The Regional Electoral Prosecutor’s Office and the Regional Prosecutor’s Office for Citizens’ Rights in São Paulo announced today (19) the creation of the São Paulo Forum against Political Violence. The objective is to increase the fight against political violence that occurs in the state of São Paulo and is directed mainly against women, blacks, people with disabilities, indigenous people, quilombolas or LGBTQIA+ people.
Through the forum, people will be able to report complaints of political violence. These complaints will be received by the Public Ministry and then forwarded to the competent bodies and sectors so that they can be answered.
Brazilian legislation already guarantees that any citizen can report this type of crime. What the Paulista Forum will do now is to seek to facilitate this process, creating an email and a WhatsApp profile to concentrate these complaints in São Paulo and direct them to Organs competent bodies for resolution.
“We decided to create this forum and call on members of civil society to explain the best way to communicate political violence to the Electoral Public Ministry and the Regional Attorney for Citizens’ Rights, who will forward these illicit news so that they don’t get lost. , receive the proper referral and can be investigated by the authorities”, said Paula Bajer, regional electoral attorney in São Paulo, in an interview with Agência Brasil.
“The person needs to be respected to speak and to be heard. And those who lack this respect by promoting hate speech, speeches of lack of urbanity or politeness, disrespecting the person as a human being or the dignity of that person, offending or committing a criminal offense, they will have the answer of the law”, he said. “The Electoral Public Ministry protects the activity [política] and will fight and prevent all types of violence in politics: virtual, physical, verbal, of any kind. We are preparing ourselves so that the justice system can act to protect citizens who want to work for the common good”, she said.
At the first meeting of the Forum, held today (19) at the headquarters of the Regional Attorney’s Office of the 3rdThe Region, in the capital of São Paulo, representatives of public agencies and social movements and human rights movements participated.
In a speech to these representatives, Luiz Carlos dos Santos Gonçalves, regional electoral attorney auxiliary to the São Paulo Regional Electoral Attorney’s Office, explained how it will work. “If a woman is kicked out of a party convention, should she go to a women’s police station? Should she complain to the Regional Electoral Attorney? Should she go to the Public Prosecutor’s Office? The citizen, especially the victim, has no obligation to know where he has to direct his news [crime]. And we know that this initial direction is sometimes decisive for us to be able to apply the law. It was for this reason the idea of creating this São Paulo Forum against Political Violence. It is not an organization, it has no structure, it does not have a coordinator. The idea is that this victimized person from anywhere in the state of São Paulo has someone to direct their complaint to at first. We want ways to facilitate the response to this violence,” he said.
For Hannah Maruci, co-director of Tenda das Candidatas, an organization that trains leaders for the political electoral game, the Forum should facilitate the forwarding of these complaints of political violence. “people [organização] receives many cases and our main difficulty is to identify which is the best way. We know the paths, but for each case it is difficult to make this identification”, she told Agência Brasil. “So I believe that the Forum will be a very important space for that, to delineate these paths, to bring visibility to these violences, and also to support us”, she said.
“In 2020 we monitored ten women and all of them suffered some type of violence. And this has been repeated now. Have [a violência] more subtle such as silencing or neglect by the political party, for example, even threats like ‘you are in my territory and here you cannot campaign’, online harassment, name-calling, ways to make her intimidate and afraid. As well as death threats,” Hannah said.
“Gender and racial political violence is a form of silencing. And it is literal: when a candidate loses her voice, it shows what this violence means, which is a barrier that is put up during all stages”, said Hannah. “What we see today in institutional policy is the result of all this. Today we have only 15% of women in the National Congress and this is still considered an advance because [essa participação feminina] grew 50% between 2014 and 2018. Black women represent 28% of the population and, among those elected, they are no more than 2%. When we see fewer women there, we reinforce the idea that there is no place for them. And then violence can reproduce itself much more naturally,” she said.
For information about the Paulista Forum and forwarding of complaints that occurred in São Paulo, the citizen can look for the telephone/WhatsApp is (11) 97878-3327 or the email [email protected]. Complaints must be substantiated with evidence.