This Thursday, the European Parliament will vote on a resolution that, if approved, will convict President Jair Bolsonaro for his environmental and human rights policy, using the deaths of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips as examples of abuses committed in the country.
The text will also ask Brazil to adhere to climate and human rights agreements before further rapprochement between the bloc and the country is achieved. Europeans have even made it clear that they will not accept Brazil’s OECD membership until such issues are resolved.
The original text of the decision was even harsher. He even suggested that the trade agreement between the European Union and Mercosur not be ratified and that its content be reopened so that a new negotiation can take place. In practice, if accepted, it would bury any chance of survival on the existing foundations of the free trade agreement.
But the text to be put to the vote has been softened in hopes of gaining broad supporters. Still, it represents unprecedented pressure on Bolsonaro’s government, which is already experiencing serious difficulties abroad.
According to observers, the text is a kind of no-confidence motion by the Parliament against the Brazilian government.
The resolution also “condemns the destruction of Brazil’s rainforests and calls on Brazilian authorities to strengthen environmental protection laws and immediately put an end to the deliberate and systematic destruction of ecosystems.”
The draft text also “strongly urges Brazilian authorities to oppose laws and policies that adversely affect indigenous peoples and adopt policies to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, deforestation and land degradation, which includes focusing on respecting and enforcing the rights of indigenous peoples and quilombola communities”.
The document also includes the restoration and strengthening of the capacity of environmental institutions; in particular, it calls for the “demilitarization of Funai” in addition to more resources.
Bruno and Dom
The decision is a response to violence against indigenous people and environmentalists in Brazil. The text “strongly condemns the systematic violence against indigenous peoples and regrets the poverty and discrimination they have repeatedly faced, rejecting the degradation of human rights in Brazil since Jair Bolsonaro came to power”.
The resolution also “condemns the increase in murders and attacks, and the increased criminalization of indigenous peoples and environmental defenders, and particularly the murders of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips, who were killed for defending the rights of indigenous peoples”.
Among the main points, Parliament will call for an independent and expeditious investigation of the murders, as well as better protection of indigenous peoples and human rights and environmental defenders in Brazil.
MEP Anna Cavazzini, Vice-President of the European Parliament Delegation to Brazil and mediator for the Greens, made it clear that the murders of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira were not isolated cases.
“It is a strong sign that the European Parliament has openly condemned the increasingly frequent killing of indigenous people and environmental defenders in Brazil, and has clearly defined the Bolsonaro government’s responsibility for the increasing violence against indigenous peoples and the associated rising rates of deforestation,” he said.
“The escalating violence since the beginning of Bolsonaro’s tenure is no accident. The European Parliament condemns agencies for cutting funding, continuing to weaken environmental legislation, and verbally attacking indigenous peoples and environmental defenders on several occasions.” aforementioned.
The text asks Brazilian authorities to ensure “accountability of all those involved in this crime, including those who gave the order,” as well as a prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigation into the disappearances and deaths of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips.