Dark times: Supreme Court Justice leads the establishment of the Judiciary’s dictatorship

The Supreme Court in Brazil has long been completely disconnected from society’s aspirations. Countless privileges funded by the taxpayer are being repaid with atrocities such as applying the statute of limitation to proceedings involving corrupt politicians, the appropriation of legislative power and political activism towards agendas with strong popular appeal, such as the auditable printed vote. But their excellencies, tired of being criticized, have decided to start a new moment in our fragile democracy: the persecution of people who criticize the Supreme Court. The dictatorship of the judiciary is entrenching before our own eyes.

It oficially began with the arrest of political activists in May 2020. Sara Winter, activist for the “Brazil’s 300” camp (an allusion to the Spartan warriors who faced the Persian army) who committed the “crime” of protesting against corruption and the left by setting off fireworks in the vicinity of the Supreme Court building and challenging Justice’s Alexandre de Moraes. Next, journalist Oswaldo Eustáquio was arrested in July 2020 for defending a popular intervention in Congress. Alexandre understood that this was an undemocratic idea and sent the head of a family to jail. The imprisoned journalist claims to have been tortured, and left priso, a different person, a paraplegic, after allegedly suffering a fall in his prison cell.

A tragedy, but it hasn’t stopped there. We have written about the arrest of Representative Daniel Silveira in February 2021, arrested for posting a video on social media with harsh criticisms of their excellencies, the Supreme Ministers. He remains imprisoned even after having paid bail. As you can see, there are no limits. In August, Justice Alexandre himself ordered the arrest of the president of the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB), Roberto Jefferson, a 68-year-old man with various health problems. The writing was on the wall, since the former parliamentarian had been criticizing the justices on social media for a long time.

There’s more. Federal police officers continue to carry out illegal arrest warrants. The other Supreme Court justices support the unconstitutional inquiry used as a tool for establishment of the dictatorship. The Senate fails to fulfil its constitutional mission to curb this type of tyranny and has ignored a request for the impeachment of Justice Minister Alexandre de Moraes, supported by 3 million Brazilians. Complaints to the International Court of Human Rights also had no effect. A few days ago a person was taken to the police station for having cursed Alexandre on the premises of a sports club in São Paulo. It was heard by the justice’s security guards who were at the scene without the “victim”. So, even bar talk is being censored in Brazil. On the same date, a teacher from a city in the interior of Brazil was arrested for posting “threats” to the justice. Friedrich Von Hayek has long warned us that “freedom is not lost all at once, but in slices, like cutting a salami”, but the speed with which political arrests have been taking place is frightening.

A large demonstration has been organized with the support of agribusiness and truck drivers for Brazil's independence day, on September 7. An arrest warrant has been issued prior to the demonstration for one of the organizers, truck driver “Zé Trovão”, who is on the run and used social media to say that he will turn himself in to the police during the demonstration. It will be a curious episode. In addition to the arrests, several others have received writs to provide clarifications, such as representative Carla Zambelli and singer and former parliamentarian Sérgio Reis, an 80-year-old man. And that's how the Supreme Court has won the appreciation of Brazilians.

Scenarios

Faced with inefficient constitutional mechanisms to prevent the dictatorship of the judiciary, the country experienced a rupture. There are those who advocate more military intervention, as the 1964 intervention to prevent the communists from taking power. There are those who imagine a popular revolt, with thousands of civilians occupying Praça dos Três Poderes, where the National Congress (Legislative), the Federal Supreme Court (Judiciary) and the Palácio do Planalto (Executive) are located.

As the Supreme Court and Senate's contempt for the population's concerns is already clear, the increase in tensions demands special attention from those who have access to firearms. After all, power emanates from the tip of the rifle. The Brazilian army currently has 356,281 active soldiers, and indirectly can count on the support of the state military police with a force of 416,923 people. Hunters, snipers and collectors make up 409,689 people with an arsenal of 694,118 weapons. It turns out that this class is not organized to the point of causing a destabilization of democracy, as preached by the “experts”. It wouldn’t be too outlandish to think that it would be the perfect opportunity for the armed wing of the organized crime to seize power. District Attorney Marcelo Rocha Monteiro warned in August 2020 that the criminals who dominate the slums of Rio de Janeiro have a “staff” of 56,000 well-armed people, surpassing the state's military police (44,000 policemen). Furthermore, there are reports that these criminals received specialized training from former members of the Brazilian armed forces. Will we officially become a narco state, like Venezuela?

Politically, it must be recognized that the only one capable of mobilizing the people is the president. Since May 2021 Bolsonaro has participated in motorcycle tours in several cities across the country: Brasília, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Chapecó, Porto Alegre, Presidente Prudente, Florianópolis, Goiânia, Uberlândia and Santa Cruz do Capibaribe. Despite the authoritarian measures imposed by governors and mayors under the guise to “fight the Chinese virus”, crowds participated in the events, clearly demonstrating that they value freedom. There is still hope. For now, those who do not want to be arrested need to whisper if they want to criticize the Supreme Beings. Let us pray for the triumph of the people and democracy.

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