Within this context, we are alarmed by the enacting of any rule that allows the federal government to restrict the autonomy of Brazilian civil society. The letter of reply sent by the vice-president to this Parliament is contradictory. It claims that the government has no intention of restricting or controlling civil society organizations that are working “legally” in the Amazon, but states, without further explanation, that it intends to improve the “institutional framework” in order to promote a more “coordinated and organized interaction” between civil society and the Brazilian government. This, in other words, means to promote greater control. The relationship between social entities and the State is already regulated and supported by the Federal Constitution and the Civil Society Organizations Regulatory Framework.
The measure is based on alleged “insecurity, informality and lack of information that hinder work in the Amazon region”, even after repeated attacks against federal research institutes such as the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) and the weakening of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), which is the entity primarily responsible for the implementation of the national environmental policy.
Attacks on the freedom of organization, expression and the press, on social participation forums and on the mechanisms that ensure transparency and social control have ominous effects, not only by directly weakening Brazilian democracy, but also by affecting our ability to preserve the environment and guarantee the human rights of minority groups, seen as enemies of the government, as in the case of indigenous and traditional populations.
For these reasons, the organizations listed below hereby ask the European Parliament to help them in the international dissemination of information about the situation faced by the Brazilian democracy and to support the charges and actions submitted by Brazilian civil society entities to multilateral bodies concerning violations by the federal government against human rights and democratic freedom.