Derrubando Muros (Tearing Down Walls) is a civil society initiative that brings together more than 100 people, including activists, scientists, communicators, academics, businessmen, and politicians with the aim of defending democracy, tolerance, and dialogue between different opinions. The manifesto below was originally published on the group’s website and was signed, among others, by the president of the Humanitas360 Institute Patrícia Villela Marino.
Last Sunday, January 8, Brazil suffered a coup attempt – a meticulously organized one, put into practice with unparalleled violence. A horde of thugs exposed our country to the world as if democracy here were a mockery.
They were wrong to underestimate it.
A group of lunatics, for four years incited by the ex-president, will not destabilize Brazil. Now is the time for democracy to show its weapons. The law. Those responsible must be identified and punished.
At this moment, what counts least are the material costs. What needs immediate repair is the political, institutional and symbolic cost.
Therefore, we ask and suggest:
Why did the GDF not fulfill its obligation to preserve order when the evidence of threats was clear? The Governor of the Federal District must answer for his irresponsibility. Selective irresponsibility, it should be noted. After all, the mass of rioters was composed of well-nourished whites. How would they be treated if they were people from the favelas demanding better living conditions? Or blacks and indigenous people claiming reparations?
At the same time, it is important to register that the current occupants of the federal government, after a long transition, should no longer be in electoral campaign mode. Dozens of observers of the far-right articulation were reporting that the ebullience of the terrorist groups has heightened after the election. How come the Defense authorities, the Brazilian Intelligence Agency and the Federal Police did not anticipate the facts seen today? How could they not inform the President of the Republic that he was on a tour disconnected from the drama and risks of the situation in the countryside of São Paulo?
The aggression committed against democracy has had repercussions across the world and needs an appropriate and proportional response. A Parliamentary Inquiry Commission can be a path that provides time and tools for scrutiny, detailing everything related to the terrorist eruption. Who organized it? Who financed it? Who commanded it? Who supported it? These are some of the questions that need answers if we are to return to democratic normalcy.
Part of the extremist conspiracy, it is well known, takes place in the underworld of the social networks. If the government does not understand or cannot monitor the risks created and amplified in the networks, and to which every society is exposed, it should have the wisdom to ask for help. Many observers had been warning for weeks about what was being articulated and eventually erupted this Sunday. There are hundreds of scholars and many institutions with such capacity. The government needs to know how to get that collaboration.
To conclude, on behalf of our initiative, Derrubando Muros, but largely on behalf of democrats, we declare that we do not accept the climate of fascist blackmail promoted by the former president and his sickly entourage. Democracy, they must learn by word or by force of law, is not a regime of the weak. Democracy is order and respect for the law and institutions. Those democratically elected do not have the option to protect it, this is their obligation, inarguably.
And that is what we expect from the current rulers.
Signing on behalf of Derrubando Muros:
Abilio Baeta Neves
Adalberto Luis Val
Andréa Aguiar Azevedo
Andrea Gouvêa Vieira
Carlos Alberto de Melo
Carlos Henrique de Carvalho
Horácio Lafer Piva
João Alziro Jornada
José Cesar “Zeca” Martins
José Pedro Goulart
Jose Pedro Goulart
Josivaldo da costa dantas
Juan Carlos Castillo-Rubio
Marisa Moreira Salles
Olavo Nogueira Filho
Patrícia Villela Marino
Brazil, January 9, 2023