Supreme Court gives Bolsonaro 10 days to explain racial equality policies

racial equality Justice Rosa Weber. Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr
Justice Rosa Weber. Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/ABr

Supreme Court Justice Rosa Weber has given President Jair Bolsonaro 10 days to provide information on public policies the federal government is putting forward to promote racial equality. 

The decision comes as seven left-wing parties and the Black Coalition for Rights filed a lawsuit accusing the government of omission in regards to protecting the rights of black populations, “such as the right to life, healthcare, safety, security, and access to decent food.”

The lawsuit asks the Supreme Court to force the government to prepare a national plan against systemic racism. It must include, according to the plaintiffs, the monitoring and investigation of cases of violence, and training courses for security agents on racial relations, among other provisions.

Brazilian law enforcement faced criticism last week following highly violent actions against low-income black citizens. In Rio de Janeiro, a police raid killed 23 people in a black-majority favela. And in the Northeast, a black man was killed of asphyxiation after agents locked him in a car trunk with a tear gas bomb.

A study published on May 19 by researchers of the Insper business school and the University of São Paulo describes the massive racial disparity in political representation in Brazil. 

“The results indicate some racial balance with respect to candidacies, but a high imbalance when we consider the elected representatives,” says the study. “We found that not only do black candidates receive [less campaign funding] on average, but these resources are more concentrated among them.”