International Day for People of African Descent: A Path Towards Reparation for Victims of Racism in the Region

International Day for People of African Descent: A Path Towards Reparation for Victims of Racism in the Region

Washington D.C., 31 August 2023.- In Latin America and the Caribbean, a region in which one in four people identify as Afro-descendent, structural racism and racial discrimination are reflected in the unequal access to quality education, unemployment, and a higher rate of poverty. According to the report Afrodescendientes en Latinoamérica, Afro-descendent Latin Americans are 2.5 times more likely to live in chronic poverty.

On the International Day for People of African Descent, the Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) reaffirms its commitment to guaranteeing and protecting the human rights and fundamental liberties of Afro-descendent people, as outlined in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), and the Plan for the Decade for People of African Descent in the Americas (2016-2025).

Our Work in the Region

Race and Equality works with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean to promote documentation, denunciation, and advocacy processes before the Inter-American System and the Universal System for the protection of human rights, including recently created spaces such as the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (PFPAD) and the Expert Mechanism to Promote Justice and Racial Equality in Law Enforcement (EMLER). The organization is also recognized for bringing our counterparts to participate in high-level events such as the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS). All of this to support their full and equal participation in all aspects of society, and to promote comprehensive reparation for victims.

In Brazil, where 56% of the population self-identifies as Afro-descendent, Race and Equality works with Brazilian civil society organizations from an intersectional perspective, understanding that racial issues are crossed by gender, territorial, economic, and social vulnerability.

With its racial justice project, Race and Equality and its counterpart Selo Juristas Negras work in the search for justice for women, particularly black women in situations of deprivation of liberty, taking measures for their release from detention centers and their subsequent social, familial, and professional reintegration. In this regard, during our advocacy tour this year in Washington, DC, we arranged meetings of Selo Juristas Negras with African American members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

In Colombia, 599,580 black women have suffered the consequences of the armed conflict, being the most affected population group. Currently, these women have gathered in the Coordinación de Mujeres Afrocolombianas Desplazadas en Resistencia “La COMADRE” and Race and Equality accompanies them in international litigation actions for the process of their recognition as subjects of collective ethnic reparation and their respective reparation as victims of the armed conflict.

This long process began in 2014 and continues without resolution, therefore, Race and Equality has conducted advocacy actions before the Inter-American System of Human Rights (IASHR) that have resulted in precautionary measures that guarantee the protection of the life and personal integrity of La COMADRE. Moreover, we have also conducted international advocacy through the participation of a leader of La COMADRE in the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent; and investigatory and documentary actions of the violations of rights of Afro-Colombian women that show a pattern of systematic violations of their rights.

In Mexico, where the Afro-descendant population is the second largest that faces the most acts of discrimination based on certain conditions or characteristics of human diversity, Race and Equality promoted the “Capacity Building Strategy for the Mexico 2020 Census Campaign,” that generated a nationwide media project focused on strengthening Afro-descendant self-identification with the ethnonyms included in the 2020 Census and resulted in more than 2.5 million people self-identifying as Afro-descendant.

Additionally, in the years 2018 and 2019 we accompanied Afro-Mexican activists in the first and second thematic hearing on the Afro-descendant population before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), and the session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). These key spaces have shown that the Mexican state must “redouble efforts and guarantee Afro-descendant people full access to protection and effective resources in national tribunals and other institutions of the state against any act of discrimination and racism, and adopt all legal and effective measures to combat them,” according to activist Gina Diédhiuo of the organization Afrodescendencias.

In Cuba, Race and Equality trains Afro-descendant activists from independent civil society organizations on the Island. Through these diverse training workshops, we have promoted strategies for Afro-Cubans to make racism, the racial discrimination they face, and the obligations the Cuban state has assumed under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination visible.

In Uruguay, we support organizations from Afro-descendant civil society in the elaboration of alternative reports before the Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). These documents address ethno-racial inequalities, barriers to access to justice in cases of racial discrimination, the criminalization of religious racism, the concern about the significant percentage of the Afro-descendant population deprived of liberty, and the demand for full reparation for the forced displacements suffered by the Afro-descendant community in times of state terrorism.

Additionally, we have promoted the participation of Afro-Uruguayan organizations in the last session of CERD, in which the state of Uruguay was examined at the beginning of August. At this moment, Race and Equality supported the members of the Organización Social Salvador to hold working meetings and dialogue with representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and with members of CERD in Geneva.

In the Dominican Republic the state has approved laws that endorse the arbitrary deportation and other violations against the rights of migrant Haitian populations and Dominico-Haitians. Race and Equality works with the Movimiento Socio Cultural de Trabajadores Haitianos (MOSCTHA) providing technical support for the promotion of racial justice through trainings, documentation, and the strengthening of the racial litigation work of a network of attorneys.

This year, we supported MOSCTHA in its active participation in the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent and in an advocacy tour in Washington, DC, hosting visits at the United States Congress. For María Martínez, an attorney with MOSCTHA, it is also important to note that, thanks to our joint work “we are part of UNAR -which works on racial justice- and RegionaR, two coalitions formed to -among other things- promote reparation for Afro-descendant victims of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and structural discrimination.”

Our Campaign for a Region Free From Racism

Since 2021, with the campaign CIRDI 2024, Towards a Region Free From Racial Discrimination”, Race and Equality adopted a regional commitment to promoting on a larger scale the ratification and implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination, and Related Forms of Intolerance (CIRDI). In the framework of this campaign, we have trained local organizations to overcome the particular challenges that stand in the way of ratification and full implementation of CIRDI, such as resource gaps, lack of human capacity, and technical expertise.

Furthermore, this year we celebrated the 10th anniversary of CIRDI with representatives from the United States and Brazil, experts, and Afro-descendant, indigenous, and LGBTI+ leaders from the region, in a parallel event to the General Assembly of the OAS; and gave several workshops, such as the webinar “Key tools for monitoring the implementation of an Inter-American Convention,” in which specialists in international human rights law from Brazil and Mexico participated in the company of Paul Spencer, who serves as Senior Advisor for Caribbean Affairs at the IACHR.

These actions, together with advocacy actions by our counterparts, have impelled more than three countries of the region to begin strongly debating the ratification of this important instrument.


Today, August 31st, from Race and Equality, we insist that states adopt concrete measures and practices through the approval and effective application of national and international juridical frameworks and policies against racism, racial discrimination, and other related forms of intolerance. It is imperative that the States of the Americas sign, ratify, and implement CIRDI, as a show of true commitment to facing down these scourges.

Finally, in preparation for the United Nations General Assembly to be held in September, Race and Equality urgently calls for the proclamation of a second International Decade for People of African Descent for the period of 2025-2034, that will contribute to the adoption of new methods to combat structural discrimination and historical inequality faced by the population, to achieve full recognition, justice, and development for Afro-descendant peoples all over the world. Likewise, we call for their active and effective participation in the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (PFPAD).

25J: Afro-Latina, Afro-Caribbean, and Diaspora Women in Spaces for the Protection and Defense of the Rights of the Afro-descendant Population

Washington D.C., July 25, 2023- The creation of new international mechanisms for the protection and promotion of the rights of people of African descent marks a key and historic opportunity to overcome the racism and discrimination faced by this population. Therefore, this International Day of Afro-Latina, Afro-Caribbean, and Diaspora Women, from the Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) we call for the gender and intersectional perspectives to be taken into account in these spaces, so that they mark the work of monitoring the situation and making recommendations to the States.

July 25 and the Struggle for Racial Justice

July 25 was established as International Afro-Latina, Afro-Caribbean, and Diaspora Women’s Day during the First Meeting of Afro-Latina, Afro-Caribbean, and Diaspora Women, which was held on a day like today, but in 1992, in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), in recognition of the work of women of African descent in the fight against racial discrimination, sexism, poverty, and marginalization.

In our line of work on racial equality, we have been incorporating gender and intersectional approaches in all the actions we carry out (strategic litigation, capacity building, and documentation), as we believe that through these perspectives, we can guarantee the inclusion of women and all those with diverse sexual orientation and gender identity.

Likewise, in view of the creation of international mechanisms on Afro-descendant populations, we have supported the participation of Afro-descendant women in new spaces such as the International Mechanism of Independent Experts to Promote Racial Justice and Equality in the Context of Law Enforcement (EMLER) and the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent (PFPAD), as well as in other long-standing spaces such as the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Afro-descendant Women Setting the Agenda in New Mechanisms

At the second session of the United Nations Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, which took place from May 30 to June 2 in New York, Afro-descendant women’s organizations from Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic formed a Racial Justice Delegation to denounce racial and gender-based violence in Latin America. With the support of Race and Equality and the Black Alliance to End Violence (Fundo Elas), the delegation also raised the need to build agendas and projects to combat, through an intersectional perspective, the different ways in which racist violence affects the lives of women in the region.

“The important thing about being present in this space was that I was able to bring the voices of several silenced women. Grada Kilomba, a black artist, writer, and intellectual says that the white man is at the top of the social pyramid, then comes the white woman, then the black man, and the black woman is invisible at the bottom of the pyramid. And we want to change that,” says Monique Damas, lawyer and Executive Director of Selo Juristas Negras, one of the organizations that made up the delegation.

Erlendy Cuero, Vice-President of the Association of Displaced Afro-Colombians (AFRODES) and who was also part of the Racial Justice Delegation to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Afro-descendants, believes that guaranteeing a gender perspective in these spaces is essential due to the persistence of racist and discriminatory actions aimed at harming their integrity not only because they are women, but also because they are Afro-descendant women.

“We are the ones who suffer the disproportionate impact of the armed conflict, when our bodies continue to be sexually abused as strategies for banishment and uprooting from our territories, when we cannot access education, employment, decent housing, health, etc.,” she says.

Regarding what is expected with the participation of Afro-descendant women in these new mechanisms, as well as in others that have been in operation for several decades such as CERD and the CEDAW Committee, Cecilia Ramirez, Executive Director of the Center for the Development of Peruvian Black Women (CEDEMUNEP), says: “More just, egalitarian, and equitable societies guarantee the autonomy of Afro-descendant women; also, increase the capacities of young Afro-descendant women and provide them with the necessary opportunities to develop their full potential”.

“We hope that our states can generate affirmative actions and public policies with budgets that guarantee the closing of the inequality gaps that we face not only because of our gender condition but also because of our ethnicity,” adds Ramírez. It is worth noting that during the review of the CEDAW Committee in Peru in 2022, Afro-Peruvian activists participated for the first time, through CEDEMUNEP with the support of Race and Equality.

From Cuba, Marthadela Tamayo, from the Citizens’ Committee for Racial Integration (CIR), highlights the gender approach and intersectionality as key tools in spaces on the Afro-descendant population. “Because they are necessary spaces for these populations to explain or narrate the realities they live from all the intersections they go through in their daily lives in their neighborhoods or communities,” she says.

“In addition, these spaces can be very positive scenarios for women to articulate, develop, and participate in the political and public life of a country,” she adds.

Race and Equality will continue to promote the participation of Afro-descendant women in existing regional and international mechanisms for the protection and promotion of the rights of Afro-descendant people. It is essential that the gender and intersectional perspective be taken into account in data collection, situation analysis, and the formulation of recommendations to the States.

Tragedy Announced: Anti-Democratic Movements Must Be Investigated by the Brazilian State

Brazil, 10th January, 2023 – The action of Bolsonaro protesters that culminated in the dispossession of the Brazilian public and historical patrimony in the federal capital, in a vile attempt of an anti-democratic coup, is marked as a tragedy. The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) calls on the Brazilian state to prioritize, in its public security plan, the investigation and containment of anti-democratic acts on the rise in the country. As such, we urge accountability and justice of all those involved in acts of vandalism at the headquarters of the three branches of power, as well as the identification of the financiers of this criminal articulation.

Since the establishment of the Democratic State of Law, for the first time, this insurgent act threatens Brazilian democracy at the national and international level. The events of January 8, 2023 are worrying not only because they undermine the popular sovereign will established in the 2022 electoral process, but also for seeking to legitimize hate crimes and escalating violence under the cover of freedom of expression. Thus, we align ourselves with the international repudiation and call for haste and rigid investigations with the observation of due process.

The omission of the military police and the convenience of the army resonate as a warning to those currently in the administrative office that the worst can happen. Therefore, Brazil needs to prioritize, at the national level, the agenda of democratic security to face such situations of sharp polarization especially with the victory of President Lula. The nearly 150 buses that arrived in Brasilia with Bolsonaro protesters were known to the state and the security forces. Thus, the deliberate omission of the invasion of public buildings besides representing an affront to Brazilian democracy, reveals the country’s impunity dressed as a political tonic of forgetfulness and privilege. The caricature of the ‘Capitol Bolsonarista’ is elitist, racist, sexist, and LGBTIphobic.

Thus, Race and Equality as a human rights organization, repudiates the attacks against the three branches of power, and hopes that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva can reestablish the defense of peace and democracy. It is also essential to foster a policy of confrontation and monitoring of anti-democratic movements that, motivated by the Bolsonaro agenda, will not cease during the next four years of office. Therefore, it is urgent that any possibility of amnesty is out of the question for the Republic of Brazil to move towards equity and social justice.

Permanent Forum on People of African Descent of the UN: Race and Equality and Brazilian CSOs Reaffirm their Commitment to Combat Systemic Racism

Brazil, December 23th, 2022 – Between December 5th and 8th, the first session of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent took place in Geneva, Switzerland. Created through Resolution 75/314 of the United Nations General Assembly in 2021, the purpose of this consultative mechanism is to contribute to the fight against racism and to promote the rights of the black population, collaborating with the Human Rights Council and other UN mechanisms. The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) was present at the Forum with Brazilian partner organizations including NGO Criola, Ilê Axé Omiojuaro, Geledés – Institute of Black Women, and the National Association of Travestis and Transsexuals (ANTRA).

The creation of this Forum emerged through the activities implemented by the International Decade of Afro-descendants. The event was attended by Epsy Campbell Bar, President of the Permanent Forum, and former Vice President of Costa Rica; Francia Marquez, Vice President of Colombia; and Federico Villegas, President of the UN Human Rights Council. Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), oversaw the opening table ceremony. The Forum had more than 900 people (virtual and face-to-face), with almost 700 people present during four days of intense debates, including human rights activists, United Nations experts, and civil society of several countries whose work center around racial justice.

The convention was held through thematic panels, meetings, and featured 27 parallel events. Notable themes were identified in the fight against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance, including shared strategies of good practice among civil society. The main debates centered on the fight against systemic racism and police brutality; the inclusion of Afro-descendants in the sustainable development agenda – climate justice; the right to redress; the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Right of Afro-descendant Peoples; the need for equity for all, and the need for intersectionality to understand the various forms of racial discrimination, with emphasis on the right of women, young people, the LGBTI+ community, and migrants.

On the last day, the meeting ended with conversations concerning the future of the Permanent Forum. All panels included the participation of civil society leaders with statements on the proposed themes. It should be noted that the Durban Declaration and its Plan of Action were mentioned continuously by all who were present. In addition, approximately 300 people were able to present their contributions to collaborate with the construction of the Forum. The event also featured a cultural activity through the presentation of the group, “Escuelita del Ritmo,” from Panama, and the group Ubufakazi Besoweto from South Africa.

Several Brazilian civil society organizations participated in the debates, including Race and Equality’s CSO partners in Brazil. These partners had the opportunity to condemn racism among cis and trans women, denounce maternal mortality, criticize systemic racism in the justice system, articulate the importance of combating religious racism, and expressed the need of the Forum’s commitment to support trans black women. From Race and Equality, the Executive Director, Carlos Quesada, and Race and Gender Officer in Brazil, Leilane Reis, were present. In her statement, Leilane Reis highlighted the importance of the interaction of the future United Nations Declaration with the Inter-American Convention against Racism, emphasizing that the present States that have committed themselves to ratify and implement the document must fulfill this promise in pursuit of the effective fight against racism.

To close the four intense days of dialogue and work, following the listening process, Rapporteur Michael Eachrane made a few preliminary remarks to the Forum’s Work Plan for the next three years, and expressed the need to extend the Decade of Afro-descendants to 2034. The next meeting will take place in May 2023 in New York. Race and Equality celebrates the implementation of the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent, and intends to contribute to all opportunities of collective construction by encouraging the participation of civil society and Afro-descendant activists in the fight for human rights.

Editorial – Brazil: Blackening the political agenda with gender perspectives in the 2022 elections

Brazil, October 06th, 2022 – On October 2, Brazilians were heading to the polls to define the political scene for the next four-years in Brazil. These elections have sparked several episodes of political violence. In recent weeks, it has become clear that this violence is not only directed towards candidates, but also to voters, especially when they defend agendas considered progressive and linked to human rights. The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality), as a non-partisan organization, expresses deep concern around the challenges of a guaranteed Brazilian democracy, freedom of expression, and political participation during the election period.

Recent cases reveal the extreme brutality and attempts at silencing. For instance, on September 26, in Cascavel, Ceará, a man was stabbed to death after being asked about his vote and declaring that he would vote for former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Councilman and candidate for federal deputy, Renato Freitas, even had his mandate revoked by the Chamber of Curitiba, which was reinstated after the decision of the Federal Supreme Court that recognized the presence of structural racism in the act. Both situations point out that conservative practices are strategically implemented through the promotion of hate speech and the persecution of any opponent of their government, creating greater democratic disparity.

Fear has become an anti-human rights political tool, and as it has been denounced by Brazilian social movements, political violence is exacerbated when it permeates through the black and LGBTI+ population. Black, transvestite, and transgender women are systemically impacted through political violence as a way of making their political participation unfeasible, through use of offenses, threats, public humiliation, and intimidation.

We know that poverty in Brazil involves class, race, and gender and that this part of the population is still underrepresented in the spheres of power, whether in Congress, political parties, or state and municipal governments. Considering the importance of centering the racial agenda in the electoral debate and also in the government’s public policies, through this editorial we highlight the following: in a country whose population is mostly black (56%), with an unpayable historical debt between Afro-descendants and indigenous peoples [1], the political agenda needs to be darkened: the intersectional racial debate needs to be effectively incorporated in order to build political accountability for social inequality.

Debate around blackening the political agenda also means discussing the support and strengthening of black candidates committed to the racial agenda. TSE data show that, of the 28,966 candidacies registered in the court, 14,497 are from black people. However, a few days before the elections, most political parties had not reached the minimum percentages of transfers from the electoral fund to black candidates, who had received only 36% of the fund’s resources. It should also be noted that, on one hand, in the few electoral debates of presidential candidates, the racial agenda was not addressed, moreover among most Brazilian states, the candidates with real possibilities of winning the presidential and congressional elections are white and cis-heterosexual men.

Therefore, we highlight some political reflections that we consider urgent and necessary to break with the paradigms of violence proposed by the current discriminatory, racist, sexist and LGBTIphobic structure. Furthermore, this is a call to the political class and the social movement to, without fail, demand that any construction of public policies include the intersectional racial perspective of 2022-2026.

Black women: Racialization of the Maria da Penha Law and political plan for care economy

The most recent data show that in Brazil, between 2009 and 2019, the number of homicides against black women increased by 2%, while the number of homicides against non-black women fell by 26.9% in the same period. Thus, even after the implementation of the Maria da Penha Law, rates of violence continue to disproportionately affect black women. For these reasons, the black women’s movement claims the need to racialize the legislation for the construction of public policies that contemplate their safety.

The insertion of a social justice plan aimed at black women presents a reparatory path within a culture of hatred and violence against women. The current patriarchal structure needs to recognize the precarious living conditions and food insecurity in which most black women live in. We must not forget that a woman (black domestic worker) was the first death victim of COVID-19 in Brazil.

Racialization of the public security debate and federal accountability in the face of police lethality

As long as the racial agenda is not incorporated into the culture and militarized structure of public security in Brazil, the criminalization of the black population will continue to deepen in the country. It is essential that criminal justice practices seek new ways to combat violence and reduce mass black incarceration. In Brazil, the state does not take responsibility for the fundamental rights of its population and encourages violence through massacres and the reproduction of militias.

The number of licenses to carry weapons, expanded during the Bolsonaro government, and grew 325% in three years. In this way, we focus on the creation of collective strategies that seek a new public security policy to mitigate racist police violence, and encourage the collection, systematization, and referral of violations by state agents, especially in the favelas and peripheries of the state country.

Cartography of violence against LGBTI+ bodies in Brazil

It is important to remember that the LGBTI+ political agenda is not disconnected from the racial agenda, on the contrary, the violence data reflect that black trans women are the biggest victims of cruel murder in the country. Therefore, we focus on the transversality of public policies that can contemplate the LGBTI+ population in its particularities. It is necessary that data collection be a governmental responsibility and that a collective agenda be put into practice that starts from a sociocultural and educational reorganization, in which LGBTIphobic practices are in fact held accountable and do not remain unpunished. It is necessary to remove Brazil from the regrettable record of being the country that kills the most LGBTI+ people in the world and, for that, a governmental commitment to the rights of this population is necessary.

Religious racism: Implementation of a strategic plan to contain violence against African-based religions

In a secular state, the discourse that uses religion to legitimize and promote violence, as well as express prejudice, needs to be fought against. We express strong concern especially in a scenario of advancing neo-Pentecostal fundamentalism. Religion should not reverberate a culture of hatred and intolerance against other religions. In Brazil, we know that this hatred is directed especially towards practitioners of religions of African origin, and in recent years there has been an aggravation of what many terreiros and organizations have called religious racism. Thus, we urge the defense of the rights of African-based religions and traditional peoples of the country.

Indigenous peoples: representation and defense of Amazonian territories

We emphasize that the claims for the racialization of public policies contemplate, in their entirety, the ethnic-racial demands of the Brazilian population. Therefore, the native peoples and quilombolas need the new government to meet their specificities and protect their territories. Environmental racism occurs from the devastation of the Amazon Forest and indigenous and quilombola territories. This includes the disruption of sanitary and housing conditions of peripheral communities that live on slopes and riversides. Indigenous underrepresentation, whether in parliaments or in any other decision and power space, is leading to yet another decimation of many peoples, and exploitatively benefits agribusiness and mining companies.

The indigenous call for the end of the time frame is just one of the survival strategies in which they continue to denounce the massacre of their communities by miners. The increasing destruction of the Amazon rainforest continues to be denounced by activists and human rights defenders– a fact that has led Brazil to enter the UN’s “dirty list” as a dangerous country for these leaders. Thus, we insist that this governmental intimidation imposed on civil society with the closure of civic spaces cease, and we continue to demand that the next government reactivate committees and councils that value the preservation of human rights.

Implementation of international agreements that value the fight against structural racism

Since May 2021, Brazil has ratified the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance (CIRDI) and, as a next step, the government must implement the Convention. With the status of constitutional amendment, the CIRDI also deals with economic and social rights, representing a legal instrument that allows a new horizon for projects of historical reparation and representation.


Over the last few years, Race and Equality has been working in Brazil to strengthen civil society organizations in the fight against racial discrimination and gender inequalities, fostered by current exclusionary policies and the growth of hate speech. Since then, as a human rights organization, we have continued to denounce human rights violations in the country. Difficult challenges continue to arise as civil society encourages the government to incorporate the intersectional racial debate.

Race and Equality will continue to monitor the Brazilian State and bring to light, at the international level, patterns of violations that are repeated at the expense of vulnerable populations. We are all responsible. There is no possible neutrality in a society who is the agency for change. Voting, in its democratic process, is the exercise of the right to change, and at this moment, an exit door for hate speech.


[1] Black, quilombola and indigenous population

Afro Latines Advocacy Week: Race and Equality brings organizations from Brazil and Colombia to Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., September 27th 2022 – From the 27th to the 30th of September, the International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) brings human rights organizations from Brazil and Colombia to Washington, D.C., working to promote and defend the rights of the Black and LGBTI+ population.  In order to promote an exchange of political advocacy strategies between the Afro-Latine and the Afro-American movements, the meetings will take place within the framework of Black Caucus Week; an annual conference of Black U.S. Congress that aims to boost and debate the civic engagement of the Black population. In addition, the delegation participates in academic meetings with U.S. civil society organizations and private meetings with congress members and state departments.

The Brazil-Colombia delegation present in Washington D.C is formed by the organizations: Geledés – Instituto da Mulher Negra (BR) that will be represented by Rodnei Jericó da Silva, Coordinator of SOS Racismo;  NGO Criola (BR) with the presence of the Project Coordinator, Lia Manso;  Somos Identidad (COL), with the Founder Johana Sinisterra and the Legal Representative Sandra Milena Ibarbo;  and the Asociación Nacional de Afrocolombianos Desplazados (AFRODES – COL), with the presence of Coordinator Luz Marina Becerra.  Representing Race and Equality, the Executive Director Carlos Quesada; Zuleika Rivera, Senior Officer of the LGBTI Program and Brazil Program Officer, Nathaly Calixto, will be present at these meetings.

In this exchange among Black Pan-American organizations, the Latin American organizations aim to take the Black and LGBTI+ perspectives of the global southern diaspora for an effective political impact, as well as exchanges of good practices so that they can move together to achieve plural racial justice. It’s important to emphasize that, for Race and Equality, these meetings are an opportunity to promote strategies of structural political changes with an intersectional bias; as Brazil is in the electoral period, Colombia’s President values racial agendas and, this year, the U.S. Congress goes through midterms elections.

“It’s precisely in this configuration that we empower organizations to act with political implications. Being able to talk to Black U.S. Congress members about the Latin American racial agenda is one way to influence the Biden administration, because it needs a congressional majority to pass its agendas.  It is in this sense that we plan to ensure and strengthen international human rights agreements on racial and gender justice and, in this case, there’s nothing better than organizations to guide the demands of their countries,” says Carlos Quesada.

Brazil and Colombia: In Search of Racial Justice

As the U.S. academic community seeks to understand and foster studies on the Black diaspora, the BRA-COL delegation will meet with academics and students at Howard University to share the efforts of regional civil society organizations in defending human rights. The idea is to show that even though racism is a global issue, the different sociocultural dynamics and the deficit economic contexts produced by centuries of colonialism, impact primarily on the most vulnerable populations in Latin America and Afro-Caribbean. In this case, to make known the racial and gender equity agenda of these organizations, can stimulate studies that provide, in  the future, the construction of equitable global public policies.

Brazil, for example, has the highest murder rate of LGBTI+ people in the world, and this incidence rate cross-referenced from an intersectional perspective is highest in trans-Black women in vulnerable situations. The organizations Geledés and Criola, together with Race and Equality in Brazil, conducted a survey monitoring the closure of civic spaces, in which they mapped that the rise of an ultraconservative agenda has generated attacks on the Brazilian democratic system, criminalization of human rights defenders and the immobilization of citizen participation councils and associations. With this, there are growing attacks and hate speech against Black women and elected LBTIs who intend to participate in the political life of the country.

In Colombia, for years the Afro-Colombian community has suffered a process of marginalization and vulnerabilization, and the civil society and Afro-Colombian leaders have denounced the existence of a geographical apartheid reinforced by structural and institutional racism.  This same structure resonates in erasing the struggle for the existence of ethnic peoples, which reinforce that civil rights in the country must be thought of in multiethnic and multicultural perspectives, taking into account how racist violence impacts these territories and racialized bodies. Similarly, for Colombian LGBTI+ people, the scene of gender and racial violence continues to increase: from January to June 2022,  354 victims of  sexual orientation assaults were recorded, 324 of whom suffered some physical abuse and  229 suffered these abuses within their own families.

The excessive use of police force in both Brazil and Colombia is a complaint presented to international human rights mechanisms.  The armed conflict in Colombia and police forces in Brazil intersect in the profile of their victims: Black people in vulnerable living conditions in territories whose presence of the state is marked by police violence. In Colombia, at least 1,144,486 people who identified themselves as part of the Black population were recorded as victims of armed conflict, according to data from the National Information Network, which corresponds to 38.38% of the total. In Brazil, the Brazilian Public Safety Yearbook points out that of the total of 6,145 deaths by police intervention, in 2021, 84.1% were Black and 15.8% were white.

Why the Black population is seen as a threat

In addition to this question and many others that permeate the racist structure that found the police corporations of Latin America, Race and Equality in partnership with organizations in Brazil and Colombia, continue in a regional project to confront and denounce racist police violence in both countries.  In the face of this meeting in Washington, D.C., police violence that intersects with the Black and LGBTI+ populations will also be the subject of meetings to placate this colonial modus operandi, in which Black bodies are exempt from the presumption of innocence and, because they exist, are victims of all violence and seen as a threat, whether in Latin American countries or Anglo America.

In view of this, racism, gender-based violence and LGBTIphobia pose the real threat to a system of oppression that disrespects inalienable human rights and international treaties that value their guarantees. For this, Race and Equality with the BRA-COL delegation intend to denounce to the American Congress members the current milestones of violation of the rights of the Black population and LGBTI+ Latin America. The exchange of these dissenting voices reaffirms the purpose of further denouncing racism and its different forms of violence that prevent the full exercise of citizenship, freedom of expression and the right to development of these countries as a call for partnership and inclusion of the Black population of all the Americas.

Brazilian delegation participates in the pre-sessions of the UN-UPR in Switzerland with recommendations on racial discrimination in Brazil

Brazil, September 15th, 2022 – With Brazil’s review approaching in the 4th Cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) promoted a series of meetings, in July and August, along with civil society organizations that work on issues of race, gender and sexual orientation in Brazil, including Embassies in Brasília and their respective Permanent Missions, in Geneva, Switzerland. The Universal Periodic Review is a mechanism developed by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council to assess the human rights situation in each of the UN member countries.

The meetings in Geneva took place between August 29 and September 2, and the following organizations participated: Grupo Conexão G de Cidadania LGBT de Favelas (RJ), represented by the current Director General Gilmara Cunha, a trans woman, community leader, and activist of human rights; NGO Criola (RJ), with the presence of Mônica Sacramento, the Institution’s Project Coordinator; Marielle Franco Institute (RJ) with its Executive Director Anielle Franco; Geledés – Instituto da Mulher Negra, represented by Nilza Iraci, Coordinator of Political Incidence. On behalf of Race and Equality, the Executive Director, Carlos Quesada; David Veloso, Human Rights Consortium Coordinator; Gaia Hefti, Advocacy Officer in Geneva; and Leilane Reis, Race and Gender Officer of Brazil all took part in the meetings.

Due to the importance of demonstrating at the regional and international level the current framework of human rights violations in the country, in addition to seeking to raise awareness around the need for more targeted recommendations for the black population, LGBTI+, and indigenous peoples, this delegation has actively participated in human rights mechanisms by sending reports. The agenda in Geneva represented a continuity of the work of political incidence in Brasilia. There were five days of meetings focusing on the visibility of the current situation of racial discrimination in Brazil, leading to the Permanent Missions, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and Independent Experts’ specific recommendations on the subject.

Geneva Agenda

On August 30, several Brazilian organizations were selected by the UN Human Rights Council to speak on the situation in the country during the pre-session of the UPR, and propose the recommendations to the Brazilian State, who was also present at the event, with its Permanent Mission. It should be noted that the Report of the Brazilian State for the evaluation of the IV cycle of the UPR was only published on the eve of the pre-session of the UPR, leaving civil society in the dark regarding what information was published. Representing the Brazilian delegation, Anielle Franco was invited by the organizer of the pre-sessions, the NGO UPR Info, to speak on the intersections of police brutality and racism in Brazil. The activist brought to light the recent massacres in Rio de Janeiro and the murder of the young black, pregnant woman, Kathlen Romeo.

“These are cases that indicate that the death of the black population in Brazil is a systemic issue, promoted by the Brazilian authorities and covered up by the police forces. Instead of investigating the massacres and discriminatory violence against the Afro-Brazilian population, the Brazilian government and police try to legitimize these police operations and attack Brazilian human rights organizations, such as the Marielle Franco Institute.”

On August 31, the International Day of People of African Descent, Race and Equality held a hybrid event entitled, “Racial Discrimination in Brazil: Violence against the Black Population and Indigenous Peoples.” The event was attended by the delegation present in Geneva and aimed to make the recommendations made by these organizations for the 4th cycle of the UPR visible to the general public, expanding beyond closed meetings with Embassies and Permanent Missions. In addition, the event was also an important tool of international political advocacy for the construction of networks and partnerships between Brazilian and international organizations.

The Brazilian delegation had the opportunity to take the recommendations to the Ambassador of Chile in Geneva, Claudia Fuentes Julio. They also met with the Embassies of Canada, Australia and Argentina, the Permanent Mission of Costa Rica, France, Germany and Colombia, and with Gay McDougall, Rapporteur of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), which is responsible for monitoring the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Faced with the current picture of violations presented, a review that will take place in November this year, charging the Brazilian State for covering up the racial issues in the country.

It is important to highlight that the delegation provided ample space for listening and dialogue in meetings with experts from UN treaty bodies, experts on afro-descendant peoples, and experts from the mechanism on police violence created by the UN in 2021. In addition, the Brazilian delegation was received by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) who is charging the Brazilian State for neglecting the well-being of the black, indigenous, and LGBTI+ populations.

International Incidence: The Paths to Geneva

The task of illuminating the ongoing human rights violations in the country for international mechanisms and their support is a major commitment for Race and Equality with civil society organizations in Brazil. For this, technical training work and support to these institutions are necessary so that their complaints and demands arrive instrumentalized to the Experts and Rapporteurs of each international body; this work is called advocacy and/ or political incidence. During the Race and Equality event in Geneva, the Executive Director, Carlos Quesada, stressed the importance of the daily construction of advocacy strategies in Brazil, “to train grassroots organizations to promote political actors through a technical training methodology so that these organizations can generate sustainable structural changes.”

Thus, in order for the Brazilian delegation to be received with its recommendations in Geneva, it was necessary to hold a meeting in Brasilia, with the Embassies of the countries that will review Brazil in the 4th cycle of the UPR, and the other Embassies present at the UPR Human Rights Council. The meetings in Brasilia took place from July 27 to July 29, and were attended by: Gilmara Cunha, General Director of the Grupo Conexão G de Cidadania LGBT de Favelas (RJ); Marina Fonseca, Anthropologist and Political Advisor at the NGO Criola (RJ); Fabiana Pinto, Sanitarian and Coordinator of Incidence and Research at the Marielle Franco Institute (RJ); and Rodnei Jericó, lawyer and Coordinator of SOS Racism of Geledés (SP). Representing Race and Equality were present: Leilane Reis, Officer of the Race and Gender Program and, Adriana Avelar, Incidence Officer in Brazil.

The meetings in Brasilia were with the Permanent Missions that evaluated Brazil in previous periods in themes of interest to the group that are connected with the current and fragile Brazilian democratic system: European Union, United States, Norway, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Australia, Argentina, UK, Colombia and Chile.

The organizations sought to make visible the current regulatory frameworks that have exacerbated the vulnerability of black, indigenous and LGBTI+ populations in Brazil since the last review of the UPR, taking into account the precariousness of life due to the effects of the pandemic. Based on the recommendations made by the Embassies visited, the following themes were discussed: violence against the LGBTI+ population, police violence against the black population, black women’s health, closure of civic spaces, and indigenous peoples’ rights. The intention was to establish a dialogue with recommendations for the next cycle, to point out the social markers in force in Brazilian society and to be able to highlight the real situation of human rights violation in Brazil.

The work of political incidence is actively built-in partnership with Brazilian organizations, it’s necessary to be connected with the political and legislative proposals of the Brazilian Government so that effective action can be taken to ensure the construction and implementation of international treaties and agreements. The purpose of the route from Brasilia to the pre-sessions of the UPR in Geneva is to welcome the recommendations of the Brazilian delegation during the review of Brazil at the UPR session, which will take place on November 14, at 2:30 pm (Geneva time), and at 9:30 am (Brasília time).

What are the next steps?

The UPR is a UN mechanism in which State Parties evaluate State Parties. Therefore, UPR, along with civil society can impactfully highlight the human rights violations in Brazil and influence the evaluating states to accept its recommendations in the assessment process. As mentioned earlier, Brazil also delivered its report, in which it said it had consulted civil society on the human rights situation in the country. With this, an analysis based on advances, setbacks, and good practices is performed from all information received and, finally, the evaluated State must apply the recommendations of its peers.

If the recommendations of the Brazilian delegation are accepted and promoted by the State Parties during the UPR, the next task is to present them to the new Government that will take office in 2023, so that it becomes aware of the work of political incidence of civil society organizations. From there, the recommendations should be ratified and implemented in Brazil’s four-year public policies. Thus, civil society carries the responsibility to monitor compliance with the agenda in combating racial discrimination granted in the UN Universal Periodic Review. Race and Equality follows alongside these organizations to monitor and pressure the government in applying the international agreement.

Finally, to collaborate with the United Nations Universal Periodic Review mechanism, Brazilian organizations supported by Race and Equality propose, among others, the following recommendations addressed to the Brazilian State:

I) Ensure the occurrence of investigations into crimes committed against LGBTI persons in favela territory, enabling the collection of public data on such crimes.

II) Take urgent measures to curb and eradicate police violence at any stage of action by civil police, military, and armed forces in carrying out missions on Brazilian soil.

III) Recreate participatory councils and collegiate groups that allow participation and indigenous social control in the formulation, monitoring, implementation, and evaluation of indigenous policies of the Brazilian State in the areas of territorial management, education, health and culture, alongside the establishment of programs and measures to prevent and punish racism, discrimination, and violence against indigenous peoples, and to promote ethnic and racial equality, autonomy, and the right of peoples to be different.

IV) Conduct the implementation of the National Plan for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and institutionalizing the Protection Program for Human Rights Defenders, Communicators and Environmentalists (PPDDH) by expanding its structure in the 26 states of the country and DF, establishing budgets, regulations and specific strategies for the reception and follow-up of cases of black, trans, and transvestite women human rights defenders, representatives of traditional peoples and communities; create indicators for monitoring and judicial mechanisms for the accountability of their main violators, highlighting the use of police brutality and militarized groups employed to suppress rights and freedoms of expression, association, belief, assembly, and political participation in Brazilian civic space.

V) Ensure access to reproductive health services, including ensuring that abortions are carried out under the conditions provided for in current legislation, without bureaucratic obstacles or embarrassment to people who are pregnant and seek care, giving special attention to the situation of black pregnant and parturient women who suffer from the impact of institutional racism on maternal health.

Complexo da Penha Massacre: Human Rights organizations appeal to the IACHR to end police violence

Brazil, May 27th, 2022 – The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality), Marielle Franco Institute, Geledés – Black Women’s Institute, Observatório de Favelas, Justiça Global and Casa Fluminense denounce to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Complexo da Penha Massacre, which took place this Tuesday, May 24, during a police mega-operation in Rio de Janeiro. The communiqué sent to the IACHR calls for the protection of community residents to be guaranteed and for the extensive monitoring of reported situations of violence. So far, there are registered: 25 dead and 07 injured in the Complexo da Penha Massacre.

  • 25 people killed were taken to the Getúlio Vargas Hospital.
  • 01 body of a woman was taken directly to the Legal Medical Institute (IML)
  • 01 person killed was taken to the Emergency Care Unit of Complexo do Alemão with 08 gunshot wounds
  • 07 injured were taken to Hospital Getúlio Vargas

This extreme violence reflects the result of the public security policy of the current Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Claudio Castro, who, since his predecessor, Wilson Witzel, does not respect the decision of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) that determined the State must comply with the ADPF 635, known as ADPF das Favelas. Until now, the State Government has not presented any plan to reduce police lethality; it didn’t install GPS equipment, audio and video recording systems in police vehicles or on the uniforms of officers; and as a result of these current massacres, it has set no limits on lethal force. As a result, black bodies, from favelas and outskirts, experience constant scenes of terror and even their homes become a place of fear and insecurity for all families.

According to reports, agents from the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) and from the Federal Highway Police (PRF) entered the Vila Cruzeiro Complex at 4:00 am, firing shots with helicopters and armored tanks as support. The operation took place throughout the day and, despite the active movement of civil society organizations urging the public authorities for a ceasefire, the operation continued on its terroristic course. In this regard, the signatory organizations urge the IACHR and other international human rights organizations to constantly monitor police violence in Brazil.

It is unacceptable to continue the current security policy that goes against the basic principles of human rights, such as the right of living and housing, in addition to State protection. It must be mentioned: this massacre is yet another demonstration of the structural racism present in the actions of the Brazilian police.

We regret the lives lost and sympathize with the various families of Complexo da Penha, who once more experienced the presence of the State in their territories with violence, deaths, scarcity and tears. In light of the foregoing, we share the requests to the IACHR:

  1. To publicly comment on this case, through a statement and monitor the situations of violence reported in this document;
  2. Request the Civil Police of the State of Rio de Janeiro to carry out technical investigations on the spot, with the elaboration of reports on ballistics and possible signs of torture on the bodies, ensuring the duty of publicity of the state’s action;
  3. Demand that the State (RJ) and Federal Public Ministry investigate the police operation responsible for this massacre, including the specific need to observe possible signs of alteration of the crime scenes, as well as the impediment of residents and activists to manifest about what happened;
  4. That the State (RJ) and Federal Public Ministry provide information to the families of the victims of the massacre and keep them informed about the investigations;
  5. Considering what was determined in ADPF 635 regarding the absolute exceptionality in carrying out police operations, that is, the premise that such incursions should only occur in extraordinary situations of immediate and concrete danger to life, which cannot consist of a generic allegation about the current calamitous situation of public security in the State of Rio de Janeiro and/or on the need to repress drug trafficking and criminality, allegations that underlie the human rights violations implicit to public security policy in Brazil. It is requested that the state of Rio de Janeiro be notified of non-compliance with the criteria determined in ADPF 635;
  6. Maintain direct communication with the Brazilian government inquiring about the measures adopted to combat police violence, considering the numerous cases publicized by the Brazilian press and by the aforementioned civil society organizations.

Race and Equality launches the ‘Kátia Tapety Political Training School’

Brazil, May 06th, 2022 – On May 10 (Tuesday), at 5 PM, the International Institute of Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race and Equality) promotes the launch of the Kátia Tapety Political Training School.   The inauguration will be at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM) and will be attended by the distinguished councilor, Kátia Tapety, and serve as well as a space for dialogue with women parliamentarians and representatives of social movements and civil society organizations.  The Kátia Tapety School of Political Training is the result of a project supported by the Open Society Foundations and the partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Brazil.

Faced with the current political scenario in Brazil, involved in hate speech, attacks and persecution of parliamentarians and human rights defenders, whose targets are black and indigenous women – cis and trans, and the growing spread of fake news; Race and Equality created a School of Political Training that aims to prepare women (black, LBTI, indigenous and quilombolas) to participate safely and democratically in the electoral process in 2022.  To confront political and electoral gender violence, the organizations Associação Nacional de Travestis e Transexuais (ANTRA), Articulação Brasileira de Lésbicas (Red ABL) and Rede Nacional de Negras ee Negros LGBT (Red Afro LGBT), will be responsible for the nomination of pre-candidates from their networks to participate in the School of Political Training.

Thus, through technical and pedagogical training, classes will be held in a hybrid manner, from May to September, to serve women social leaders from all over Brazil who eventually have an interest in applying for an elective position in the country. The programmatic content also includes practical training so that candidates have the tools to face authoritarian policies and the necessary instrumentalization to claim their rights.  In this sense, the Kátia Tapety School of Political Training emerges as an instrument of strengthening and democratic protection to achieve full legitimacy and decision-making power in its political agendas.

“The growth of gender-based political and electoral violence in Brazil has become increasingly alarming.  In March 2021, Race and Equality, together with other organizations, denounced cases of several currently elected councilors before a hearing at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and, unfortunately, we continue to urge the Brazilian State to protect these women. The Kátia Tapety School of Political Training was born from this urgency to promote the active participation of women in politics in a safe and democratic way so that they have full autonomy to defend themselves from violence and guarantee their rights”, explains Carlos Quesada, Executive Director of Race and Equality.

About Kátia Tapety

Kátia Tapety was the first trans councilor elected in Brazil, in 1992, in the city of Colonia de Piauí – PI.   Various data indicate that, in fact, Kátia Tapety was the first trans woman elected to legislative office in Latin America, at a time when there was still a refusal to talk about guaranteeing civil, political and social rights for trans people. Born and raised in the country’ interior, Tapety saw and felt the effects of the military dictatorship, accompanied by the process of redemocratization of the country and, just four years after the promulgation of the citizen constitution of 1988, was elected the councilor with the highest number of votes in the municipality of Colonia do Piauí, in the rural area of Piauí.  In her political career she was appointed councillor in 1992, 1996 and 2000; Mayor of Colonia do Piauí in the biennium 2001-2002; and was finally elected vice-mayor in 2004.

Today, at the age of 74, and with an incredible life trajectory in the country that kills the most trans people in the world, Tapety faced racism and transphobia, leaving a legacy of rights and a path of openness to reach achievements for black, travesti and transgender women throughout Brazil.  Therefore, for Race and Equality, honoring her represents a process of rescuing not only memory, but mainly democratic ties. Kátia Tapety reminds us of the post-dictatorship hope that flourished in Brazil in the 1990s and of one of the milestones of the Brazilian constitution – promoting development and social equality without discrimination of any kind – and that today, more than ever, is urgent.

The Kátia Tapety School of Political Training has as its principle the unique desire to form more and more Katias throughout Brazil and around the world, strengthening civil participation in spaces of collective decision, expanding and improving democratic tools and contributing to the reduction of gender and race asymmetries in political participation at the regional, national and global level.


Launch of the Kátia Tapety Political Training School

Date and time: May 10th (Tuesday), 5pm to 7:30 pm (Brasília time)

Place: Cinematheque of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM)

Panel 1: Collective trajectories for the political participation of black, indigenous and LBTI women


Rosângela Castro – Afro LGBT Network

Bruna Benevides – National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (ANTRA)

Michele Seixas – Brazilian Lesbian Articulation (ABL Network)

Panel 2: Articulations and strategies of black, indigenous and LBTI women to strengthen democracy in Brazil


Kátia Tapety – Honoree and First Trans Afro Councilor  of Brazil

Samara Pataxó – Legal Advisor of the Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) and Head of the Center for Inclusion and Diversity of the General Secretariat of the Presidency of the Superior Electoral Tribunal (TSE).

Roberta Eugênio – Lawyer and Researcher at the Alziras Institute

Keila Simpson – President of the National Association of Transvestites and Transsexuals (ANTRA)

The event will be broadcast live via Zoom and Facebook Live and will feature simultaneous translation into Spanish and English (zoom only)

Zoom Link:

*All safety protocols for COVID-19  will be required and carried out

*The event is not open to the general public

Protecting the Rights of Afro and Traditional Quilombola Brazilians: A Conversation Led by the Collective of Black Entities of Brazil

Washington DC, March 10, 2022The International Institute on Race, Equality and Human Rights (Race & Equality) and The Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) cordially invite you to the following event: “Protecting the Rights of Afro and Traditional Quilombola Brazilians: A Conversation Led by the Collective of Black Entities of Brazil”.

Over the past decade, the crisis of police violence in Brazil against Afro and traditional Quilombola Brazilians has exacerbated exponentially. It is a known statistic that a Black Brazilian youth dies every 23 minutes in the country, yet there has been no accountability on behalf of the state. Likewise, the lives of traditionally Black peoples, like the Quilombola communities and those of Afro-Brazilian religions such as Candomblé, continue to be threatened daily, and the state has again lacked in enforcing accountability and protecting the rights of these communities. The Collective of Black Entities (CEN), a national entity of the Brazilian Black movement, has initiated several programs to bring media attention to the crisis and support Black Brazilians who have been wrongfully incarcerated. The CEN was founded in 2003 in Bahia, the capital of Salvador, and is present today in seventeen Brazilian states and three Latin American countries. 

Join us for an event on Monday, March 14 at 2:00 p.m. with Marcos Rezende and Yuri Silva, who will discuss the state of police violence against Black Brazilians and the struggle to guarantee the rights of these marginalized communities.

Event Details:
Monday, March 14, 2022

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST

In-person event at Race and Equality’s DC Office:

1620 Eye (I) St, NW, Suite 925

Washington, D.C., 20006

RSVP for in-person attendance by sending  a message to: calixto@oldrace.wp

This event will also be live streamed through Zoom: Register on Zoom

Simultaneous interpretation from Portuguese to English will be available.


Marcos Rezende – Founder Collective of Black Entities

Yuri Silva – National Coordinator Collective of Black Entities

Moderator: Nathaly Calixto – Race and Equality Brazil Program Officer 

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