On Friday, July 27, an event – United Struggles against Militarization from Latin America to Palestine – was held in in Rio de Janeiro to denounce militarism.
The public hearing had four panels, in which members of human rights organizations and social movements, anti-militarists, as well as activists from Palestine, the Mapuche community, Afro-descendants, indigenous people, peasants and women took part. Organizations from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Honduras, India, Israel, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and Uruguay participated in the event.
In the public hearing, the export of the Israeli military model used against the Palestinians to Latin America and the world was denounced. A report presented at the hearing demonstrated how various repressive forces in Latin America had purchased arms and military technology and received training from Israel in the last 40 years. Israel’s military relationships with different dictators and how Israeli technology and methodology was and is being used in the persecution and repression of social movements was also discussed in detail. The growth of the Israeli arms trade in the region was denounced.
After the public hearing, demonstrations were held against militarization and racism in the world and thereafter, a tribute was paid to Marielle Franco, Eleine Freitas and Vera Lúcia, three women who fought against these tendencies.
The event was also attended by various regional BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movements, where they shared the significant achievements of their campaigns during the last year. Among them were the successful #ArgentinaNoVayas [#Don’tGoArgentina] campaign, an appeal to Argentine football team to pull out of the friendly match with Israel. The match was scheduled in Jerusalem just ahead of the football world cup and the withdrawal of the Argentine team had drawn attention across the world to the issues raised by the BDS movement.
The event was held in the context of the third Black July, an initiative of diverse organizations of the families of victims of political violence, collectives from the favelas (slums) and human rights organizations. During the event, the violence against black and favela communities was also denounced.