Brazil: Temer, we charge you – Behind the political assassination of Marielle and Anderson

The president and his party-gang are directly responsible for the economic crisis and the violence that tears the social fabric of Rio de Janeiro and that allowed the political assassination of Marielle and Anderson.

Dear Mr. President of the Republic (who no one elected) Michel Lulia Temer,

We charge you with historical and conjunctural guilt in the barbarous execution of the human rights activist, from the black social movement, from the women social movement, a Rio de Janeiro city councilor Marielle Franco and of the worker Anderson Pedro Gomes.

The lives of our Mari and our Anderson are not the first, nor will they, unfortunately, be the last lives – young and hardworking – that Your Honored Presidency helps to reap. Your economic and security policies at the head of the country, in total harmony with the trajectory of Your Excellency as Secretary of Security of the government of São Paulo, has been standing out in the international scenario due to its lethal productivity.

As thousands cried, outraged with the commotion caused by the death of the two comrades on the night of March 14, murders and slaughters of young people, especially black people (or nonwhite) and workers, are a bitter food in the daily life of the poorest neighborhoods in the big metropolises from north to south of the country. Just as the commissioned murders from peasants, landless, indigenous and quilombola leaders are trivialized in the camp.

The difference is that this is a political assassination, in a big city, of an elected representative.

Marielle was silenced, among many other reasons, because she denounced the policy of a systematic extermination of black and poor youngsters from the peripheries, the mass incarceration, the equally vicious killing of police officers, and the abandonment of the families of the victims of the “two sides”, by yours and your caste’s contempt for the lives of the most vulnerable. She would use her beautiful and brave mouth to speak on the speakers of the movements and of the City Hall to point out the responsible ones, in the midst of this stupid drug war based on the sheer repression of the user and small trafficker, on the ice-drying of the badly planned operations and of the electoral interventions .

Your guilt in the these matters are no news, Your Honor. Your Excellency did not pull the trigger of the sophisticated machine gun for sure. Perhaps by this time you are even taking action to find those who had her and Anderson killed. But your party-gang, formerly PMDB, now again MDB, was the one who squandered, by scams of corporate tax benefits and money in the pocket, Rio’s public machine and the basic social services to the citizens of the state of Rio de Janeiro. While your Excellency appeared as a “decorative” vice president of the PT president (your words, Sir, your words), your accomplices on this shore brewed one of the greatest economic and social crises ever experienced by Rio – which experts predict that will take the state, maybe, 3 years to start recovering from the damages.

As if this structural background were not enough; it was your gang-party comrades who grew, for two and a half terms, the weeds of crime in the police, turned a blind eye to the militias installed in the communities. And who presented the inefficient UPPs (“we are simply going to recover the territories and then enter with the social initiatives”, who can forget it?) as panacea for the evils that they did not counter and never had any intention or program to counter.

None of this would be so appalling if Rio were an island of misery in an ocean of recovery and prospect of prosperity. However, you and the MDB are well aware that this is not what this is all about. Perhaps the memory is failing, but you and your party – as it can be found in books and university courses – were protagonists of a broad articulation between political, judicial, business, financial and media forces that architected the very questionable impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, in 2016. The immediate pretext was the so called dodgy accounting, but the main issue for your coup bloc, we remember, was “to save the country from one of the greatest economic and social crises ever lived.”

The answer provided by your coup to that crisis has been since then the nightmare of the social lower levels, His Excellency. You froze federal investments and wages for 20 years! You’ve been trying hard to destroy an 80-year labor law. You have been cutting social programs to a minimum. You can make environmental disasters even worse, because you do not comply to even the fragile laws we have regarding these issues. You and your banker finance minister strangulated the accounts of the states – most notably Rio de Janeiro. To Rio, they practically prescribed suicide: payment of wages in several installments, retirement pensions and other pension benefits, an increase in contributions, increase of rates, end of state universities, sale of CEDAE. And zero, let’s not forget, zero investment.

Your Excellency and your MDB are therefore directly responsible for the frightening picture of the economic, social and violence crisis that ravages Rio de Janeiro. It is not coherent that one who wants to run for election (because for re-election, as Duvivier says, you are not a candidate) evades responsibility. At this darkest hour, it is for the first representative of the nation to accept the responsibility for the stupid idea of ​​trying to regain a popularity that he never had through the very grave way of decreeing federal and military intervention in Rio.

Gee, Mr. President, not even with all the reactionary logic, the fundamentalism and the venality of your allied base, you managed to get the 308 votes necessary in the National Congress to approve the Retirement Pension Reform, did you now? You should confess that, to escape this defeat and in the desperation to recover points in the surveys able to elect your most faithful collaborators this year – to save them from the prison bars thanks to new parliamentary immunities – Your Excellency decided to play with fire. Literally.

Playing as intervenor might have been too much. Perhaps Your Excellency has crossed the line in the typical politicking of your party-gang, lacking the notion of country – as it is characteristic of the overwhelming majority of the political representation of Brazilian businesspeople. You are likely to be provoking not the solution to the violence in Rio, but the escalation of war between criminal factions, between corrupt and uncontrolled factions of the security forces, now with the increased danger of their proximity to the Armed Forces.

By insisting on the same policy with no way out of war on drugs, mass incarceration and black extermination, putting the Armed Forces in direct combat against trafficking, you gain applause and uncontrolled actions of the worst of what has arisen since 2013 in this country. The worst of what has arisen in the streets, in the politics and in the institutions around Your Excellency.

Your Excellency can go down in History as the one that initiated the Mexicanization of Rio de Janeiro and Brazil. Think twice, Mr. President, this is how you are planning to be elected?

* * *

For our part, we will follow the hundreds of thousands who have been taking the streets of Brazil and the world – yes, the world! – rising indignantly against the brutal execution of our companions.

One does not have to be in left-wing to be outraged and come out to the streets. It’s not necessary to be against federal intervention. It is not necessary to have taken to the streets before. In fact, nothing is necessary, except to take the reprimand for the violence and the situation that allowed the tragedy to happen and the demand for a thorough investigation.

But we will tell everyone, because we know it, that Marielle was, in fact, against the drug war because she knew that it was this policy that ultimately killed her black and poor brothers and neighbors from Maré and from so many favelas in Rio and Brazil. We will tell that the last article that Marielle wrote was against the federal intervention. That Marielle was a Human Rights fighter with capital letters. That Marielle was a black, bisexual and socialist woman. A socialist, indeed and a best quality militant of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL). We are very proud of that. And we’re sure she’d like everyone to know.

Marielle and Anderson live! Black lives matter! Out with Pezão! Out with Temer! Demilitarization of the police! End of federal intervention already!

Insurgência (PSOL)