The presidential candidates and human rights – 06/08/2022 – Opinion

The Brazilian tragedy has a certain and known origin. Hunger, violence, hate speech, playing one against the other, and the social insensitivity that victimizes and punishes the most fragile, spring from the same root: the disregard of the Brazilian State with human rights. Authorities there did not understand that democracy is synonymous with ensuring and improving the rights of the human person. And, because they did not understand the obvious, they throw our people into the most atrocious sufferings. Our tragedy has to do with rulers who despise people’s lives, well-being and happiness.

As we approach the October general elections, we need to keep an eye on the great inhumanity that consumes the country. That’s why the Arns Commission and the Vladimir Herzog Institute unite to alert the nation’s spirit. This Sunday (7th) we are launching our “Open Letter to Candidates and Candidates for the Presidency of the Republic” so that they can register, at the top of their government programs, and with public knowledge, the principles and flags that guide human rights. Without it, there will be no democracy. There will be no justice. There will be no peace.

The letter, whose content is available on the websites of both entities ( and, begins by urging the peaceful holding of free elections, respect for legislation and electronic voting machines, while repudiates any coup attempt to break democracy. It is time to affirm, in each program and in each vote, the strengthening of human rights as a secure basis for our democracy.

These rights underlie our constitutional order. In the open letter, we recall that the best way to celebrate the bicentennial of Independence will be “to reaffirm, through words and actions, unconditional adherence to the republican and democratic principles that underlie the 1988 Constitution”.

We propose, in this line, the implementation of the guidelines of the National Human Rights Plans, as well as all the recommendations of the final report of the National Truth Commission (CNV), “whose work bequeathed to Brazilian society the clarification of serious violations that occurred during the dictatorship “.

We demand that the State assume responsibility for confronting racism, not only a structural problem, but an open wound in society, through which prejudice, discrimination and permission to kill working and poor people leak, as seen in successive massacres. How many black lives will it still take to satiate so much inhumanity? This question cannot be ignored by those who aspire to the Presidency of the Republic.

We demand from candidates and candidates the commitment to the rights of the original, indigenous, quilombola and riverine peoples, in the defense of their lands and ways of life, with the definitive challenge of the time frame, a legal thesis not only misplaced but also profoundly unfair.

We propose that human rights be included in the curriculum of schools in order to sow the culture of peace among us and not the hate speech with which we try to capture our young people. Let’s not forget about the LGBTQIA+ groups, targets of intolerance and discrimination, whose dignity is debased every day. To them, our respect and recognition.

Human rights are as diverse as society itself. In each person, humanity fits. In each anonymous biography, the universe is found. Therefore, in the name of the legacy of Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns and Vladimir Herzog, we call on the candidates for the Presidency of the Republic to sign this central commitment. As institutions dedicated to the cause, here we fulfill our mission with the social responsibility that belongs to us. We expect candidates and candidates to do the same.

Overcoming the Brazilian tragedy depends on the decision we make at the polls. Let the 2022 elections be the human rights elections.


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