Emmaus International

The 5th Emmaus International regional assembly in the Americas was held from 12-18 March. During the assembly the Emmaus groups of the region held internal discussions but they were also able to build alliances with social movements from Brazil which fight exclusion.

The week of the assembly was scarred by the assassination of Marielle Franco, city councilor of Rio de Janeiro, who was raised in the Mare favela. Marielle Franco was a human rights advocator who was particularly committed to the struggle for the rights of black women, to the fight against racial discrimination and to denouncing the recent rise of police violence in the favelas of Rio.

Facing a continuous political crisis since 2016 and bearing in mind the upcoming elections, the President, Michel Temer (who came to power following the controversial impeachment of Dilma Rousseff), is trying to gain support by focusing on security. Insecurity and criminality have now become his priorities and he has been using radical measures in this fight, notably in the state of Rio de Janeiro where the command of the security forces has been passed over to the army, something unseen since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1985.

The assassination of Marielle Franco, a strong critic of the government’s repression of the poorest, seems to be a message to those who defend the rights of the most excluded.This political assassination has been met with a wave of emotion and indignation across the country as well as beyond its borders. The Emmaus International regional assembly in the Americas also condemned this terrible murder.

Marielle ES petit

Arujá, March 16th 2018

We, members of the Emmaus International Movement, representatives of eight countries of America gathered at our 5th Regional Assembly in the city of Arujá - Brazil, we learn of the brutal murder of councilwoman Marielle Franco, a black woman, activist in the defense of the rights of the population the poorest state of Rio de Janeiro. We join the thousands of citizens of our region to protest vehemently against the power of arms, to call all those who defend the causes of the excluded,to stand firm and united in the struggle for justice, equal rights, full life for all.