The undersigned organizations condemn the violent acts instigated by Donald Trump and perpetrated by far-right, white supremacist and neo-fascists groups last Wednesday, January 6th at the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC. While Trump ultimately condemned the attacks, and said he would support a peaceful transition of power, he nonetheless bears significant responsibility for the mob violence that took place at the U.S. Capitol and left a toll of five dead and for the attack on democracy that it represents. Congressional leaders and staff were placed directly in harm’s way, media vehicles and journalists were aggressively harassed and threatened, echoing Mr. Trump’s posture in the last 4 years. We regret the tragedies that are the consequence of Wednesday’s events and call on the authorities for a thorough investigation.
President Trump’s failure to accept the results of the November 2020 presidential election and his efforts to undermine the confidence in the electoral process–even after the U.S. judicial system has repeatedly rejected his challenges–are deplorable. As organizations coming from different countries in the Americas, who have long suffered the effects of coups, military dictatorships and the erosion of democracy and its institutions, we call on the U.S. authorities to hold Mr. Trump and his allies accountable for their actions. Also, as organizations that monitor public security practices of crowd control, we cannot remain silent on the inequality of police deployment between these events and that set out in recent protests of social movements such as Black Lives Matter.
The acts that happened in Washington, DC on January 6th must not be seen as isolated events, affecting only the United States: Mr. Trump’s acts can resonate elsewhere. In Brazil, we already have seen statements by president Jair Bolsonaro putting the country’s electronic voting system in question and calling for unspecified changes so as “not see something worse” than what happened in the United States. Trump’s erratic behaviour and yesterday’s events will continue to be used by authoritarian leaders in other parts of the world to seek ways and means to deplete democracy.
In this context, human rights groups, civil society, social movements and activists play an important role in the protection and expansion of democracy, human rights, and equality across the region. It is critical to defend these groups, and the work they achieve within their fields. Pressing governments and multilateral institutions to oppose authoritarianism is essential in building trust and support in democratic institutions and in the rule of law.
ARTIGO 19 Brasil e América do Sul
Artículo 19, Oficina para México y Centroamérica
CELS – Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (Argentina)
Conectas Direitos Humanos (Brazil)
Instituto Vladimir Herzog (Brazil)
Memoria Abierta (Argentina)
Observatorio Ciudadano de Chile
Terra de Direitos (Brazil)
Washington Office on Latin America (regional)