Bolosonaro proposes immunity for military and police in new GLO law

Below are three articles on the proposal of the Bolsonaro government to, in effect, give impunity to the military and police in eviction actions.

Bolsonaro wants to use GLO in repossession of land; "Dictatorial attitude," says MST

President says he will send PL to Congress to be able to use Law and Order Guarantee actions in agrarian conflicts

The use of the military to repossess land in the counbtryside, as promised by President Jair Bolsonaro to the press on Monday (11/25/19), is a movement to try to criminalize social movements.

The assessment comes not only from representatives of the movements themselves, but also from scholars and observers on land rights and land reform issues.

The president said that he is considering sending to the National Congress a project for the application of actions of the so-called Law and Order Guarantee (GLO) in situations of land occupation.

The theme returned to the national debate last week with the government's presentation of the new bill proposing the extension of the illicit exclusion (i.e. impunity) for military personnel working in GLO operations.

In Bolsonaro's words on Monday, the use of GLO in the countryside would serve to "get the guy off the property," a process he says has been delayed by governors.

Private property in the countryside

The professor of law at the Fluminense Federal University (UFF), Gladstone Leonel Junior, is concerned about the movement of the government.

He points out that agrarian issues in Brazil are complex and cannot be resolved with offensive actions. According to him, the tension in the countryside is already great in Brazil and tends to worsen with the warlike tone of the president.

Gladstone also points out that the right to property in the countryside must take social functions into account and cannot be viewed absolutely, a view which, he says, impedes sustainable development in the countryside and is unconstitutional.

“From the moment the president himself does not observe the social function of property and makes an entire speech based on the GLO and the defense of property in an absolute way, something that has not existed for a few centuries and the constitution does not foresee, we sees this break with the democratic rule of law in a very delicate and very dangerous way. ”


The representative of the National Landless Movement (MST) coordination, Alexandre Conceição, points out that President Bolsonaro's statements are not surprising.

According to him, the use of GLO to repress social movements is a dictatorial attitude and the MST will denounce in debate forums in Brazil and worldwide that the Brazilian government builds a legal framework for criminalizing social movements.

“This GLO attempt in the countryside is yet another attempt by Jair Bolsonaro to solve a social problem, which, because of his incompetence, the government cannot solve from the economic point of view and from the point of view of mitigating the social crisis that is going through Brazil.”

Rubens Siqueira, of the National Executive Coordination of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), considers that the president's statements intensify violence in the countryside, but not surprisingly, given the escalation of measures that benefit the rich and burden the poor.

He also points out the risks of removing from state governments the role of negotiating repossession and replacing this process with the use of the armed forces.

“Today there is a pattern of reintegration of ownership, dialogued, with explicit concern for families and people. It is not that it is always being fulfilled, but it exists mainly by governments of the northern and northeastern states. They want to set that aside to facilitate the use of force and legalized violence against the rural poor. ”

Nara Lacerda Brasil Costume | São Paulo (SP) | Editor: Rodrigo Chagas

November 25, 2019


Movements in the countryside repudiate proposal to use GLO in repossession actions

MST and CPT argue that Bolsonaro wants to use the military to secure the interests of capital

The Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST) and the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) issued public notes repudiating the use of the armed forces for repossession in the countryside.

In the view of organizations, the so-called Guarantee of Law and Order (GLO), promised by President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL) on Monday (11/25/19), corresponds to an action to try to criminalize popular movements.

The assessment comes not only from representatives of the movements themselves, but also from scholars and observers on land rights and land reform issues.

The theme came back to the debate last week with the government's presentation of the new bill that proposes to extend the illicit exclusion (i.e. impunity) to military personnel working in GLO operations.

The retired captain said he is considering sending a project to the National Congress for the application of actions of the so-called GLO in situations of land occupation. For the MST, besides protecting the ruralists, the measure threatens life in the Brazilian countryside.

"The defense of human rights is part of the historical process of the struggles of peoples and their conquest, as well as their guarantee depends on the capacity for organization and struggle of workers and other sectors expropriated from the goods essential to human survival. In this scenario, the MST reaffirms its willingness to fight for the free right of demonstration provided for in the Constitution and for the fulfillment of the social function of the land - also provided for in the Constitution," says the note.

The CPT emphasizes that Bolsonaro proposes to use state force to secure the interests of capital and private property, and to intensify agrarian conflicts. The MST has the same understanding.

"This blind defense of private property by the Bolsonaro government puts us in a position prior to the 1850 land law. In addition, such measures and statements fuel the ongoing conflicts in the countryside, especially in indigenous areas. This GLO certainly will not be employed against land grabbers, invaders of public lands and vacant lands," criticizes the MST.

The CPT also assesses that the Bolsonaro government is following an authoritarian escalation that ultimately represents "a license to kill."

Below, check out the CPT note in full:

"The CPT National Board and Executive Coordination today join the chorus of indignation that rises in every corner of the country, given President Jair Bolsonaro's announced intention to create a Guarantee of Law and Order - (GLO) in the countryside, to authorize federal intervention when state governors delay the execution of writ of repossession warrants, thus meeting the agreement made with land grabbers, large landowners, loggers and militiamen, bothered by the delay in executing the warrants.

The president rates those who struggle to defend or conquer a piece of land to work as "fringe invaders." Indigenous people, Quilombolas, traditional communities, rural workers, as well as the landless, live ominous days and under constant insecurity.

This is what the president wants, submissive to ruralist interests: trample state prerogatives and guarantee impunity to police and military who target people in repossession of occupied or already in possession of rural properties. It is a license to kill!

It would extend to the countryside the bill sent to Congress on 11/21/19  which aims to exempt from punishment security agents who commit crimes and excesses during other GLO operations (“exclusionary of unlawfulness”).

The call for this increase in state violence corresponds to the pressures of agrarian and mining capital for the unchecked expansion of its harmful endeavors against land, water, forest and people. Even a new AI-5* has been repeatedly suggested as a means of delivering on what the president promised to those who supported his addicted election.

We repudiate the continued dismantling of institutions that guarantee the rights of citizens, in this case proposed with federal intervention at the state level. The primary duty of the state in each sphere is to guarantee the physical integrity of the people. The current President of the Republic proposes to use state force to guarantee the interests of capital and private property.

Last Saturday, the newspaper Folha de São Paulo brought an article in which it reports that 66 settlement projects have been shelved that have fulfilled all the required legal steps and are ready to be executed, only the president's signature is missing. However, none of them have been signed so far and consequently no families have been settled.

At the same time there is a bill by Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, which aims to decharacterize the social function of land ownership, to favor large landowners. In this context also the violence of the state against the peoples of the countryside grows.

On Monday (11/25/19) there was the eviction of 700 families linked to the Landless Rural Workers Movement - MST in Bahia, who, since 2012, cultivated the land in the Abril Vermelho encampments, at the Salitre Project, in Juazeiro (BA). , and Sr. Dorothy and Iranir de Souza, at the Nilo Coelho Project in Casa Nova (BA), public areas of the state-owned São Francisco and Parnaíba Valleys Development Company - CODEVASF.

The evictions were violent, although the Federal Police said in a statement that the eviction occurred peacefully in all areas. The PM ignored National Human Rights Council Resolution No. 10 of 2018, which deals exclusively with evictions, and violated the human rights of people in the camps.

The action began early in the morning, when the gas bombs were thrown over the encampment and pepper spray was used. The houses were destroyed, workers were injured and families have nowhere to go. Many children and the elderly woke up out of breath from the smoke and even fainted.

This shows the total disregard of the police forces to the recommendations that, after the 1997 Massacre of Eldorado dos Carajás - PA, were limited in these types of operations. These are recommendations that the the GLO in the countryside that Bolsonaro wants to suppress.

The CPT wonders: How long will the poor of this land be seen and treated as potential violators of laws that need to be fought and restrained, when in fact they are rights-holders, including property, produce the healthy foods we eat and care for? And the waters, the woods and the quality of the environment on which we all depend to live?

Just as God was present among His people, going with them into exile and ultimately persecuted and crucified in Jesus Christ, we believe that His presence remains alive and active with the sufferers and sufferers of this world."

*A1-5 is a law from the era of the military dictatorship that permitted the police and military to carry out arrests and searches/seizure without warrants, among other repressive measures.

Brasil do Fato | Sao Paulo (SP) | Editor: Rodrigo Chagas

November 27, 2019


Article | GLO = Guaranteed License for Oppression

Alfosin: "The current (misrule) by the federal government will take another step towards infidelity to the rule of law"

On November 25, in a conversation with journalists, President (?) Jair Bolsonaro revealed his willingness to refer Provisional Measure (MP), which he called GLO (Guarantee of Law and Order), authorizing the public force of the Union to execute repossession warrants against “marginals” (his expression). For him, state governments are slow to remove workers who are evicted by court orders from rural lands.

Although it is not yet known whether or not he will fulfill his threat, or the powers that will come to fruition, the legislative verbiage against people or groups socially excluded by the current government warns that the worst is yet to come. At the service of the ruralist [large landowners] stand, the landowning economic power, the invasion of land occupied by poor people with consolidated possessions, all the ill effects of this unfortunate "public administration" initiative can already be anticipated.

The irresponsibility of judging any occupation of land as done by “marginals” - with a derogatory tone to support their decision - becomes a good argument to the contrary. In the event that it reaches the condition of law, it adheres to the indiscriminate acceptance of prejudice against any poor person, as does the president (?).

Marginal has no one sense. It is not possible to deny that there are marginals, that is, “marginalized,” subjected, without guilt or responsibility, to a deplorable situation of poverty and misery like their own. Will the socioeconomic system that generates this injustice, often denounced and proven, because it enjoys a comfortable anonymity, be taken into account in the GLO Provisional Measure?

The answer is likely to be negative given the land policies implemented by the federal government. Even though the history of the world is full of testimonies from crowds of “marginalized” - socially excluded by the rich and powerful, such as those in the ruralist bloc, which they currently command in the National Congress - the federal public administration is notoriously complicit.

Contrary to expectations, the victims are able to conquer land and rights and are responsible for heroic deeds, led by their own strength of organization and struggle. Against powers far superior in arms and money, with no cause other than that of their own indignation against the injustices suffered.

Although many struggles have failed - as Editora Caros Amigos has shown in 12 issues about the “popular uprisings in Brazil” - the examples of the official Brazilian cowardice that sacrificed thousands of our ancestors in the name of the domination of a social class over another in our land.

All of this is now an inspiration for a supposedly legal oppression to be established as law. Damn the autonomous competence of the states of the federation and the letter expressed in the Federal Constitution.

This presidential threat is clearly contrary to social rights because it violates the precept of social function of land, as evidenced readily by the rural land occupations organized by the MST. GLO will certainly be able to destroy the creditor social rights of this function and of any popular organization that demands its fulfillment.

This type of power, due to its illicit foundation, has already received scathing criticism about interference with the freedom of others, as the Spanish professor of Constitutional Law Juan María Bilbao Ubillos attests, in his book La efficacy de los derechos fundamentales vis-à-vis private individuals. Here I bring the translation of one of your lessons:

“Giving these power formations free rein requires questioning again, after all, the possibility of realizing freedom. Formal and equal right for all has itself a tendency to make the strong even stronger, and the weak… even weaker. Those who lack their own social power or special protection, who are powerless in their own right, are no longer able to realize their legal freedom in the face of the holders of social power. Freedom achievable for the whole world in principle becomes volatile, gradually becomes an empty form. Social inequality becomes a lack of social freedom. Can you afford it? ”

For the current federal government, the answer to this question is certainly yes. In matters of land, he exercises its power by unleashing the reins for those who already have power to spare against those who have none. They are not considered as citizens with rights, but enemies. Thus the poor are regarded as enemies of a law and an order - a GLO - executed in favor of a wealthy class.

Although the Brazilian republic (?) recognizes social rights as fundamental in stone clauses provided for in the Federal Constitution, there is no guarantee of social power comparable to patrimonial rights, for example. The lack of practical effectiveness of guarantees is, of course, one of the most troubling issues faced by those who suffer from disrespect for the existence, validity and, consequently, effectiveness of social rights.

With this GLO, the current federal government will take another step - like the goose, proper to the military - towards infidelity to the ends of the rule of law and the Constitution, as taught by the same professor Juan María:

“The state itself must also channel, delimit existing or forming social power, and prevent it from completely undermining its superiority over the non-powerful and drowning their legal freedom.”

President Bolsonaro is always reminding obedience to God, as a true stamp of legitimacy for the Provisional Measures (MPs) that he signs, as well as the obligation to establish in the country a legal system of legal certainty, imposed by the strict application of strictly legalistic inspirational penalties. Respect for freedom, then, can be measured by the responsibility under which it is lived.

In MPs, as in any law, the abuse of freedom can be reflected in an imposing power. By the way, it is not known whether the president, by his frequent recollections of God as one who punishes and punishes, has already read St. Paul's letter to the Romans. I should read it, if for no other reason than to use God's name in vain.

This can be inferred from Paul Ricouer's comment on this letter in one of his works, The Conflict of Interpretation:

“Obedience to the commandment, because it is commanded, becomes more important than the love of one's neighbor and God's own love. It is this exactness in observance that we call legalism. With it we enter the hell of guilt, as St. Paul describes it: the law itself becomes the source of sin; by providing the awareness of evil, it excites the desire for transgression, arouses the endless movement of condemnation and punishment. ... Law and sin mutually engender a vicious circle that becomes a mortal circle. Thus guilt reveals the curse of a life under the law. …

The guilt announces an accusation without an accuser, a court without a judge, a verdict without an author. ”

Thus, freedom, in the context in which the president's policies impose itself, much more than a word, is a right that is finding it difficult to exercise, both for those who are afraid of losing it (the landlords, for example) by those who have the courage to conquer it (landless, quilombola, indigenous, etc.). The law that seeks to enforce it - let the lesson of St. Paul be worth it - unbalances its effects insofar as it only instills fear and serves as a shield against courage.

From what President Bolsonaro says and does, he prefers to eliminate the fear of those who already enjoy this right even at the cost of violent repression to the courage of those who have not yet won it, even though, in express constitutional letter, it is guaranteed to all. The GLO will thus be the same as this  government: a formal democracy, essentially opposed to fundamental human and social rights, sufficient to overthrow a dictatorial state of exception.

Jacques Alfosin (Former Rio Grande do Sul state attorney, lawyer and law professor) | Brasil de Fato | Sao Paulo (SP) | Edition: Julia Checker

November 29, 2019