AMERICA/BRAZIL - Presidential run-off, the Church: "Need to protect the Constitution and democracy"

Tuesday, 16 October 2018 elections   politics   human rights   civil society   democracy  

Brasilia (Agenzia Fides) - "The Constitution is intended to ensure the exercise of social and individual rights, as supreme values of a fraternal, plural society and without prejudices", and today the Charter "is affected by an intolerance that denies the diversity of the Brazilian people, stimulates prejudices and encourages social conflict": this is what is stated in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides by Caritas and the Social Pastoral of the Brazilian Church, two weeks since the run-off for the election of the President of the Republic, October 28th.
The widespread text is entitled "Democracy: change with justice and peace", and is signed not only by Catholic bodies but also by the "Justice and Peace" Commission, and by the National Conference of Religious. The statement points out political movements that "sowhatred and fear" and instigate aggression and violence, recalling that a well-known anti-racist activist was stabbed to death on Sunday during the first electoral round (October 7) after a dispute and a political quarrel.
"In the current electoral process, an anti-democratic movement wounds the supreme values ensured by the Constitution, appeals to hatred and violence, puts citizens against citizens and demonizes opponents", the document denounces.
The Church rejects torture and death penalty, discrimination against women, blacks and indigenous people, rejects racism and xenophobia. If such elements are promoted, says the statement "democracy is attacked because its republican values are despised".
The text of Catholic organizations stigmatizes those who "want to make use of democratic elections to militarize the institutions, ensure impunity to police abuses, arm the civilian population, eliminate programs for the promotion of human rights", noting that this approach "attacks the rule of law".
If policies are adopted that follow the interests of the financial system and neoliberal politics - notes the text - they penalize "social, environmental rights and the heritage of the Country", with the result of intensifying "unemployment, suffering and abandonment of the population".
The Brazilian Church cites Pope Francis and his "no to an economy of exclusion and social inequality" contained in the Evangelii Gaudium (No. 53). And he concludes with a wish: "Brazil may have differences, but without hatred", so as to "ensure a future of justice and peace for the nation". (SM) (Agenzia Fides, 16/10/2018)