Alarmed by the criminalization of social movements and the public outrage in Rio de Janeiro in recent days, Conectas publicly endorses the response to the damaging wave of rumors and opinions that have overshadowed the protests, criminalizing lawyers, activists and demonstrators, and posing serious risks to democracy and freedom of expression in Brazil.

On February 13, the organization signed the following statement:


The phrase has been repeated ad nauseam in newspaper headlines, in the midst of the huge commotion caused by the tragic death of Santiago Ilídio Andrade, a cameraman for the Bandeirantes television network who was struck by a flare on February 6, 2014 while filming a demonstration in downtown Rio de Janeiro against the increase in bus fares. But this kind of violence at demonstrations is nothing new.

Since June 2013, there have been at least 118 assaults on journalists across Brazil, the majority of them committed by the police. The number of demonstrators seriously injured by rubber bullets and shrapnel from stun grenades is countless and demonstrates the force of the State’s militarized repression. This institutionalized violence that has been applied to break up demonstrations has also caused fatal victims: there have been at least 18 deaths across Brazil, a figure that includes the execution of 9 residents of Maré during an operation by Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police with the support of the National Public Security Force on June 24, under the justification of “searching for suspects” following a mob theft staged during a demonstration in the neighborhood of Bonsucesso.

Democracy and freedom of expression are at risk when we witness the sinister advance of extreme repressive measures against social struggles in Brazil: arrest for verification, detention for the crime of contempt, wrongful arrests, violation of the confidentiality of communication and spying through social networks, secrecy of police investigations and the lack of access to information on the status of the cases. Add to this the use of legislation that dates back to Brazil’s dictatorship, such as the National Security Law (applied to punish anyone who fought against the civil-military regime), or Bill No. 499 of 2013 that is pending in the Senate and that defines the crime of terrorism.

Democracy and freedom of expression are at risk when attempts are made, yet again, to delegitimize and criminalize social movements and public outrage. The struggle for human rights strengthens democracy. Santiago’s death is unacceptable, but so is the persecution and threat of those who work to assure the right to a defense for each and every demonstrator.

Democracy and freedom of expression are at risk when deaths are used politically to manipulate public opinion, to distract from the demands of the demonstrators and to attack the defenders of human rights in an extremely irresponsible manner. The problem we need to face is – and always has been – the exact opposite: the violations of these rights.

Statement signed by:


Apafunk – Associação dos Profissionais e Amigos do Funk

Associação de Advogados de Trabalhadores Rurais no Estado da Bahia – AATR

Associação Homens e Mulheres do Mar da Baía de Guanabara – AHOMAR

Associação Nacional de Ação Indigenista – ANAI

Associação Pela Reforma Prisional – ARP

Campanha Reaja ou Será Morta, Reaja ou Será Morto/BA

Casa da Mulher Trabalhadora – CAMTRA

CEDECA Rio De Janeiro

Centro de Direitos Humanos Dom Oscar Romero – CEDHOR

Centro de Convivência É de Lei – Redução de Danos/São Paulo

Centro de Teatro do Oprimido – CTO/RJ

Coletivo Das Lutas

Comitê Latino-americano e do Caribe para a Defesa dos Direitos da Mulher – CLADEM

Comitê pela Desmilitarização da Policia e da Política

Comunicadores Populares RJ


Conselho Regional de Psicologia/RJ

Cultura Verde – coletivo antiproibicionista e antimanicomial


Diretoria da Adunirio – SS do ANDES – Sn

Equipe Clínico-Política RJ

Federação das Associações de Favelas do Estado do Rio de Janeiro – FAFERJ

Federação de Órgãos para Assistência Social e Educacional – FASE

Fórum de Reparação e Memória do Rio de Janeiro

Fórum de Saúde do Rio de Janeiro

Fórum Social de Manguinhos

Frente Estadual Drogas e Direitos Humanos – RJ

Geledés – Instituto da Mulher Negra

Grupo Tortura Nunca Mais/RJ


Instituto Búzios

Instituto de Defensores de Direitos Humanos (DDH)

Instituto Políticas Alternativas para o Cone Sul – PACS

Instituto Práxis de Direitos Humanos

Instituto Terra Trabalho e Cidadania (ITTC)

Intervozes – Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social


Justiça Global

Laboratório de Análise da Violência da UERJ

Movimento Mães de Maio

Movimento Nacional de Luta por Moradia

Movimento pela Legalização da Maconha

Núcleo de Direitos Humanos do Departamento de Direito da PUC-Rio

Pastoral Carcerária Nacional

Quilombo Xis-Ação Cultural Comunitária

Rede de Comunidades e Movimentos contra a Violência – RJ

Rede Nacional de Adolescentes e Jovens Comunicadorxs – Renajoc

Rede Nacional de Advogadas e Advogados Populares – RENAP

Sociedade Maranhense de Direitos Humanos

Tribunal Popular

Viração Educomunicação

Visão da Favela Brasil


Abrahão de Oliveira Santos – Professor of Psychology at UFF

Adriana Britto – Public defender and spokesperson for the Justice Forum

Alexandre Anderson – AHOMAR

Ana Maria Bezerra Galdeano – Community health agent

Bruno Marinoni – Journalist

Bruno Ramos Gomes – Psychologist and coordinator of the “É de Lei” Community Center

Cecília Coimbra – Professor at Fluminense University and founder of GTNM/RJ

Celi Cavallari – Psychologist, psychoanalyst and board member of REDUC (Brazilian Harm Reduction Network) and member of ABRAMD (Brazilian Multidisciplinary Association of Studies on Drugs)

Charles Toniolo de Sousa – Professor at the School of Social Services of UFRJ/President of the Regional Council of Social Services (CRESS-RJ) between 2011 and 2013

Christiane dos Passos Guimarães – CRES

Claudio Gomes Ribeiro

Danichi Hausen Mizoguchi – Professor of Psychology at Fluminense University

Daniela Albrecht – Rio de Janeiro State Anti-Asylum Movement and the State Health Forum

Danielle Vallim – Sociologist. Visiting doctoral student from Columbia University

Débora Rodrigues – Social worker

Diogo Justino – Lawyer with a masters and studying for a doctorate in Theory and Philosophy of Law (UERJ) and professor at Cândido Mendes University

Eduardo Baker – Lawyer

Eduardo Passos – Professor of Psychology at UFF

Fernanda Pradal – Lawyer

Fernando Delgado – Lawyer

Flávia Fernando Lima Silva – Psychiatrist

Geandro Ferreira Pinheiro – EPSJV/Fiocruz

Geo Britto – Actor and sociologist

Heliana Conde – Professor of Psychology at UERJ

Helen Sarapeck – CTO/RJ

Ignácio Cano – Professor at UERJ

Janne Calhau – Institutional psychologist

Julia Bustamante – Director of DCE-UFRJ

Julia Horta Nasser – Psychologist, member of the Adult Street Population Forum

Leonardo Vidal Mattar – Member of the Health Forum/RJ

Luís Fernando Tófoli – Psychiatrist, professor at UNICAMP

Marcos Arruda – Educator

Maria Gorete Marques de Jesus – Sociologist and researcher

Maria Rosário de Carvalho – Anthropologist

Maria Virgínia Botelho

Maurício Renault de Barros Correia – Member of the State Drugs and Human Rights Front/RJ

Monique Ribeiro Alves – Social worker and member of the Health Forum/RJ

Moniza Rizzini – Lawyer

Patricia Birman – Professor at UERJ

Paulo César de C. Ribeiro – Director of the Joaquim Venâncio Polytechnic School of Health – Fiocruz

Renato Roseno – Lawyer

Repper Fiell

Rita de Cássia Santos Fortes – Social worker

Roberto Leher – UFRJ

Rodolfo Valente – Lawyer

Rodrigo Mattei – Member of “Cultura Verde”, the State Drugs and Human Rights Front/RJ, “Planta na Mente” and DCE-UFRJ

Rogério Alimandro – PSOL/RJ

Rosane M. Reis Lavigne – Public defender and spokesperson for the Justice Forum

Sandra Lucia Goulart, anthropologist, PhD in Social Sciences from Unicamp, Professor at Cásper Líbero University

Sandra Quintela – Economist

Silvia Dabdab Calache Distler – Social worker

Taiguara L. S. e Souza – Professor of Criminal Law

Tânia Kolker

Taniele Rui – Postdoctoral student from the Social Science Research Council

Tiago Joffily – Prosecutor/RJ

Tiago Régis – Psychologist, doctoral student in the Postgraduate Program in Psychology at UFF

Vera Malaguti Batista – Rio de Janeiro Criminology Institute

Vera Vital Brasil – Psychologist

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