“How many more must die for this war to end?” said on Twitter Marielle Franco, a human rights activist, a day before she was murdered in Rio de Janeiro last week. Marielle was a black woman of 38 years old, single mother, who fought for women’s rights, LGBT’s and favela residents. She defended the occupants of the favela against police violence and just before her death, Marielle denounced the killing of favela’s residents executed by Rio’s police on the community of Acari.
In a context of political and economic crisis, after a parliamentary coup, the neoliberal advances – such as the flexibilization of the labor law, privatization of state companies’ and the reduction of social investments, especially the benefits to the poor - have deepened the inequalities and therefore increased the violence in Brazil.
Within this scenario, in a bankrupted Rio de Janeiro, a federal intervention was placed with military forces installed in the area. Marielle was against this intervention because it could increase the violence against the poor, as it’s been seen in several authoritarian actions that happened in the favelas since then.
With the forthcoming communication on the renewed partnership between the EU and Latin America and Caribbean and EU-Mercosur trade agreements ongoing, SOLIDAR calls for the EU to take a stand against the violence inflicted against human rights defenders in Brazil and Latin America; HRDs are the backbone of democracy, essential in the pursuit of social justice - for that reason, EU must ensure their protection through diplomatic actions and policies and defend effective measures against the impunity of the perpetrators.