Deaths of blacks by the Brazilian police increase; of whites fall, says UN – 03/07/2023

The UN denounces the disparity in the treatment of the Brazilian police, with the increase in deaths among Afro-Brazilians and a decrease among whites. The criticisms were voiced by the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk. In an assessment of around the 40 most critical locations in terms of violations in the world, the agency once again included the situation of Brazilian police violence against the black population.

According to him, “the violence that is so disproportionately inflicted on people of African descent by law enforcement officials is an example of the deep structural damage rooted in racial discrimination.”

“My office and UN human rights mechanisms have repeatedly highlighted excessive use of force, racial profiling and discriminatory practices by police, most recently in Australia, France, Ireland and the United Kingdom,” he said.

One of the highlights is the Brazilian situation. “In Brazil, total deaths in encounters with the police fell in 2021 for the first time in 9 years, with a 31% drop for whites, according to one source – but a nearly 6% increase in the death toll people of African descent,” said Turk.

In 2019, citing police violence, the UN summit raised the ire of then-President Jair Bolsonaro. On that occasion, the Brazilian attacked the United Nations and the leadership led by Michelle Bachelet, former president of Chile.

Months later, in the face of the crisis generated by the death of George Floyd, Brazil was one of the few countries at the UN that used the debate to insist on praising the work of the police. Behind the scenes, Itamaraty even tried to weaken the resolution that would be passed that year on police racism.

Now, the new Minister of Human Rights, Silvio Almeida, made a point of presenting a new position for the country, denouncing racism and making it clear that violence by law enforcement is one of his concerns.

At the UN, Turk also highlighted the situation of blacks in American cities. “In the United States, people of African descent are nearly three times more likely to be killed by police than ‘white’ people,” he said.

“The brutal death of Tire Nichols in Memphis two months ago stood out not only for the severity of the violence recorded, but because it was followed by immediate action to prosecute the officers involved, whereas usually only a fraction of such cases lead to those responsible being brought to justice. justice,” he said.

Stop him, those responsible need to be brought to justice. “In the US and all other countries, swift and determined action to hold those responsible accountable in each case should be the rule rather than the exception,” he said.

“Structural safeguards must be in place, including independent oversight, effective grievance procedures and robust legislative reform. But even the strongest actions within law enforcement will not fully succeed unless other concrete steps are taken to address racism and structures that perpetuate it in all our societies,” he added.

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