- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Human Rights in Brazil

Essay by   •  November 29, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,502 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,136 Views

Essay Preview: Human Rights in Brazil

Report this essay
Page 1 of 7

The population in Brazil consists of 144 million people.

Brazil is one of the fastest-growing nations in the Western

Hemisphere. Its population is increasing at the rate of about 2% a

year. The constitution of Brazil gives the president tremendous

powers. For example, the president may intervene in affairs of

Brazil's states. The chief executive may even create new states from

existing ones.

Brazil has three main ethnic groups-whites, blacks, and people

of mixed ancestry. Most of the whites are from Europe. According to

the Brazilian government whites make up about 60% of the nation's

population, and people of mixed races form about 30%. However, the

government of Brazil counts many lightskinned people of mixed ancestry

as white. Brazil's ethnic groups generally get along well with one

another. Racial discrimination in Brazil if far less widespread than

that in many other countries with people of several races. But

Brazilians of European descent have had better educational

opportunities. As a result, they hold most of the higher jobs in

government and industry. Many of the non-Europeans, particularly

blacks, have excelled in the arts, entertainment and sports.

Brazil's prison system system is in crisis. Four years ago, in

its 1990 urban violence report Amnesty International described the

prisons as being at breaking point, holding double their official

capacity in "inhuman" conditions. Four years later the situation

has not improved. In some respects, it has deteriorated. Overcrowding,

lack of medical and legal assistance, torture and ill-treatment of

inmates and harassment of visitors are endemic. A frightening and

rising proportion of prisoners carry the HIV virus. In the Women's

Prison of Soo Paulom, around 33% of the inmates are infected with the

virus, while in the male prison the figure reaches 27% of the prison

population. A study published in 1994 shows that the majority of

prisoners are yourn, poor, and black.

A group of inmates in the Desembargador Vidal Pessoa Central

Prison of Manaus, Amazonas held a peaceful protest against conditions

in es called in military police shock-troops. They reportedly beat the

inmates, who had taken refuge in their cells, with batons, as well as

hitting and kicking them. Subsequently they locked the inmates in

their cells and threw tear gas grenades in after them.

For prisoners to complain to officials about their treatment

takes enormous courage. In Recife, Pernambuco state, on 11 May

1993, prisoners told a visiting delegation in the Barreto Campelo

Prison of the brutality they faced. The prisoners reported incidents

of torture and named the alleged torturers, even though they were

in the same room. The inmates expressed their fears of reprisals from

the prison staff. Some of them told the delegates that the director of

the prison had threatened them with severe punishment if they dared to

speak out. The torture they described included beatings, near

drowning, death threats and electric shocks.

In his report on the visit to Recife, one of the delegates,

the President of the National Council for Penal and Prison Policy,

noted that despite persistent reports in the local press about

ill-treatment in prisons in Pernambuco, the Judge of Penal Sentences

and the Secretary of Justice for Pernambuco claimed to have no

official knowledge of the prisoners' complaints. He asked the state

authorities to investigate the prisoners' allegations, but no

information has emerged about any investigation.

Two incidents involving prisoners with AIDS were reported in

SÐ"oo Paulo in 1994. On 27 March, a woman prisoner who was in the final

stages of AIDS in the Central Hospital of the Penitentiary System, was

reportedly beaten by a prison warden. The woman, named Leci Nazareth

da Silva, who was in great pain, was calling for the assistance of a

nurse when, just after midnight, a warden came to her cell, shouted at

her to shut up, and hit her in the face. According to the testimonies

of other women inmates, after the incident Leci Nazareth da Silva's

mouth and lips were swollen and she was bleeding. The warden

reportedly threatened the other inmates with reprisals if they dared

to report the incident.

On 31 March 1994, Jose['] Roberto dos Santos, also an AIDS




Download as:   txt (9.2 Kb)   pdf (108 Kb)   docx (14 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2010, 11). Human Rights in Brazil. Retrieved 11, 2010, from

"Human Rights in Brazil" 11 2010. 2010. 11 2010 <>.

"Human Rights in Brazil.", 11 2010. Web. 11 2010. <>.

"Human Rights in Brazil." 11, 2010. Accessed 11, 2010.