Temer committed a responsibility crime by sending the Army to repress, jurists claim

Thursday, May 25, 2017
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Resumen Latinoamericano / The Dawn News / Photo Credit: Mídia NINJA

“In practice, we are living a state of siege decreed by an illegitimate government,” pointed out the lawyer.

Article 15. The use of the Armed Forced to defend the Motherland and the constitutional powers, of law and order, and in the participation of peace missions, is responsibility of the President of the Republic, who will command the activation of operative organs to the Defense Minister and obeying the following subordination form:

  • 2º The deployment of the Armed forces, in guarantee of law and order, by initiative of the constitutional powers, will happen as commanded by the President of the Republic, after all the instruments aimed to preserve the public order and the safety of the people and of the patrimony are depleted.
  • 3º The instruments shall be considered depleted when, at a given time, they are formally considered unavailable, nonexistent or insufficient by the respective Chief of the Federal Executive Power in the regular performance of its constitutional mission.

– Complementary Law nº 97/1999

“Authoritarian, unconstitutional and illegal measure. An insult to the public freedom, a clear responsibility crime.” This is how the coordinator of the Getulio Vargas Foundation course of Law, Eloisa Machado, defined the Law and Order Guarantee decree boosted by Temer to repress the protest at the Ministry’s Esplanade in Brasilia. The president ruled the action of the Armed Forces at the country until May 31, justifying it with a law that foresees the situation in the case of lack of police officials. For Machado, and for a great part of the jurist community, Temer committed a responsibility crime, suitable for an impeachment.

Among so many violations of Temer’s government, the use of the Armed Forces to maintain the government’s platform sustained by the lack of popular legitimacy and imposition of unconstitutional and draconian measures, as the Labour and the Previdencia Reform. This decree has been used before, for example, in the Maré occupation at Rio de Janeiro by Rousseff’s government and in the penitentiary crisis at Manos, under Temer’s ruling. Both cases unleashed harsh critics.

In the actual case, Temer is the main protagonist of the recent scandal involving the spreading of an audio recording between him and the JBS businessman, Joesley Batista; his officialist base at the Congress is null and pushing for Temer’s resignation; and, also, the president is dealing with the historical popular resistance against Rousseff’s unfair impeachment and Temer’s reforms. Past Sunday 21, he made an announcement on national chain where he dismissed the rumours of his resignation. After this, the protests were unavoidable.

For Rubens Glezer, Law professor at the Getulio Vargas Foundation, “the call to action of the Armed Forces, is only legal if the police forces are not enough, which it is not the case. Besides, there has been an evident abuse on the decree since it was applied on a period that matches with the government interests”.

For the lawyer of the National Network of People’s Lawyers, Patrick Mariano, Temer effectively decreed the state of siege. “It is stressful that in the day in which the Inter American Court of Human Rights judges the case of Vladimir Herzog and in which rural workers are murdered by the police, Temer launches a decree so that the Armed Forces can be used against demonstrations until May 31. So, the Armed Forces are left at the hands of the Defense Minister and in his criteria how to use them. In practice, we are lining a state of siege decreed by an illegitimate government.”

Mariano also understands that the decree consolidated the Temer’s responsibility crime practice. “Temer’s government is falling apart and it only stands due to the use of Armed Forces. I hope that the military commanders will not follow the demands of a corrupt, illegitimate and irresponsible government and that the Supreme Court judges Temer for his responsability crime.”

In the institutions field, Temer’s decree has been questioned. In a session of the Federal Supreme Court, minister Marco Aurelio Mello affirmed during his vote: “I am voting a little concerned due to the context and I hope that the news is not true. The chief of the executive power (Temer) would have passed a decree authorizing the use of the Armed Forces at the Federal District, from May 24 to May 31”.

Márcio Sotelo Felippe, journalist of Justificando and State attorney general, resumes Temer’s intentions when launching the decree: “Temer wants to intimidate by force. The incidents at protests are not new and the democracy is used to it at any place of the world.”

“The measure is abusive and it shows how harmful this government is for our country, going beyond dangerous limits. Temer out, right now,” he concluded.