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Witness delivers letter to Olympics Organisers on Rio Evictions


By Priscila Néri | December 14th, 2011

Roughly 170,000 people are either at risk, or have already been subjected to, forced evictions throughout the 12 Brazilian cities gearing up to host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. The number – a new estimate by the national coalition of local groups monitoring the impact of these major sporting events – was released on December 10th (International Human Rights Day) in a new report on the human rights violations associated with these events in Brazil.

The report provides a powerful counterpoint to the official narrative often repeated by local authorities and decision-makers, many of whom like to say that “nobody is being removed by force” and that “no families are being resettled without proper compensation.”

If you follow our forced evictions campaign on this blog, you know that’s just not true.

The most powerful way to prove this, however, is to let those directly affected speak for themselves.

Watch what happened when our local partners in Rio tried to speak directly to Olympics organizers during a field visit on November 11th. And watch what unfolds as Antonieta, a 31-year-old single mother who was forcibly evicted from her community in May, confronts the group to personally deliver a letter and video-dossier on forced evictions in Rio:

I first met Antonieta during a 3-day fact-finding mission led by Brazilian human rights groups in May. Then, I got the chance to know her better as we spent one week together in our Rio video advocacy training in July (see her at 1:20min of this video). Since then, we’ve been working with her and many other allies in Brazil to ensure her story is not silenced, denied or ignored.

As this week’s new report shows, Antonieta is just one of many thousands that need to be heard.

What you can do

While we wait for an official response from Olympic organizers in Brazil and Switzerland, you can add your voice to the campaign and join us in demanding no more evictions for Olympics in Rio and World Cup in Brazil. You can:

Share these videos with bloggers and members of the media.
Leave your comments of support in the fields below.
Support the local coalition of groups working with affected communities on the ground to monitor evictions.

On Twitter? Help us tweet the International Olympic Committee @IOCMedia, local Olympics organizers in Rio @Rio2016, and the mayor of Rio @eduardopaes_ and ask them to respond to our call! Here are some suggested tweets just under the 140-character limit…

English:

@IOCMedia you must condemn #ForcedEvictions conducted in the name of the @Rio2016 #Olympics: http://tiny.cc/NoEvictions #Brazil #HumanRights

@IOCMedia @Rio2016: respond to @Amnesty @witnessorg +@ComitPopularCop letter on #ForcedEvictions in Rio #Olympics http://tiny.cc/NoEvictions

Português:

@eduardopaes_ @Rio2016 precisam responder às denúncias de #RemoçõesForçadas no Rio para as #Olimpíadas de 2016 http://tiny.cc/RemocoesZero

@eduardopaes_ diz que #RemoçõesForçadas estão dentro da lei no Rio; vídeos provam o contrário: http://tiny.cc/VideosRemocoes #Olimpíadas


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