TLI Takes Part in Campaign to Defend Democracy in Brazil

King’s College London

The resounding call from Brazil, “democratic rule of law always”, was heard loud and clear in King’s College London when Professor Octavio Ferraz read the “Letter to Brazilians in Defence of Democratic Rule of Law” at the same time as it was read in Sao Paulo. Over a million people have already signed the letter and showed their support for Brazilian democracy ahead of the elections and the attempts by the current president to undermine their legitimacy. Join the campaign and sign the letter too

Brazil Mass Rally for Democracy
Mass rally in Sao Paulo in support of the Letter to Brazilians

Over a million Brazilians signed the “Letter to Brazilians in Defence of Democratic Rule of Law”. Yesterday (the 11th of August) the letter was read publicly in Sao Paulo in a mass rally against the attempts by President Jair Bolsonaro to undermine the legitimacy of the upcoming elections and the hints that he might not respect the results. The Transnational Law Institute, the King’s Observatory of Democracy in Latin America and the King’s Brazil Institute are proud supporters of the “Letter to Brazilians” initiative: at the same time as the reading in Sao Paulo, Prof. Octavio Ferraz read the letter, translated to English, at the Dickson Poon School of Law. Many joined us in the Moot Court, and many others online.

Watch the reading here:

As it is now reasonably well-known around the world, Brazil, the fifth largest Democracy, has experienced a significant deterioration in its democratic and rule of law standing in the past four years. In the Freedom House ranking, Brazil’s freedom score has been on decline for 5 years in a row. The situation deteriorated to such a point that some commentators have even warned of the risk of democracy dying in Brazil if the current government remains in power beyond the end of its mandate at the end of 2022. (see Oliver Stuenkel, Democracy Is Dying in Brazil. To Stop Bolsonaro, the Opposition Must Unite”, Foreign Affairs, November 1, 2021). During the last four years, the current President Jair Bolsonaro has constantly used his powers to undermine democracy in any way he could. Prominent examples include the appointment of an unprecedented number of military personnel for posts in the federal government, including ministries; the appointment of an attorney general and of two supreme court justices who are widely regarded as allies of the president, as well as a myriad of executive orders gutting accountability institutions through appointments of government-friendly personnel and significant cuts in funding. He has also consistently undermined the press and the Supreme Court through periodical criticism, often making use of fake news.

Our event at King’s College was reported in the Brazilian media. Watch Professor Octavio Ferraz discuss (in Portuguese) the initiative and democratic decline in Brazil here:

If you are Brazilian and have a CPF number (Brazil’s tax number), you can sign the letter directly at the University of Sao Paulo Law School here

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