Brazil Calls UN Rapporteur Arrogant and a Liar

The president of Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), Mércio Gomes, used the term " preposterous" to characterize the United Nations (UN) report on racism and discrimination in Brazil, which was released last week.

The UN rapporteur, Doudou Diène, visited Brazil last year to gather information on this issue and, upon his return to the United States, criticized the FUNAI severely. According to Diène, Indians have a strained relationship with the FUNAI and feel abandoned and persecuted by government officials.

"This rapporteur was with me in October. We conversed, and I portrayed the Brazilian Indian situation, the difficulties. Afterwards, he left here and went to speak to non-governmental organizations and changed his opinion entirely. He didn’t converse with Indians, and then he came up with this preposterous report," Gomes said.

In a Radio Nacional interview, Wednesday, March 22, the FUNAI president refuted accusations made by the UN rapporteur, who went so far as to claim that the Brazilian government tried to alter portions of the report.

"It is not true that the Brazilian government tried to change the text. The report is a preliminary one he presented to the Brazilian mission at the UN. The mission had the right to refute it, as they did. We refuted what he said, because he reported lies."

In the FUNAI president’s opinion, Diène was arrogant in using the report to tell Brazil how to decide these matters. Gomes made this comment with reference to Diène’s suggestion that the Brazilian government nominate an Indian as head of the FUNAI.

"That is a government decision. One day, to be sure, an Indian will be president of the FUNAI, but not because a UN rapporteur thinks that’s how it should be," he observed.

For the minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, it is natural for a UN rapporteur to voice criticisms with respect to the topic he or she is investigating, no matter what the country. Amorim said that Brazil has no problem in accepting criticisms and treats all UN reports with transparency.

"Unlike many developed countries that are reluctant to have reports done on the situation of immigrants, for example. What is necessary, now, is to ascertain the degree of the criticisms. The UN collegiate bodies will evaluate whether they are fair or exaggerated. And we will make our case," he said.

Amorim acknowledged that problems exist in Brazil in the area investigated by the UN rapporteur, but he pointed out that the Brazilian government has done "a great deal to improve this situation."

In the minister’s view, there is also a lot that remains to be done for the country to achieve a true racial democracy. "When one sees a Brazilian delegation abroad, it is hard to believe that there is racial democracy. We have a lot left to do," the minister admitted.

Agência Brasil

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazil Pledges US$ 1 Million to Help Rebuild Lebanon

Celso Amorim, Brazil's minister of Foreign Relations, will participate this Thursday, January 25, in ...

Lula and Presidential Candidate Rousseff Fined for Early Electioneering

Brazil’s minister of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), Felix Fischer, accepted the accusation of ...

Satellite and US$ 45 Million in Brazil’s All-Out Bird-Flu War

In an effort to safeguard its US$ 3.5 billion poultry sector, Brazil has launched ...

Ebony Goddess, a Brazilian Documentary in Praise of Black Beauty

Ebony Goddess: Queen of Ilê Aiyê, a documentary directed by Brazilian filmmaker Carolina Moraes-Liu, ...

Bolivia Nationalizes Gas and Gets What It Wanted from Brazil

Bolivian President Evo Morales completed his ambitious oil and gas nationalization plan early Sunday, ...

Brazilian Exports Reach US$ 111 Billion With US$ 30 Billion Surplus

Brazilian foreign sales totaled US$ 3.121 billion last week, a slight reduction when compared ...

Pepsi Takes a Brazilian Team to the Sahara for Its Latest Commercial

A thirsty nomad wanders through the Sahara Desert when he sees a Pepsi vending ...

Greenpeace Calls Brazil Weak and Canada and Australia Puppets of the US

With the end of the 8th Conference of the Parties to the Biological Diversity ...

An Advice to Brazil and Friends: Stop Worrying About US Farm Subsidies

A report to be released next week finds that the best way to reduce ...

Brazil Expecting US$ 39 Billion Trade Surplus in 2007

Brazil exported US$ 2.607 billion last week, a daily average of US$ 521.4 million, ...