Education International condemns the attack on democracy in Brazil

published 10 January 2023 updated 20 March 2024

Education International condemns the attack on Brazilian democracy carried out on January 8 by violent mobs incited by defeated former President Jair Bolsonaro.

Even though Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is the democratically elected President of Brazil and is recognised by the international community as result of a fair electoral process, right wing forces continue to deny the result of the elections and to incite riots. This resulted in a series of violent attacks on the executive, legislative, and the judicial branch of the Brazilian government generating chaos, infrastructure damage, and injuries to journalists and security personnel. President Lula has also condemned the “incompetence, bad faith or malice” of some elements of the security forces that stood by or even encouraged rioters.

In 2019, Education International warned about authoritarian forces gaining ground and eroding the very foundations of free societies around the world, even in countries with deeply rooted democratic traditions. As teachers, we believe in the vital role of education in enabling youth to understand, embrace and exercise human rights, and become active participants in their communities. Human rights education can be a defense against the rise of violence, xenophobia, racism, and all forms of discrimination.

David Edwards, Education International General Secretary, stated: “We cannot tolerate attacks on democracy, we cannot keep giving a platform to fascism, manipulation and lies. Latin America remembers the bloody era of military dictatorships and it is not willing to reverse course on workers’ rights, it is not willing to go back to those times of terrible pain and fear, of thousands of lives taken whose loss is still being felt to this day.”

Education International denounces antidemocratic attacks in Brazil and everywhere in the world. EI calls on the authorities to identify all the material and intellectual authors of the violence and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

The will of the people must be respected.