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  • The Puebla group launched its project called ProgresivaMente with the purpose of uniting progressive forces from the Latin American continent.

    The Puebla group launched its project called ProgresivaMente with the purpose of uniting progressive forces from the Latin American continent. | Photo: Nodal

Published 4 September 2019
Opinion

The Brazilian head of state has on several occasions praised the 21-year-long military dictatorship in Brazil (1964 - 1985) and has frequently expressed admiration for dictators as Augusto Pinochet.

Progressive organization Group of Puebla issued a statement on its website Wednesday to firmly condemn Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s mockery of United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet's father, who was killed by the Chilean dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

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After Bachelet criticized the rise of police brutality and the declining space for democracy in Brazil, the country’s far-right President responded by taunting her over the torture of her father, Alberto Bachelet, by the Chilean dictatorship.

“She is defending the human rights of vagabonds,” the Brazilian president told reporters on Wednesday, adding  that "if Pinochet’s people had not defeated the left in 73 among them, your father, Chile would be a Cuba today.”

On Sept. 4, 1970,  Salvador Allende became the first democratically elected socialist president in the world. The people's revolutionary coalition was called Popular Unity. Three years later in 1973, a U.S.-backed coup placed Pinochet installing two decades of dictatorship.

The Group of Puebla said Bolsonaro’s attacks confirm that the Brazilian President cannot live in a “civilized and democratic way” along with the international community. 

“Bolsonaro, an obvious defender of dictatorships, torture and the extermination of democratic opponents, described by him as vagabonds, has a deep contempt for human rights, democracy, the environment and the whole sustainable development agenda promoted by the U.N. and the international community,” their statement said.

We strongly reject President Bolsonaro's shameful attacks on the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet, and her father, General Alberto Bachelet, who was tortured and murdered by Pinochet's dictatorship.
 

The Brazilian head of state has on several occasions praised the 21-year-long military dictatorship in Brazil (1964 - 1985) and has frequently expressed admiration for dictators as Augusto  Pinochet (1973 - 1990).

The Group of Puebla signatories pointed out that Bolsonaro’s last statements, rejected by “the civilized world,” transform him into a “lonely and despicable political outcast.”

To respond to Bolsonaro’s complaints that the U.N. commissioner was interfering in Brazil’s internal affairs, the group said that the president’s “narrow notion of sovereignty includes the right to murder with impunity those considered undesirable, to deny the rights of indigenous peoples and to devastate the Amazon.”

The Group of Puebla concluded its statement making clear that “Bolsonaro, a small man, does not represent Brazil, a generous and supportive country that wishes to contribute positively to solving the problems affecting the planet and humanity.”

The organization launched its project called ProgressiveMind (ProgresivaMente) in July, with the purpose of uniting progressive forces from the Latin American continent.

The group had written in the communiqué of its presentation that the continent is facing new challenges as a new wave of neoliberal governments is threatening the people’s social and economic situations along with the democracy, the respect of the law, human rights and the environment.

According to the project, this is the reason why progressives need to unite and to constitute a resisting force against the current far-right and right-wing governments.

Some of the 30 members are Rafael Correa, former Ecuadorean president; Alberto Fernandez, current Argentinean presidential candidate; Fernando Haddad, former Brazilian minister of education and former presidential candidate; Daniel Martinez, current Uruguayan presidential candidate; Ernesto Samper and Leonel Fernandez former Colombian and Dominican presidents respectevly.

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