Without having proven the alleged allegations, Damares returns to

Without having proven the alleged allegations, Damares returns to


The former Minister of Human Rights and Senator Damares Alves (Republicanos-DF) once again spoke about suspected sexual abuse of children and adolescents on Ilha do Marajó, in Pará, after a gospel song about the region gained repercussion on social media.

The senator, however, never proved reports she made in 2022 about abuses in the region. Given the resumption of the issue, authorities and NGOs working in Marajó condemned the stance of people and authorities who exploit the situation in the region to gain visibility.

“The Ministry of Human Rights and Citizenship reinforces the priority of human rights and the voice of the Marajoara population and, in this sense, emphasizes the commitment not to associate images of socioeconomic vulnerability or the way of life of the populations of Marajó, in particular, children and adolescents, in the context of sexual exploitation. The reality of sexual exploitation in the region is worrying and historic, but does not authorize its use in an irresponsible and decontextualized way”, stated the Ministry of Human Rights in a statement released this Friday, (23).

The Public Ministry of the State of Pará (MP-PA), responsible for conducting investigations into sexual abuse in the region, also released this Friday an extensive note detailing the types of incidents investigated in the region and, without mentioning the senator, condemns the dissemination of information without studies and official data.

“Discussions that emphasize sexual violence without studies and official data and, without the purpose of implementing necessary policies or, at least, investigating concrete cases, do nothing to change the suffering social reality of the Marajoara population”, says the note. According to MP-PA data, in 2022, the year of the most updated survey, a total of 550 crimes against children and adolescents were recorded in the Marajó region. The largest portion of them corresponds to rape of vulnerable people. According to the agency, this crime occurs in the context of the region’s precarious and low HDI scenario and is also, among crimes involving minors, the most committed in other cities in the State.

The NGO Observatório do Marajó, which operates in the region, released a note entitled “Don’t believe everything you see on the internet” in which it highlights that the Marajoara population does not normalize violence against children and adolescents and condemns the senator’s stance in addressing the theme. “As Minister of State, Damares Alves did not allocate the millionaire resources that he promised on several occasions to the region, to strengthen school communities. Instead, he attacked the honor of the population several times, spreading lies, and opened such public policies to groups private schools in São Paulo who defend the privatization of public education”, says the text.

When contacted, the Federal Public Ministry reiterated the position it had already disclosed when Damares made statements without proof about alleged crimes in the region.

Damares responds in court for allegations that have never been proven

In 2022, then minister Damares Alves stated, during a religious service, that she had heard reports of trafficking of children who were subjected to torture and inhumane practices, such as having their teeth pulled out for sexual exploitation. The MPF, which is responsible for investigating the crimes of international trafficking in people and children, then requested information about the alleged crimes and the referrals that Damares’ department would have given to the cases.

In response to the MPF, the Ministry reported that, between 2016 and 2022, the number of records totaled 251 complaints, forwarded to the competent authorities. For the MPF, however, the reports were disorganized and generic, not representing the types of crimes that the minister had reported at the service. Furthermore, the MPF itself released a statement last year stating that, in 30 years, the agency had never received any complaints about child trafficking.

According to the agency, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Pará worked from 2006 to 2015 in three civil investigations and a police investigation initiated based on complaints about alleged cases of international child trafficking, which had occurred since 1992 in the Marajó archipelago. , in Pará. “None of the complaints mentioned anything similar to the torture cited by former minister Damares Alves”, stated the note released in 2022.

Given this, the MPF understood that Damares Alves’ speech at the religious service occurred due to the electoral context of that year, as a way of supporting Jair Bolsonaro’s re-election candidacy. For prosecutors, the serious violations in the region do not justify “the sensationalist use of the social vulnerability of that population, associated with the dissemination of false facts, as a political and electoral platform for the benefit of the then President of the Republic and the minister herself”.

In this context, the MPF took Damares to the Federal Court so that she could be ordered to pay, together with the Union, R$5 million in moral damages to the local community as collective moral and social damages. The case is being processed in the Federal Court in Pará. Within the scope of the Public Ministry of the State of Pará (MP-PA), the body stated that there is no, among the complaints received and investigated by them, “any news of crimes related to organ trafficking.”

Senator revives controversy

Taking advantage of the success of a song that addresses the difficult situation in the region and that was shared by famous artists, Damares posted again on Thursday, (22), on his official profile on X about the subject of Marajó. Without explaining or even proving the accusations she made in 2022, she condemned the “institutions”.

“Even today I hear and read reports of abuses in the region. This breaks my heart and I sincerely hope that this song wakes up our society, wakes up Brazil. So that those who report abuses in the region are not silenced. So that institutions dedicate less time with political polarization and persecuting supposed opponents, and are more engaged in presenting concrete responses to this problem”, stated the parliamentarian.

The report questioned Damares’ advisors about these alleged reports of abuse in the region that she mentioned and what measures she had taken. However, the press office informed that it would not respond to the Brazil in fact.

This Friday’s report from Brazil in fact shows how, amidst the far-right mobilization involving the region, Damares created the “Abrace o Marajó” program during his tenure at the Ministry of Family, Women and Human Rights.

The program, however, was marked by a series of complaints from control bodies and fake news that led to it being terminated last year by the Lula government. In its place, another program was created, “Cidadania Marajó”, which develops actions in the region to combat cases of abuse and exploitation of children and adolescents.

Editing: Matheus Alves de Almeida

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This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.

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