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



You May Also Like

Exports of Brazilian Agricultural Products to Arabs Up 23%

Brazilian agribusiness exports to the Arab countries generated US$ 2.583 billion between January and ...

Brazilian Children With AIDS Get Helping Hand from Los Angeles Foundation

Los Angeles-based Children Affected by AIDS Foundation (CAAF) announced its first ever international grant ...

Brazil: Carmen Miranda’s Embolada Riddle

No one thought anything of it when Chico Alves’ disc came out, nor six ...

Rape and the Basic Unfairness of Brazil’s Society

In late March, the brutal gang rape of an American tourist in a transit ...

Optimism Tide Raises Economy Ship in Brazil

Brazilian and Latin American markets advanced, due to strength on Wall Street, lower oil ...

Brazil Should Go Beyond Millennium Goals, Say Experts

Brazil should adopt more ambitious goals for the millennium than the ones proposed by ...

Catholic Church Accuses Brazilian Congress of Disrespecting Indian Rights

Ignoring a decision taken by the Brazilian National Commission for the Indigenous Policy (CNPI) ...

1 Million Gypsies Want Brazil to Make Room for Them and Their Culture

The Association for the Preservation of Gypsy Culture estimates that there are around one ...

Brazil Sets Free Condom Machines in Schools Plus 55 Million Condoms for Carnaval

The Brazilian ministry of Health has begun distributing condoms directly in schools alarmed with ...