Rosa Mary Escalante Tabarez, Uruguay
  116. Selene Silvera, Uruguay.
  117. Servicio a la acción Popular, SEAP, Argentina.
  118. Silvana Leone, Uruguay.
  119. Silvana Noble, Uruguay.
  120. Sofía Valdivieso, España.
  121. Spatium Libertas AC, México.
  122. Susana Chiarotti Boero, Argentina
  123. Susana Esteves, Uruguay.
  124. Tatiana Cordero Velásquez, Fondo Acción Urgente, Colombia
  125. Tiempo Nuevo, Paragua
  126. UMW, United Methodist Women. Internacional.
  127. Unión Democrática de Mujeres, UDEMU. Republica Dominicana
  128. Unidad Sindical de Mujeres Activsa (UNISIMAS/CNUS), Republica Dominicana.
  129. Valeria Silvina Pita. Argentina.
  130. Victoria Villanueva, Perú.
  131. Victoria Pereira, Uruguay.
  132. Virginia Ávila, México
  133. Virginia María Barreno, Uruguay.
  134. Virginia Vargas. Perú.
  135. Viviane Taylor, Sudáfrica.
  136. Ximena Bogarin, Uruguay
  137. Yvonne Underhill – Sem. Nueva Zelandia.
  138. Zobeyda Apólito, Republica Dominicana
  139. Women and Media Collective, Sri Lanka.
  140. Women's Global Network for Reproductive Rights (WGNRR)