Jean Wyllys has been forced to flee because of the conditions under the ultra-reactionary Bolsonaro Regime
Statement of the Corrente Comunista Revolucionária-CCR (Brazilian section of the RCIT), 29 January 2019, http://www.elmundosocialista.blogspot.com
Jean Wyllys is a Brazilian lecturer, journalist and politician. He was notable as being Brazil's second openly gay member of Brazilian parliament. For his work, The Guardian has compared Wyllis to U.S. pro-LGBT politician Harvey Milk. Wyllys was re-elected to a third term as deputy in the 2018 election. However, on 24 January 2019, just a few days before the swearing-in of the 56th Congress, Wyllys released a note from overseas stating that he will not assume his position as congressman in February and that he will also not return to Brazil due to alleged death threats.
Wyllys' decision to leave Brazil had existed for some time. But what made the decision inevitable was the report that President Jair Bolsonaro's youngest son Flavio Bolsonaro had the mother and the wife of the former police officer Adriano da Nóbrega as advisors his parliamentary office. Nóbrega has been under investigation for commanding militia groups in the state of Rio de Janeiro. He had been expelled from the police and is now a fugitive. Nobrega is also suspected of being responsible of the murder of Marielle Franco. In summary, there is strong evidence that Bolsonaro and his sons have been winning elections in the last 30 years with the support of these militias. The same militias that are accused of the murder of Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes in March 2018.
Brazil’s police militias, in Rio de Janeiro and other cities of Brazil, are clandestine paramilitary groups made up of current and former police officers who carry out both vigilante and organized crime activities. In some favelas from Rio these police-backed militias forced out the drug traffickers, only to set up their own protection rackets, extorting residents and taxing basic services. These militias have their roots in the death squads of the Brazilian military dictatorship. Because of their close ties to the police force, the militias also enjoy the support of certain politicians from the right wing parties.
The connections of Bolsonaro’s family with these militias are not news. In December 2008, Bolsonaro praised the actions of the militias in Rio. He criticized the investigation of the Legislative Assembly from Rio de Janeiro, which verified the activities of the paramilitary groups. The commission called for the indictment of police officers, firefighters and politicians who ruled favelas. The investigation showed that they were profiting from the collection of fees, the supply of clandestine services and the sale of political support.
It was within this tenebrous context that Jean Wyllys realized that there were no longer any conditions to remain in Brazil. Below we publish part of his testimony that explains his decision.
“Last year, things got worse. The murder of my companion and personal friend Marielle Franco, councilor of our party in Rio de Janeiro, had a profound impact on us all. We understand that it was no joke, that the threats were serious, that we can not underestimate. We felt the deep pain of the loss of a person we loved and that was part of our lives.
We watched the tainted spectacle of the fake news machine, the same one that slanders on me, slanders the name of Marielle, accusing her even of having relations with the drug traffic. We saw a candidate from Bolsonaro’s party (PSL) being greeted by a crowd at a fascist rally when he proudly displayed a plaque torn with the name of Marielle. We saw this candidate being the most voted state deputy and the man who accompanied him in this macabre celebration being elected governor.
The threats increased again, reaching even my family. I started having to drive in an armored car, with armed custody. I lived for months as if I were in private jail without committing any crime. I could not go anywhere without custody, not even shop at the grocery store or visit a friend. I did not leave Brazil because I wanted to, I was obliged.
All my movements were restricted, limited, guarded. I came to live by half, a became slave to the security standards needed to protect my life, while threats and defamation increased. In the last few days we have learned from the press that the president's son employed in his office the wife and mother of the fugitive criminal who, according to the police, is suspected of leading the group of assassins who killed Marielle. I can not be sure in this context, nor can I guarantee the safety of the people who worked all these years with me, whom I thank immensely for everything.
I did not leave Brazil because I wanted to, I was obliged. The country has plunged into a fascist nightmare whereby our permanence in the country puts our lives at risk. I do not want to be a martyr. I do not want to be murdered like Marielle.
Former Uruguayan President Pepe Mujica, when he learned of the situation, told me: "Boy, take care! Martyrs are not heroes." I do not want to be a martyr. I do not want to be murdered like Marielle. I choose to stay alive, also to keep fighting. Giving up the mandate and the country was a difficult decision, painful, sad. I gave up a lot to protect my life and regain my freedom to come and go, my humanity. I hope that this decision I had to make open the eyes of many people, that the world see the tragedy that is happening in Brazil, a country that was already happy, hopeful and proud of itself, and today is submerged in hatred, lies and fascism.
I will not give up fighting, even if it's from somewhere else, without official office, in other ways. I am very grateful for the solidarity received and I hope that we will be able to recover and recover our country from this state of barbarism.
I will not give up fighting, even if it's from somewhere else, without official office, in other ways. I am very grateful for the solidarity received and I hope that we will be able to recover ourselves and recover our country from this state of barbarism.”