politics

Here’s How Brazil’s New President Went After LGBTQ People And Minorities His First Week In Office

jairmessiasbolsonaro / Instagram

After leading a divisive campaign, newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro promptly issued executive orders targeting Brazil’s indigenous groups, the LGBT community, and minorities. The far-right leader ran on a platform where he stated he would overhaul many aspects of life in Latin America’s largest nation. In just his first week of office, Bolsonaro offered a glimpse of what could be the start of many far-right policies.

Hours after his inauguration, Bolsonaro issued an order for that will make it impossible for new lands to be identified for indigenous communities.

In a devastating blow to indigenous communities, Bolsonaro issued an order to put the Minister of Agriculture (MOA) in charge of designating protected lands for indigenous people, according to The New York Times. That ministry has historically favored the interests of industries that want greater access to protected lands. It’s a move that’s seen as undermining the indigenous rights and environmental protections of countless people in these undeveloped areas. “Quilombolas,” descendants of former slaves, would also be affected by this move.

FUNAI (the National Indian Foundation), the department in charge of indigenous rights, oversaw these indigenous lands but Bolsonaro’s decree now places those responsibilities to the MOA.

There has been an outcry from many indigenous rights groups that say the order represents a threat to Brazil’s indigenous population. Protected lands for indigenous groups take up 13 percent of Brazil, much of which in located in the rainforest and with limited development.

He has continued to deliver on his anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric by limiting their rights.

The newly created Human Rights Ministry will no longer adhere to the concerns of the LGBTQ+ community which could spell trouble for countless people in Brazil. The newly named Ministry of Women, Family, and Human Rights made no reference to LGBTQ+ rights in its priorities.

According to the AP, Damares Alves, the new human rights minister, didn’t acknowledge the LGBTQ+ community in her first address. Alves has previously said that “the Brazilian family is being threatened” by diversity policies. This new realignment and focus on human rights has caused fear and anger in the LGBTQ+ community that feels that the move will result in more discrimination.

“The human rights ministry discussed our concerns at a body called secretariat of promotion and defense of human rights. That body just disappeared, just like that,” Symmy Larrat, an LGBT activist told the AP. “We don’t see any signs there will be any other government infrastructure to handle LGBT issues.”

Many of his policies fall in line similarly with those of  U.S. President Donald Trump.

Both presidents have had hard stances on immigration, minority groups and an agenda filled with nationalist policies. President Trump tweeted praise of Bolsonaro’s inauguration speech, saying “the U.S.A. is with you!” and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo even attended Bolsonaro’s swearing-in ceremony.

Similar to Trump, Bolsonaro has attacked the press and even placed restrictions on journalists at his inauguration. Reporters had to arrive several hours before the event began and weren’t allowed to move freely in the presidential palace limiting the scope of their reporting.

All these swift orders by Bolsonaro have rewarded the base that got him elected which some see as similarities of the early days of President Trump’s tenure. He’s made a big splash in his first days as President and has signaled even bolder acts to come.

His first few days in office might be an indication of what’s to come in  Bolsonoro’s term as president.

After years of recession, corruption scandals and a crime wave that led to record homicides, there was an outpouring of anger that elected Bolsonaro to the presidency. But now that Bolsonaro is elected, Brazil must anticipate what’s to come next and be prepared for which direction their far-right leader will take them. Whether it’s on issues like security, where he plans to loosen gun restrictions in Brazil to allow citizens to carry a gun for self-defense, or boosting the economy with plans of privatizing major airports and seaports, he’s sure to face some opposition.


READ: Brazil Elected A New President And People Across The World Are Comparing Him To Donald Trump

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We Have A Latino Running For The Presidency In 2020 And It Is Texan Julian Castro

politics

We Have A Latino Running For The Presidency In 2020 And It Is Texan Julian Castro

Julian Castro / Facebook

After months of speculation, Julián Castro officially announced he would be running for Ppesident in the 2020 election. Castro was the secretary of Housing and Urban Development from 2014-2017 under the Obama Administration and prior to that, he was mayor of his hometown of San Antonio from 2009-2014. At his campaign announcement, Castro said he would be running on a platform for better education, healthcare reform, and improvements to the immigration system.

For now, at least, Castro can enjoy the distinction of being the only Latino in the Democratic field.

The grandson of a Mexican immigrant and son of a Latina activist, Castro brings with him years of leadership and an agenda that has gotten the support from many in the Democratic party. While there have been previous Latino candidates that have run for president, Castro is one of the most high-profile and accomplished Latino Democrats ever to seek the party’s nomination.

“You give me your support, and I give you my word: I will spend every day working hard to make sure you can get a good job, find a decent place to live, have good health care when you get sick and that your children and grandchildren can reach their dreams, no matter who you are or where you come from,” Castro said at his campaign announcement.

Castro has embraced his underdog role in the Democratic race as he’s done most of his political career.

At the age of 26, Castro became San Antonio’s youngest City Council member, and after a failed campaign for mayor in 2005, he was elected as mayor in 2009. Three years later, he spoke at the Democratic National Convention and would later be chosen by President Obama to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2014.

Castro has embraced his underdog role and has credited his upbringing in San Antonio that taught him a lot about perseverance. In an interview with the New York Times last month, he spoke about what it means to be doubted in the political world.

“In my whole life, I don’t think I’ve ever started out as the front-runner,” Casto told the New York Times. “I grew up in a neighborhood where nobody growing up there was the front-runner at anything. So I’m not going to concern myself with who people think of as the front-runner and who they don’t.”

Just days after his announcement bid, Castro visited Puerto Rico to address the still lingering effects of Hurricane Maria.

Castro chose Puerto Rico as his first destination as a presidential candidate on Monday. He addressed concerns that President Trump is considering diverting funds for Puerto Rico’s recovery for the wall he wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Just the other day the president and his administration talked about taking money earmarked for Puerto Rico recovery and instead investing in [a border wall],” Castro said at the Latino Victory Fund (LVF) summit. “To do so is completely objectionable, immoral and should never happen.”

Castro has been very vocal against the Trump administration’s policies against immigration and environmental issues. He has vowed to make both issues some of the key items on his agenda if elected President.

Many on social media are excited to see Castro throw his hat in the race for President in 2020.

Whether Castro gets the nomination or not, he is making many people proud just by announcing his presidential bid. It’s not everyday a Latino gets to say “I’m running for President of the United States.”

Castro is running a relatable campaign and people love his underdog mentality.

While some see Castro’s bid as a long shot, it hasn’t stopped people from embracing him and his “no gimmicks” attitude. If Castro is to win the presidential bid, he would become the third-youngest person ever to become president. Whatever happens from now until the next summer’s primaries should be interesting for Castro but one thing is for sure. He has already guaranteed a Latino will be part of the presidential race in 2020.


READ: People Are Already Excited Julian Castro Announced That He Is Considering Running For President

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