Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

5 August 2013

Focus on Indigenous peoples’ rights and police violence in Brazil

Focus on Indigenous peoples’ rights and police violence in Brazil
Members of the Guarani Kaiowá Apykai community have had their homes burned down in forced evictions

Members of the Guarani Kaiowá Apykai community have had their homes burned down in forced evictions

© Egon Heck/arquivo CIMI


Indigenous peoples’ rights and police violence are the focus of a High Level Mission (HLM) by Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty, this week in Brazil.

He will be meeting with top politicians and officials to discuss an array of human rights abuses and violations which need to be addressed.

“Given the deep stated commitment of the people and Government of Brazil to realising all human rights of all Brazilians and its growing importance on the international stage, it is imperative that Brazil takes concrete steps to improve the state of human rights in the country,” said Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

Police impunity

According to UN figures, more than 2,000 people are killed by the police every year in Brazil. Between 1998 and 2009, more than 10,000 police killings were recorded in Rio de Janeiro state alone; police violence is also prevalent in many urban centres.

Salil Shetty will visit Maré, the biggest slum in Rio de Janeiro with a population of 130,000. Here civilians often bear the brunt of heavy handed policing caught up in shoot-outs between the police, drug barons and rival gangs. In June 10 people were shot dead during a police operation in the favela, including one police officer.

“Violence, excessive use of force and live fire by police officers during the recent protests highlight serious entrenched problems with policing in Brazil. Repeated promises to change have come to nothing,” said Salil Shetty.

Indigenous people denied rights

There are almost 900,000 indigenous people living in Brazil, according to the 2010 census. Many have been forced from their land with little or no consultation and face persistent persecution.

Salil Shetty will travel to Dourados in western Brazil, an area shared by two different indigenous peoples, the Terena and Guaraní-Kaiovás.

“Although indigenous rights are guaranteed under international law and even in Brazil’s Constitution, decades of delay over the demarcation of ancestral lands has led to worsening conflict, putting lives at risks,” said Salil Shetty ahead of his visit.

Amnesty International’s Secretary General will meet with top politicians and officials. They include Justice Minister, José Eduardo Cardoso; Human Rights Secretary, Maria do Rosário Nunes; Ministry of Secretary General of the Presidency, Gilberto Carvalho, and the President to the National Assembly, Henrique Alves.

He will also meet representatives of the Ordem dos Advogados do Brazil (Brazilian Bar Association), the Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and several civil society organizations

Country

Brazil 

Region

Americas 

Issue

Indigenous peoples 

Follow #brazil @amnestyonline on twitter

News

19 December 2014

A flurry of activity by UN member states to sign and ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty before it enters into force next week is another clear sign of the overwhelming... Read more »

18 December 2014

The rights of migrants are being trampled across the globe as they face economic exploitation, discrimination and racism in a range of countries.

Read more »
22 December 2014

Pakistan's reported plans to execute 500 more people are “deeply disturbing” and would do nothing to protect civilians from the conflict with the Taliban.

Read more »
24 December 2014

Pro-Kyiv volunteer battalions are increasingly blocking humanitarian aid into eastern Ukraine in a move which will exacerbate a pending humanitarian crisis in the run up to... Read more »

23 December 2014

Torture, including rape and other forms of sexual violence, suffered by women and girls from Iraq’s Yezidi minority who were abducted by the armed group calling itself the... Read more »