Clearly visible within 1 kilometer from the island Da Maré , Salvador Bazil, is an old sugar cane plantation. A plantation where in former days slaves were employed. On the island Da Maré have nowadays settled communities of Quilombolas, ex slaves. Every day they are reminded of the slave trade a long time ago, and the inequality is still painfully noticeable in society. Also to Marizelia and Eliete, the fisher women we follow in the broadcasts in cooperation with partner CESE, Dutch broadcast channel EO Metterdaad and Kerk in Actie.
Inequality in Brazil
On the 23rd of August, UNESCO promotes a yearly International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. Although Brazil was the first country to abolish slave trade in 1888, around 4 million African slaves were brought to Brazil in a period for over 300 years to work in mines, sugar- and tabaco plantations. The inequality is still visible in today’s Brazilian society. De richest 10 % of the Brazilians earn 40 times more than the poorest 10%; almost 70% of the Brazilians living in poverty is black or tinted; whites find a job more easily and get paid more; the chance that a black child dies before the age of 5 is twice as high as a white child; and half of the population is not connected to the sewage system. There are many facts to be mentioned here, but the inequality may already be clear.
Violation of Quilombolas’ rights
The Quilombolas on the island, working as artisanal fishermen, also (still) experience the unrighteous inequality in their struggle for public facilities and a safe and healthy working and living environment. The island lacks a sewage system, education and health services. But even worse, the large refineries poison their work environment and endanger the health of the fisher men and women. It is time to raise more awareness on their struggle, a struggle that is too often being silenced by the governmental institutions and private sector. A true violation of human rights.
Kerk in Actie, Dutch partner of the ICCO Cooperation, and Dutch broadcast channel EO Metterdaad, went to Brazil to support the Quilombolas in their struggle. They financially, strategically and emotionally supported the lobby activities of the Quilombolas and the Movimiento de Pescadores e Pescadoras Artesenais (http://mpppeloterritorio.blogspot.com/), raising not only awareness in Salvador, Brazil, but also awareness and funds in The Netherlands. The broadcasts focus on the strength of these people. People that are so combative because they are done with the violation of their rights and want the best for their children, their grandchildren..
The broadcasts were shown on Dutch television for three weeks since the 31st of July. The broadcasts can be seen here (in Dutch and Portuguese): http://www.eo.nl/algemeen/metterdaad/artikel-detail/artikel/metterdaad-tv-brazilie-1/
If you would like to know about the background of the Quilombolas, read this publication of our partner CESE: http://www.cese.org.br/site/wp-content/uploads/QUILOMBOLAS-RIGHTS.pdf
Quote: father Marizelia, June 2014