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The Olympics scheduled to take place in 2016 in Brazil is one of the most important events to this country. It took a lot of effort for the country to win the favor of the organizers and be considered as the best country to host the event. The country stands to gain a lot from the event (Akhter, 2008). The infrastructure of the country will be improved, the tourism sector is expected to boom beyond any other season in the country’s history. The country will also be positively sold to the world as a nation that has the capacity to not only support tourism, but also foreign investments (Blackshaw & Siekmann, 2005). It is therefore justified to see the government of the country making every effort to ensure that everything is put under control.
They are making every effort to ensure that the infrastructure is improved and various institutions and accommodation places are expanded to support the expected number of visitors. Besides the obvious benefits that this country stands to gain, there is a course of worry as far as the rights and freedom of some of the locals are concerned (Blackshaw, 2006). If the events preceding the 2012 London Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics are anything to go by, then there is a serious problem that Brazilians may face, especially those living in the informal settlements. In Beijing, families were eliminated from the streets, without any concern of where they were taken.
The government gave the excuse that it was cleaning the city in readiness for the Olympics. As the world celebrated the Olympics, some Chinese families were rendered homeless, suffering in the cold with nothing to celebrate over. When the event was taken to London, the same practice was seen, and many families were eliminated from the streets. Suspects, especially the Muslim faithful were arrested as a way of ensuring that the city was to be made as safe as possibly. As the world watched the Olympics from various corners with lots of joy, some innocent people were locked up, while others were pushed to the rural set-ups as a way of making the city clean and ready to support the Olympics.
The Olympics scheduled for 2016 in Brazil is a blessing to this country. The government is justified to ensure that all the facilities are well tuned in readiness for the big day (Anderson, 2004). However, it should be observed that every citizen has a right. The world respects rights and freedom of every single individual. There are conventions that specifically demand that every individual must be treated with decorum, and that there are no second class individuals. Searle (2003) explains that every country has the responsibility of ensuring that they observe the rights of their citizen. The law must always be upheld at all times, and it is important to note that there is no law that is meant for the poor and that for the rich. The law that gives power to the government is the same law that protects the citizens (Regis & Gary, 2010). The government should therefore not justify any act that may involve denying the citizens their rights or freedom (Regis, 2010). This paper seeks to analyze the abuse of government powers during such important events like the Olympics, with the focus on the Brazilian Olympics scheduled for 2016.
Brazil is preparing for the 2016 Olympics, popularly known as the Reo 2016. The nation is waiting for this big event and every single Brazilian is looking forward to this big event in their country. Although the government has the responsibility of ensuring that all the preparations are made in time, all other citizens feel that they have a role to play in ensuring that this event is a success (Richard, 2002). Therefore, it would be right to state that every citizen feels responsible in the preparation for the event.
There is a trend taken by the government which is a little worrying.
It is in the interest of every citizen that the event turns out successful. It is also in the interest of the citizens that security is maintained all through the event (Cashman & Anthony, 1999). The government therefore has the mandate of the citizens to ensure that the country is secure from any attack. They have the powers to ensure that they deter any aggression that may come from terror groups, or any other unlawful organizations (Searle, 2002). However, in so doing, it is important to observe that the law should not be bent against others, to favor others. Cashman and Anthony (1999a) advise that government security agencies should not break the law in the process of enhancing security. The strategy that was taken by the English government of arresting all the suspects is not only unethical, but highly retrogressive and highly unlawful. The government of Brazil has the legal authority to arrest suspects and arraign them in court with sufficient evidence to prove that the suspect is guilty. However, it does not have the right to detain them without substantial evidence, just to restrict their movement during the event, as a way of making the country safe. This is denial of the freedom of movement, the right to fair trial, and freedom from discrimination (Booth & Colin, 1994).
The Brazilian government has also made it clear that families living in informal settlements within the city may have to be moved to other regions outside the city. This move rekindles the move taken by the Chinese government of eliminating all the street families and people in the informal settlements from the city. The government of China was unable to offer them alternative settlement. The Brazilian government cannot convince the world, especially Human Rights bodies that are concerned about their actions, that they will resettle these families. It is an open secret that the government is channeling all the available resources to improving the infrastructure of the country. They are making every effort to ensure that various facilities, especially the hospitality sector, are expanded to accommodate the expected masses. The funds to facilitate settlement of the evictees is not available, and most certainly these individuals will be left in the streets. Just like some of the Chinese were rendered homeless in 2008, some of the families in Brazil stand to face a similar face.
This issue is very controversial and as such, various legal scholars have developed interest in this issue. The Olympics will not end in 2016 in Brazil. Various other countries will host the event afterwards. Of concern is that this event gives governments power to misuse their power and frustrate a section of the citizens (Proulx, 2011). This is an abuse of power and legal scholars have developed interest in understanding the motivation of various governments to act in this manner, and the legality of their actions. Legal scholars have the interest of ensuring that they defend the rights of the weak. They may not be in a position to speak for themselves because of their low status in the society. No one seems to care for them and therefore, they are left to fight against a government that has very strong machinery. They lost the fight in China, with devastating results to them.
The world thought that there will never be a repeat of that. Four years later, it happened in England, and the world thought it was a mistake. The preparations at Reo, Brazil show that this is the exact trend that will take place. If not arrested now, various legal scholars strongly believe that the event will be used by various governments to abuse power and suppress the citizens. The world has come out strongly to condemn any form of misuse of power by the governments (Powell, 2010). There should therefore be no legal loophole through which any government would be justified to act in contravention to laid laws. These loopholes are what these legal scholars seek to eliminate. The scholars seek to address these issues in order to free the world from any form of tyranny. This was the motivation of the researcher to venture into this field of study.
The Importance of the Topic
This topic is very important. The government has a role to protect all its citizens irrespective of their social standings or backgrounds. The government is expected to be rational in all its actions and it is expected of it to act having in mind the interest of the public. When such a government turns a blind eye to the plight of its populace, there emerges a great cause of concern (Rodgers & Maryanne, 2003). Such is the case with Brazil. The Brazilian government is giving priority to the financial benefits that they stand to gain from the Olympics at the expense of the interest of its citizens. This topic seeks to address the injustices of the Brazilian government with the aim of bringing the government to terms with the truth. This topic is also meant to create awareness to the world of the suffering that people of this country face. The main aim is to ensure that the Brazilian government considers resettling its citizens whom they think are residing in areas that are not reserve lands. All the citizens have right to basic needs. They should not be treated as in a manner likely to indicate that the government does not care for them (Paul et al, 1987).
Controversial Issues on the Topic
According to Christopher and Nuria (2002), in 1999, the Brazilian police arrested 173 people, without proper cause, and detained them for a long period. In 2001, the police again arrested about 130 people during a forced eviction, and the individuals were detained for some time. In May 2000, Brazilian police used excessive force to evict 2000 families from their residence at Sao Paulo. The families were forced to construct plastic houses in a slum nearby. On July 2000, the police once again used force to evict landless peasant workers in a number of rural settlements.
The Brazilian police once again made the same move to evict poor landless people at Santa Maria and Jacutinga estates, which left about 200 families homeless. In November the same year, the Brazilian police used excessive force to evict about 400 landless individuals at Agua da Prata. Sebatiao da Maria was killed in this operation. In November 2002, 5000 landless Brazilians were evicted by the Governor of Sao Paulo State from the Osasco City where they had been squatting. On December 10, 2002, about 2200 people were evicted from the settlement of Carlos Lamarca; on a day that coincided with the International Human Rights Day.
The list of similar atrocities is endless. It is categorically clear that the police in this country have been using force to when evicting these individuals. The controversy comes in the fact that these Brazilians were rendered landless by crude tactics of some of the tycoons in this country, some of whom are foreigners who have come to invest in the country. These rich but dubious individuals managed to convince the peasant farmers to sell their land at very cheap prices (IOC, 1999). When this was happening, the government, through its various agencies which facilitated the transactions, encouraged the trend. They encouraged the trend because they facilitated the transaction. These Brazilians were finally left landless. The landowners, based on the guilt that they had purchased all the land for the peasants and left them landless, offered them an opportunity to squat in their settlements (Owen, 2001). However, after a short time, they started eliminating them.
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The government then considered offering them settlements and allowed them to construct informal settlements that gave rise to various slums. However, all signs show that the government is also tired of them and is evicting them from various informal settlements they had come to call home. The eviction is not voluntary. The government is using its machinery to forcefully evict the landless Brazilians from various informal settlements (Moragas & Miquel, 1995). The force is too much, that in some cases have resulted in death of some of the evictees. These are Brazilians, not Americans or Iranians. Evicting them from their settlements and failing to offer them alternative settlements is like condemning them to death. They have no place to live; their ancestral lands have been taken away. Those whose ancestors came to this country have known no homes but Brazil, for they were born and brought up here (Lenskyj & Jefferson, 1992). They are left stranded, having been declared personas non-grata by the body that should have defended them, the body they look forward to receiving support from, the government of the people of Brazil.
Steps Taken to Resolve the Issue
The steps that have been taken by the government to end this strife are very minimal. Various politicians have promised the squatters proper settlements only to turn against them once in power (Moragas, Christopher & Nuria, 2003). The efforts that have bore positive results have come from various Human Rights groups and other non-governmental organizations. They have come out strongly to pint out the fact that government is not committed to finding lasting solution to the landless Brazilians (Cashman & Cashman, 2000). Instead, it has used force to frustrate these powerless citizens by evicting them from one location to another. Actions of the Human Rights Groups have made the government consider finding solutions to these landless individuals.
The biggest challenge that these organizations face is lack of political goodwill. Politicians make a lot of promises during the campaign periods, only to disown their promises immediately after taking power (John & Margaret, 2011). By promising these individuals resettlement, it is a fact that these politicians appreciate that there is a problem that should be addressed (Kidd, 1992). Why then should they change once in power? Why should they turn against the people who vote them into their offices? They make the major challenge to addressing this issue.
The current Status of Controversy
The action of the government in the past one decade has clearly demonstrated that the government is keen on eliminating the landless Brazilians. Efforts have been made to evict these peasants using top of the range government machinery. Releasing the military officers to evict unarmed civilians from settlements they have called home is a heinous act that warrants a lot of condemnation (Cahill, 1999). The training of the military officers is not meant to manage the crowd, but to cause total physical harm, and possibly death, for they are meant to protect the nation from external aggression. The fear is that if the government could act this way then when there was no clear reason of doing so, what move will it make now with the coming of Olympics. The government will have the opportunity to further crack their whips on these powerless individuals by evicting them from their various settlements (Lenskyj, 2000).
The government will justify its actions by pointing fingers at the move taken by Landon and Beijing officials to evict people from the streets. Cashman and Anthony (1998) note that England is one of the leading democracies in the world. It is one of the countries that currently uphold Human Rights to all the residents of its land. If this democracy eliminated people living in slums during the summer Olympics, Brazilian government will more than ever, feel that their action is justified.
This is a clear demonstration that the government is still harboring its controversial intention of eliminating the landless Brazilians from various settlements (Lenskyj, 2002). There is therefore needed to make the government come to terms with the fact that these landless individuals are Brazilians and they have to be settled in this region (Carlin, 2009). Any move contrary to this will only illicit instability as the individuals may consider reacting to government’s aggression. This peace-loving nation can easily be transformed to a lawless country, and if care is not taken, the Olympics may not take place because of such unrest.
The 2016 Rio Olympics comes with a lot of benefits to the nation. The country will have its infrastructure improved, besides the fact the country will be sold as one of the best tourist destinations in the world. The country will therefore try to create the best image of itself to the world. It would try to boost security, besides trying to clean up the city and its environs. It is a fact that the street urchins and other homeless city dwellers may be a bad image of the country to the world. The government would therefore be justified to ensure that these individuals are resettled. Their elimination from the streets would also enhance security during the Olympic event. However, the government has the responsibility to take care of them. The government should offer them alternative settlement. Above all, the government has no right to use physical force in eliminating them from the current settlements.
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