The high rate of homicides targeting black youths led the Permanent Forum Racial Equality—which represents organizations linked to black and anti-racist movements in Brazil—to file an official complaint against the Brazilian state with the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council.
The complaint was lodged on August 22 and made public on Wednesday (Nov. 29)0—the forum's first anniversary. The document is chiefly based on the final report by a Senate committee of investigation on the murder of young people. The report reached its final form in 2016.
In its conclusion, the report states that the committee “came upon a cruel and undeniable reality: The Brazilian state, directly or indirectly, perpetrates the genocide of the young black population.”
The term genocide also appears in the first chapter of the document. “It is [the term] that most accurately suits the reality of our country regarding the murder of black youths,” the text reads.
Daniel Teixeira, a lawyer at the Forum, argues that the state has admitted the existence of a genocide in the committee's report. “The Brazilian state textually acknowledges that there is a genocide being perpetrated against black youths,” he said. “The situation facing young black people has been naturalized to such an extant that it is one of the few cases in history acknowledged by the country itself.”
The report put together by the congressional committee also mentions that a black youth is murdered in Brazil every 23 minutes, adding that 53% of the homicide victims in the country are young, 77% are black, and 93% are male.
The report was submitted to a number of departments in the UN Human Rights Council related to issues regarding black people, racism, minorities, as well as summary, arbitrary and extra-judicial executions. The text will be considered by the UN representatives, who may demand clarifications and conduct inspections in the country, in addition to taking an official stance in the Council's next session, slated to take place in March.
The forum's goal is to join efforts in a bid have policies implemented to address the problem. The report backs up the recommendations made by the Senate's committee and also brings forwards its own propositions, like the drafting of an Emergency Plan for Black Youth Policies and a committee of investigation on public security.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira