Brazil Bar Association’s New President Urges Country to Reconnect with Decency

OAB chief Ophir CavalcanteThe opening of the secret archives of the Brazilian military dictatorship (1964-1985), one of the main platforms of the OAB (Bar Association of Brazil) in the last three years should be ignored during the administration of the entity’s new president, Ophir Cavalcante.

According to him, the redemocratization of Brazil cannot “be compromised by the return under any pretext or argument, to authoritarianism.”

“There is no dictatorship of the right or the left. There is dictatorship, a tragic human experience, which without exception, produces only violence, backwardness and injustice, in its broadest and corrosive sense.”

Cavalcante also defended, in his inaugural speech, Monday night, a “profound” reform of the Brazilian political system. Mentioning the corruption scandal uncovered in the Federal District last year, the new president of the OAB said that Brazil needs to “reconnect with decency” and put an end to impunity for the corrupt.

Cavalcante called for a “moral cleaning in the institutions” and political reform, with the implementation of public campaign financing.

“It is necessary, essential, a profound reform of the current political system, not limited to a review of the electoral system, but extended to other administration’s sectors, with the goal of cleaning up one of the worst ills of the public sector, which is the political and prodigal dispensation of positions,” he stated.

For the OAB’s new president, you must sign a pact of “self respect” to change the situation of impunity that is installed in the country. “We are in such a condition: either we are able to reencounter decency or we will sink. No country moves forward, no country enters the first world with dirty hands,” he added. “And Brazil lacks decency. What shows a country’s progress are not its GDP indexes but the moral behavior of its rulers.”

Cavalcante demanded punishment for those involved in the scandal uncovered by Operation Pandora’s Box, by the Federal Police, which dismantled an alleged scheme of bribes being paid by the Federal District’s Governor, José Roberto Arruda, to Brasília’s assemblymen and their allies.

“The images speak for themselves, yes, but they still express a revolting autism, since they speak only to themselves, without any penal consequence for the offenders who continue in their positions and cynically even forgive those who protest against them.

To Cavalcante it’s also necessary to strengthen the institutions, especially the judiciary. “Without a strong, respected judiciary, there is no strong and respected legal profession. They are two sides of the same coin: lawyers and judges are roles that complement each other in the unique task of producing justice.”

He also defended the expansion of external control of the judiciary and prosecutors and the creation of an “observatory of corruption.” For this task, Cavalcante called on the 700,000 lawyers who belong to the OAB and the whole Brazilian population.

ABr

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