Brazil is facing an extreme turning-point as the pro-dictatorship, and authoritarian leader Jair Bolsonaro leads in the polls with 57% of the vote. Bolsonaro’s rise to power is marked by blaming the countries damaged economy on black people, women and minorities. He promises to shut down the PT (Worker’s Party) that led the economic boom between 2003 and 2011 lifting millions out of poverty but in recent years has been accused of corruption by right-wing politicians.
Bolsonaro and other authoritarian leaders increase their influence when citizens are demoralised and are looking for hope in any form, or when people do not participate in the election systems as they feel politics has failed them. The authoritarian strategy to gain votes by blaming immigrants and people with less power is underpinned by weak systems of democracy where information and voices from all parts of society cannot be heard, and shared visions cannot be created.
Throughout the world, social workers have been actively championing the building of solidarity between people and facilitating systems that support the voices of all communities. As a human rights-based profession, social workers support the full participation of people in all the political decisions that affect them and encourage citizens to engage in actively shaping their interdependent futures with all others.
IFSW and social workers globally stand in solidarity with CFESS and all social workers of Brazil who seek a fair, just and sustainable society. We know that your society’s human-rights, and your own security are under significant threat. Your profession will continue to stand with you providing unwavering international support.
Larry Emil Alicea-Rodríguez
IFSW Regional President for Latin America and the Caribbean
Tânia Maria Ramos de Godoi Diniz
IFSW Regional Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean