Klaus Hart Brasilientexte

Aktuelle Berichte aus Brasilien – Politik, Kultur und Naturschutz

„The right to truth“ – Frei Betto, Brasiliens wichtigster Befreiungstheologe. Goethe-Institut, Vergangenheitsbewältigung, Memorial da Resistencia. 2. Frei-Betto-Text: „Does Haiti exist?“

The Third National Human Rights Plan was established on 21st December 2009 by presidential decree. Its directives, strategic objectives and programme activities, approved by the 11th National Conference on Human Rights, constitute a significant step towards the consolidation of a democratic State of Law.

http://www.bpb.de/publikationen/JU16H0,0,Vom_Umgang_mit_der_Diktaturvergangenheit.html

http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2010/01/14/lula-regierung-verwassert-unter-druck-der-militars-das-dekret-uber-vergangenheitsbewaltigung-neues-dekret-ist-gravierendste-tat-der-lula-regierung-betont-folha-de-sao-paulo-diktaturgegner-d/

http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2010/02/02/memorial-da-resistencia-in-sao-paulo-goethe-institut/

Brasilia und 2. Weltkrieg: http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2009/12/13/deutschland-und-japan-wurden-nach-dem-zweiten-weltkrieg-jahrelang-dafur-bestraft-das-sie-der-angelsachsischen-welt-fuhrung-getrotzt-diese-herausgefordert-hatten-die-sicht-der-lula-regierung-zu/

The Plan involves a significant agenda for the promotion and protection of human rights in Brazil with principles of universality, indivisibility and interdependence generating legitimate expectations that it will become an agenda for the Brazilian State with its international foundations and commitments assumed by the country.

When its objectives were presented the document merited the unprecedented signatures of 31 ministries. In spite of it having resulted from exhaustive debates democratically established within civil society and of having presented the basis for a State policy for human rights, it gave rise to exacerbated criticism from Church sectors, large land owners and communications magnates.

It also caused criticism from the military, who should be more concerned about not being identified with torturers, as well as criticism from civilians who are against the commitment to send the project, which aims at the creation of a Truth Commission, from the Executive to the Legislative.

Together with several controversial and essential topics which contemplate individual, social and collective rights in tune with the Federal Constitution, the Plan suggests the creation of a National Truth Commission with plural and non-partisan participation from civil society with a defined mandate and time.

Once set up, the Commission should promote the investigation and the public clarification of human rights violations practised in Brazil in the context of political repression during the period from September 18 1946 until the publication of the Constitution (1988) as stated in Article 8 of the Act of Transitory Clauses. It will thus ensure the rights to memory and to historical truth and bring about national reconciliation.

There are also certain requirements to be included such as requesting public documents with the collaboration of the respective authorities; requesting access to private documents from the Judiciary; collaborating with all government sectors for the investigation of violations of human rights in accordance with Law No. 6683 of August 28 1979 (Law of Amnesty); promoting the necessary ways and resources required to locate and identify  bodies and mortal remains of those who disappeared for political reasons based on access to information; identifying and making public the structures used for the practise of violations of human rights, its ramifications in diverse departments of the  State and in other instances of society; registering and publishing its official procedures in order to guarantee the elucidation of detailed reports of torture, death and disappearances, listing them and sending them to the respective authorities; presenting recommendations for effective national reconciliation and ensuring that violations of human rights are not repeated.

The restoration of historical memory is vital for national sovereignty. Recounting the past always teaches us to confront the present with the aim of not repeating violations such as those which occurred during dictatorial periods involving the habitual practice of crimes against humanity such as torture, abduction, assassinations and the forced disappearance of dissidents of the military regime.

There are no reasons to fear the publishing of archives from the dictatorship period or the responsible examination and revelation of what happened in the context of political repression which still projects pain, suffering and anguish especially for the families of politicians who are dead or have disappeared and who have not yet been granted the recognised sacred right to bury their loved ones and receive all the information which until now has been unlawfully concealed from them.

Human rights constitute a condition for human dignity to prevail. They must be promoted and protected through the combined efforts of the State and of civil society. As the duty of a country which truly desires to consolidate its democracy without vengeance, the implementation of the National Plan with emphasis on the National Commission for Truth is fundamental so as to throw light on the  political repression without treating as equals those who are not equals: torturers and tortured, abductors and abducted, assassins and assassinated.

Only then will the wounds be able to heal and true national reconciliation come about.

*Frei Betto is a writer, author of ”Diário de Fernando “ nos cárceres da ditadura militar brasileira (Fernando™s Diary – in the jails of Brazil™s military dictatorship) (Rocco). www.freibetto.org

Copyright 2010 by Frei Betto – Without prior authorization, the reproduction of this article is forbidden by either electronic or printed means. Contact: MHP “ Literary Agents (E-mail: mhpal@terra.com.br)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

He is a Brazilian Dominican with an international reputation as a liberation theologian.

Within Brazil he is equally famous as a writer, with over 52 books to his name. In 1985 he won Brazil™s most important literary prize, the Jabuti, and was elected Intellectual of the Year by the members of the Brazilian Writers™ Union.

Frei Betto has always been active in Brazilian social movements, and has been an adviser to the Church™s ministry to workers in Sáo Paulo™s industrial belt, to the Church base communities, and to the Landless Rural Workers™ Movement (MST).

In 2003-2004, he was Special Adviser to President Lula and Coordinator of Social Mobilisation for the Brazilian Government™s Zero Hunger programme.

http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2010/02/04/comandante-ismael-antonio-de-souza-guerrilheiro-gegen-die-nazistisch-orientierte-militardiktatur-brasiliens-unbekannte-helden4/#more-4520

http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2010/01/05/leider-sind-es-nicht-mehr-so-viele-die-die-ganze-wahrheit-wissen-wollen-man-biegt-sehr-schnell-ab-um-bei-seiner-meinung-bleiben-zu-konnen-und-bei-den-als-angenehm-empfundenen-losungen-ich-hab/

DOES HAITI EXIST?

Frei Betto*

Two Frenchmen, brothers Edouard and Jules Verreaux, visited South Africa early in the 19th century as they were interested in exhibiting a collection of exotic animals in Europe. Photography had not yet been invented so the only means to satisfy the curiosity of the public was by painting them or through taxidermy – stuffing dead animals “ or by transporting them to zoos alive.

In the Verreaux family museum visitors could see giraffes, elephants, monkeys and rhinos. But they needed a black man. The brothers applied taxidermy to the corpse of one and put him on show standing in a display window in Paris with a lance in one hand and a shield in another.

When the museum went bankrupt they sold the collection. Francesc Darder, a Catalan veterinarian who was the first director of the Barcelona zoo bought it at auction, including the African man. In 1916 he opened his own museum in Banyoles, Spain.

In 1991 Alphonse Arcelin, a Haitian doctor, visited the Darder Museum. The black man recognised the black man. For the first time, the dead person was worthy of compassion. Arcelin was indignant and spoke his mind to the whole world just prior to the Barcelona Olympic Games. He called on African countries to sabotage the event. Even the Olympic Committee intervened to have the body removed from the museum.

When the Olympics were over the people of Banyoles again brought up the subject. Many insisted that the town should not have to give up a traditional item of its cultural heritage. Arcelin mobilised the governments of African countries, the Organisation for African Unity and even Kofi Annan, who was then the UN secretary general. Finding itself in difficulties, the Aznar government decided to return the dead man to his place of birth. He was removed from the catalogue as a museum piece and, at last, recognised as a human being, was given a dignified burial in Botswana.

When I worked on ”Realidade magazine during the 1960s the cover story ”Piaui Exists shocked Brazil. It was a way to bring the poorest state in the country, which was ignored by public authorities and by public opinion, to the attention of readers.

The earthquake which devastated Haiti makes us ask the question: does Haiti exist? It does today but what about prior to the earthquake? Who bothered about the country™s poverty?  Who asked why Brazil sent troops there at the request of the UN? And now, can it be that the catastrophe “ the most terrible one I have known in my lifetime “ is merely the fault of a breakdown in nature or of God, who remains silent before the drama of thousands of dead, injured and homeless?

Haiti was colonised by the Spanish and the French and earned its independence in 1804, which cost it dreadful punishment: the European and North American slave traders kept it under a commercial blockade for 60 years.

During the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, Haiti has had 20 governors, of whom 16 were either deposed or assassinated. The USA occupied it from 1915 to 1934. In 1957 Doctor François Duvalier, known as Papa Doc, became president, installing a cruel dictatorship supported by the tonton macoutes (ogres in fairy tales) and by the USA. He became president for life in 1964¦   when he died in 1971 his son Jean Claude Duvalier, Baby Doc, succeeded him, governing until 1986, when he sought refuge in France.

Haiti was invaded by France in 1869, by Spain in 1871, by England in 1877, by the USA in 1914 and in 1915 when they remained until 1934 and then once more by the USA in 1969.

The first democratic elections took place in 1990, when the priest Jean Bertrand Aristide was elected but his government was a disappointment. Deposed by the military in 1991, he took refuge in the USA. He returned to power in 1994 and in 2004, accused for corruption and connivance with Washington; he sought exile in South Africa. Even though today it is governed by René Preval, Haiti is maintained under UN intervention and at present actually occupied by North American troops.

For the ”civilised and Christian West, Haiti has always been an inert black man in a display window, stuffed in his own misery. Thus the white man™s media now exhibits the bodies destroyed by the earthquake for the first time. No one saw, either on TV or in photographs, anything similar when the hurricane destroyed New Orleans or in Iraq struck by bombs. Nor even after the passing of the tsunami in Indonesia.

Haiti now weighs heavy on our conscience, it wounds our sensibility, it draws tears of compassion and it defies our impotence. Because we know that it was ruined, not merely because of the earthquake, but most of all by the indifference of our lack of solidarity.

Other countries suffer seismic shocks but the ruins and the victims are fewer. We send ”peace missions to Haiti, peace keeping troops, humanitarian aid, but never projects for sustainable development.

When the emergency actions are over, who will recognise Haiti as an independent sovereign nation, with a right to their own self-determination? Who will embrace the example set by Dr. Zilda Arns of teaching the people to be multiplying and emancipating subjects of their own history?

http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2008/09/15/neo-liberalism-and-culture-brasiliens-wichtigster-befreiungstheologe-frei-betto/

http://www.hart-brasilientexte.de/2010/02/07/oscar-niemeyer-memorial-da-america-latina-in-sao-paulo-architekturkritik-von-joaquim-guedes-fotoserie/

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Mittwoch, 10. Februar 2010 um 15:13 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Kultur, Politik abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen.

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