On Monday (October 11th), the Justice of Brasília ruled Sergio Camargo’s removal from activities related to the management of employees at Fundação Palmares, an entity he presided over. The decision responds to an action by the Public Ministry of Labor (MPT) that denounces the president for episodes of moral harassment, ideological persecution and discrimination against employees of the institution. In practice, the Court prohibits Camargo from appointing or dismissing civil servants, with a daily fine of 5,000 reais in case of non-compliance.
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The order is signed by the labor judge Gustavo Carvalho Chehab, from the 21st Labor Court of Brasilia, with the aim of “restraining any practices considered, at first, as abusive”. “It was clear to this judgment that the alleged abuse is centered on the management of people and the possible public execration of individuals,” the decision follows. Thus, Chehab emphasizes that Camargo is removed only from managing people, and not from the position of president. “If the performance considered abusive can be identified and isolated (or removed) in a given attribution, then the injunction must fall on this and not on the entire exercise of the mandate entrusted by the Honorable President of the Republic”, he justifies.
In the same decision, the judge also prohibited manifestations on social networks of the profiles of the Fundação Palmares from Camargo itself regarding workers, former workers, witnesses of the action, representatives and organs of the Justice and the press. Twitter is the president’s main communication channel of the institution, where he has nearly 300,000 followers. Therefore, Chehab asked the social network for all messages published by the two profiles since November 2019, even if they were deleted.
The Court also demands that Twitter assess the need to “mark or delete messages and statements from third parties, previous, current or future” from the accounts of defendants that violate fundamental rights or offend the dignity that “constitute, in theory, a criminal offense, bullying, cyberbullying, intimidation, offense or threat or breaking the rules of use of their network”. Finally, it determined that the Ethics Committee of the Presidency, the Federal Comptroller General, the Federal Court of Accounts, the Federal Public Ministry and the Public Ministry of the Federal District and Territories should “take note of the facts narrated”.
What motivated the MPT to file the lawsuit are the frequent attacks that Camargo makes against defenders of black rights. The journalist describes himself as an “anti-victimist right-wing black and an enemy of political correctness” who claims that the anti-racist movement has its origins in “a bunch of mimicking leftists”.
“Sergio Camargo is part of the Pocket Narist project that is centered on making vulnerable and exterminating vulnerable groups, including the black population”, told EL PAÍS lawyer Sheila de Carvalho, from the Black Coalition for Rights. He was appointed to the position by President Jair Bolsonaro in July 2020 and has since boycotted the principles of the Palmares Foundation. The institution emerged in 1988 through the promulgation of the Federal Constitution, as a partner entity of the Ministry of Culture. In the last decade, its budget has dropped 75%, according to information obtained by the Alma Preta website, which focuses on Afro-Brazilian issues.
Camargo eliminated from the list of distinguished personalities of the Foundation names such as the multi-award winning singer Gilberto Gil, who was Minister of Culture in the Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Government, and the former minister of the Environment and former senator Marina Silva, among others. He also commissioned an audit of the nearly 10,000 volumes of the Foundation’s library, where he came to the conclusion that more than half had no relation to black themes, but was composed of works related to the sexual revolution, the idolatry of criminals, Marxist revolutions, guerrilla techniques etc. The attempt to purge the library and debug the list of black personalities was barred in the courts.
He spoke only through his official Twitter profile, where he wrote: “With each attack I get stronger. Let’s follow”.
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