May 04, 2017

Members of European Parliament Request Reaction from High Representative After Violent Repression of Indigenous Protests in Brasília

During the week of 24 April, Indigenous protesters have been met with tear gas and rubber bullets as they mobilised in Brazil´s capital to demand fulfilment of basic constitutional and internationally established rights. The repressive and aggressive attitude of military police forces provoked the peaceful protests to descend into chaos. In a joint effort of UNPO and the offices of Members of European Parliament Marisa Matias and Ramon Tremosa I Balcells, a letter was drafted and sent around the European Parliament expressing serious concerns over the treatment of Indigenous protesters by armed security forces during the mobilisation, and asking High Representative Federica Mogherini - head of the European External Action Service – to react.

In the letter, the Members of European Parliament call for the European External Action Service to issue a statement expressing their concern and condemnation over the violence with which indigenous protests have been met in Brasilia, and for an independent investigation into the conduct of the police forces during the protests to be conducted. The letter – signed by twenty-four Members of the European Parliament, spanning six different political groups – can be read in its entirety here.

UNPO expresses its gratitude to the Members of European Parliament who threw their support behind this letter, taking it as a sign of a growing sense of European solidarity with the difficulties faced by indigenous communities and protesters in Brazil and Latin-America in general. UNPO hopes that the call may lead to a strong EU response and, in the long run, to meaningful improvements in the respect for Indigenous peoples and their rights in Brazil and worldwide.

The full list of signatories to the letter is as follows:

Marisa Matias MEP (GUE/NGL)

Marina Albiol Guzmán MEP (GUE/NGL)

Francisco Assis MEP (S&D)

Xabier Benito Ziluaga MEP (GUE/NGL)

Ignazio Corrao MEP (EFDD)

Tania Gonzalez Penas MEP (GUE/NGL)

Partick le Hyaric MEP (GUE/NGL)

José Inácio Faria MEP (EPP)

Josu Juaristi Abaunz MEP (GUE/NGL)

Stelios Kouloglou MEP (GUE/NGL)

Merja Kyllönen MEP (GUE/NGL)

Fabio de Masi MEP (GUE/NGL)

Younous Omarjee MEP (GUE/NGL)

Pier Antonio Panzeri MEP (S&D)

Liliana Rodrigues MEP (S&D)

Lola Sanchez Caldentey MEP (GUE/NGL)

Barbara Spinelli MEP (GUE/NGL)

Keith Taylor MEP (Greens/EFA)

Estefanía Torres Martínez MEP (GUE/NGL)

Ramon Tremosa i Balcells MEP (ALDE)

Ernest Urtasun MEP (Greens/EFA)

Marie-Christine Vergiat MEP (GUE/NGL)

Julie Ward MEP (S&D)

Gabriele Zimmer MEP (GUE/NGL)


Cover photo courtesy of Gregg Newton/Reuters @theguardian