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No, Jair Bolsonaro isn’t targeting minorities

No, Jair Bolsonaro isn't targeting minorities
João Guilherme
João Guilherme
Estudante e interessado em política, história e religião.

Brazil’s new president just took office and lies about his actions are already spreading in mainstream media.

Jair Bolsonaro was sworn in on Tuesday, January 1st, in a ceremony with the presence of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s PM, Mike Pompeo, United States’ Secretary of State and many other authorities like presidents, VPs and ambassadors.

Even though it’s been only two days since he took the oath of office, lies about his government are already spreading, especially about the first legal act he signed on, the Provisional Measure 870/19 – or simply the MP 870/19.

The MP details, among other things, the Government and the Ministries’ structures, like the number of councils and secretaries, the creation or extinction of them, and how they’re gonna work.

And that’s where part of the controversy is coming from. On the articles 43 and 44, the MP determines the Human Rights Department’s (MDH) – or Ministry – guidelines, specifying whose rights will be directly protected by the MDH and which groups will have a department to act for them. The list of protected rights includes those of women, the family, children and teenagers, elders, disabled people, black people, social and ethnic minorities and Indians. But, apparently, the list is not long enough.

The LGBT community and the leftists, including American networks like NBC, are claiming that Bolsonaro excluded the LGBT rights from the list, and using that to claim that he’s a homophobic. Damares Alves, the Human Rights minister, already said – and we clarified – that the LGBT people did not lose their spot in the government. First off, they weren’t nominated in the list of protected rights because they’re a part of “social and ethnic minorities”, meaning that they shouldn’t be treated with some kind of exclusivity. Alves also stated that the LGBT community isn’t losing their department, it’s just being moved from the Elder’s Protection Secretary to the Global Protection Secretary.

“No individual shall be forgotten in the Human Rights (Ministry) guidelines. The National Secretaries of Family, Global Protection and the National Council for Combating Discrimination will be the ones responsible to make sure that happens.”, said the President in a tweet this afternoon.

Jair Bolsonaro is not only facing problems with the LGBT community. On the very same MP, it’s stated that the Government Secretary is now responsible for “supervising, coordinating and monitoring the actions and activities of the NGOs and international organizations in Brazil”. The indigenous movement claims that this measure was taken to “weaken their partners”.

The president said that it was done to stop the Indians from being “exploited and manipulated by those organizations”. Nilo D’Ávila, campaign director at Greenpeace Brazil, stated that he’s “very happy that the president is monitoring the NGOs closely. In that way, he’ll be able to act quickly against injustices and illegal deforestations”. Bolsonaro’s intention, however, is to protect the Indians’ land, but also to provide a healthy integration between them and the farmers, the most important part of the country’s economy. “We’ll promote the integration of these citizens and show the country their importance”, he said.

His actions might be considered controversial by some parts of the society, mainly by the left; on the other hand, for him, he’s simply doing what he promised during the campaign and, most importantly, reassured this afternoon: to treat everyone as equals and don’t let anyone be used as a bargaining chip by social movements.

“For a long time, many Brazilians were used as bargaining chip. They lost their valuable identity to become an object and a way for politicians to make money. The changes were made to free them from the political slavery and to give back their right to represent themselves.”, he added.

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