Brazil: anti-crime package, a mistake by PSOL parliamentarians

The government, through Minister Sergio Moro, presented a package of “anti-crime” measures that aim to intensify its repressive, punitive and criminalization policies against the youth, peripheral populace, Black people and struggles. Unfortunately, three of the PSOL´s ten federal deputies voted in favor, a big mistake that we need to discuss.


Fernanda Melchiona, Marcelo Freixo and Edmilson Rodrigues were the three deputies of the PSOL who voted in favor. They argue that the reason they did so is because the package that was voted was a version modified by a commission in which Freixo participated and managed to remove and add important points that “improved” the right wing minister´s initial proposal.

The problem is that these modifications do not change the essence of a package of measures that give the government a new tool to repress, persecute and criminalize poor people. Modifications to criminal laws that hinder access to rights such as probation for prisoners, extend penalties, create new criminal figures, increase the maximum effective prison time from 30 to 40 years and open the possibility of creating genetic databases, among other measures.

Debates in the PSOL

We are at a time in which electoral pressures are causing tensions within our party and we believe that it is essential that we carry out the debates openly and fraternally. We cannot allow the electoral calendar to dominate our policy and derail us from the objective we set ourselves from our foundation: to fight for state power to put it at the service of the working class, women, Black people, the youth, LGBT people and peripheral populations.

A few days after Paraísopolis´ murder, the position taken by the three PSOL deputies under pressure to respond to sectors of our society that demand public policies to respond to growing citizen insecurity is even less unacceptable. Doing so meant legitimizing repressive policies that are foreign to our cause.

This situation opens another internal debate about our method to decide the actions and policies of our parliamentarians and public figures, who are spokespersons for the party. We must develop instances of constant debate and internal decision-making that guarantee a democratic functioning in which the party´s rank-and-file have a voice. Faced with issues of such importance, it is unacceptable that the party as a whole has not been able to express an opinion and three deputies acted in an inconsistent manner.

What “package” do we propose?

As we said before, the three deputies who voted in favor of the package made a serious mistake. As much as the proposal voted on has been improved, there is no justification for legitimizing repressive measures that political power exercises over the working class and the poor people. Workers´ parties, and the parliamentarians who occupy seats conquered by them, have to use those positions to denounce the policies that the bourgeoisie applies against us and propose an alternative program. This is the path that PSOL parliamentarians must take if they do not want to end up being a tool of the power of the day.

An alternative proposal starts from reversing the center of the debate and punishing the governmental, judicial, police and military corruption that is at the base of our country´s crime problem. Drug trafficking and organized crime networks coexist with a system of corruption that involves all state institutions. That is why we demand: the dismissal of all the police and military leadership and the election of judges and commissioners through popular vote; the formation of commissions independent of government and state institutions to investigate and control the repressive forces; the prohibition of anyone who has committed acts of corruption from running for public office; public policies of labor insertion; promotion of art and sports in neighborhoods; access to free and quality public education; among other urgent measures and policies to respond to the problem of citizen security.

Once again, we reaffirm our commitment to defend our anti-capitalist and socialist foundational program and fight against governments that attack our rights and conquests. We militate and build Alternativa Socialista as an internal current of the PSOL at the service of this objective.

Alternativa Socialista