Fearing Violence, International Bodies “Already Monitoring” Brazil Election

“October may be too late”, international monitors told.

UOL report that “International bodies will not wait until October to monitor Brazil’s electoral process, considered by foreign observers to be one of the most tense in decades in the country”.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, OAS (Organisation of American States) and the regional office of the UN High Commissioner (United Nations) for Human Rights have already begun holding meetings with civil society to monitor and accompany the risks to the electoral process.

Progressive International has also been planning its own election observation mission for some time.

“For human rights activists, political groups and even foreign bodies, threats and political violence are already a reality in the country. Arriving only in October to assess the functioning of the polls, according to observers, may be too late.” writes Jamil Chade.

Last week, UN rapporteurs were alertted to an “unprecedented authoritarian risk” to the 2022 election, in which former president Lula currently leads far-right incumbent Bolsonaro by 21% according to latest polls. Bolsonaro’s government is dominated by the Military.

On Thursday 26th May, Brazilian activists met the president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and asked her to ensure that their representatives are included the delegation of observers that the OAS intends to send to monitor human rights violations that occur during the elections.

The Organisation of American States (OAS) however, has an inconsistent record on election monitoring. Erroneous reports published by the OAS cast into doubt the 2019 election result in Bolivia, which was used as justification for the subsequent coup against Evo Morales.

Conversely, the OAS found no issue with Brazil’s 2018 election, in which the leading candidate had been jailed.

The entities also requested that there be collaboration with UN bodies for monitoring the election.

The meeting ended with the commitment made by the Inter-American Commission to hold a meeting every two months so that it can be updated on the Brazilian scenario.

During the meeting, the president of the Inter-American Commission, Julissa Mantilla Falcón, reported that she is already in dialogue with the OAS and the UN High Commissioner to carry out observation of the Brazilian elections by foreign bodies.

Falcón heard reports from the participants pointing out that the threats to the electoral system go far beyond the polls, with stories of  intimidation, harassment, physical violence and death threats.

U.S. president Joe Biden is scheduled for a special meeting with Jair Bolsonaro during the Summit of the Americas, which will take place from 6-10 June in California.