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SIGNIS expresses its solidarity with the constitutional government of Brazil and its people, after the violent incursion of followers of former President Jair Bolsonaro to government headquarters, the Congress, and the Supreme Court on Sunday, January 8.
As the Church teaches us, “an authentic democracy is not merely the result of a formal observation of a set of rules but is the fruit of a convinced acceptance of the values that inspire democratic procedures: the dignity of every human person, the respect of human rights, commitment to the common good as the purpose and guiding criterion for political life. If there is no general consensus on these values, the deepest meaning of democracy is lost and its stability is compromised” [Compendium of the SDC, #407].
For this reason, SIGNIS supports the statements of SIGNIS Latin America members SIGNIS Brasil and SIGNIS Argentina, as we emphasize our Church’s teaching of the dignity of every human being and every person’s right to peace, justice and equality in civil society.
SIGNIS Brazil, in their statement titled "In Defense of Democracy and the Rule of Law," affirms that "the nation was left perplexed by the terrorist actions of extremists who vandalized the headquarters of the powers in Brasilia, in the Federal District.” SIGNIS Brazil expressed its “most vehement repudiation of these anti-democratic acts, which only aim to destabilize peace and harmony in our country".
The statement adds that "criminal acts disguised as demonstrations cannot be accepted. People have blocked roads, destroyed public goods, and absurdly attacked journalists and media professionals in the exercise of their profession.” Alessandro Gomes, president of SIGNIS Brazil, concludes the statement: “We remain attentive, united in prayer and believing that justice will punish in an exemplary way each one of those involved in these acts of terrorism.”
SIGNIS Argentina published a statement that said, "The attempt to delegitimize by force and intimidation a democratic government cannot be consented with indifference. We stand in solidarity with the government of Luis Inácio Lula Da Silva and with the Brazilian people who suffer these attacks against the popular will expressed through the ballot boxes.”
Furthermore, SIGNIS Argentina proposes to create a Latin American Media Observatory. “For SIGNIS Argentina, the exercise of institutional life must also be accompanied by concrete samples of action. This Observatory of media and social networks would mean assuming with determination the defense of democracy and the denunciation of the systems related to the anti-justice processes.”
As SIGNIS, World Catholic Association for Communication, we stand by our commitment to give a voice to the voiceless by using the media to promote a culture of peace, a concept that is needed now more than ever.