The Brazilian Network for the Integration of Peoples (REBRIP) has been monitoring and working to influence Brazilian foreign policy since 2000. We are a collective made up of unions and trade associations, social, peasant, women, and environment movements, and independent and pluralist NGOs that seek to influence international trade negotiations and regional integration processes. We are committed to building a democratic society based on ethical, just and socially and environmentally sustainable development, and we work in conjunction with Latin American and global networks.
As a network, we have been coping with a worsening political and institutional crisis in Brazil since last year. Since the beginning of the year, however, this crisis has been moving in the direction of a breakdown of the democratic order and constitutional principles in the country. There has been a move to characterize the use of non-standard fiscal management (a procedure called “fiscal maneuvers”) as a “crime of responsibility" and to prevent the continuity of a legitimately elected government. At the root of the dispute is a block of conservative forces that want to use congressional maneuvers and ploys to achieve what they have been unable to since 2002 at the polls, a period during which they lost four consecutive elections.
The historic achievement of democracy and respect for human rights are political pillars that establish individual guarantees and collective rules for coexistence between individuals and groups that have been by battered by inequalities and differences in Brazilian society. Brazilians, in particular, and Latin Americans, in general, know the meaning of democratic ruptures and where they come from. Honduras and Paraguay are still recent in the democratic memory of the Latin American peoples, as examples of coups dressed up in legality. In Brazil, the reports of the Commission of Truth that evaluated crimes against human rights after the institutional breakdown of 1964, which led to a dictatorship whose effects are still present today, are still fresh. We clearly know who loses when democracy is lost – men and women workers, women, blacks, indigenous peoples, traditional peoples and communities, peasants, and those who earn a living from their work.
From the point of view of the themes upon which REBRIP is focused, those responsible for the institutional breakdown have already indicated their program points more than once. Regional integration, as a priority, is replaced by integration subordinate to the U.S. Now, a new generation of trade agreements have become the priority, aiming at integration subordinate to the global production chains, ensuring the large transnational corporations (that Brazil will no longer be an obstacle to their corporate power, nor will express any minimal proposal for regulating their capacity to violate human rights, providing unlimited guarantee of their intellectual property rights, placing their rights as investors above any and all human or social rights, and placing the opening of new market spaces above the offer of universal and quality public services.
This is why REBRIP, at this time, is joining the struggle and the social movements of the country, and reaffirms its resistance to a coup and its confidence in the pillars of democracy and respect for human rights guaranteed by the Brazilian constitution.