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Briefs 5/23/2013: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay

Briefs 5/23/2013: Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay

 

BRAZIL: JUSTICE APPROVES SAME-SEX MARRIAGE
The National Council of Justice legalized gay marriage throughout Brazil May 15, emphasizing that now notary publics or judges cannot refuse to perform same-sex ceremonies. The approval moved on despite strong opposition from religious and conservative factions in the congress.

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Brazil is the third Latin American country to give a green light to homosexual unions. The decision was already enacted in 13 Brazilian states and The Brazilian Federal District. In the remaining 14 states, however, requests were refused by local justices.

The decision marked an historic day for same-sex couples, especially in this country, where according to the Gay Bahia Group report 1,341 homosexuals were murdered between 2007 and December 2012. For that reason, this determination is not just a development with regards to civil rights, but a trigger for a change in the way society perceives the LGBT community.

ARGENTINA: POPE CONCERNED OVER INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY
Pope Francisco expressed his worry about the neglected conditions in which the ethnic group Qom currently lives. “I pray for the Qom and for their Indian chief Félix Díaz. I´m well acquainted with their demands and I hope their pleas are heard,” the Pope said during a phone call with people close to the community.

For a long time, the ethnic group has demanded a feasible solution to the conflict involving land property, identity recognition and human rights. The provincial government, which officially supports President Cristina Kirchner, has responded with threats and attacks.

During the last years, 7 indigenous were murdered and 8 were arrested by the local police for “Misappropriation of Territory” intended for soybean plantations. Last week, the son of the main community leader was brutally beaten by an anonymous group of about 30 people.

With no possibilities of dialogue or political guarantees, the Qom community is left defenseless to the destructions of their land and further attacks.

URUGUAY: GENERAL GETS 28 YEARS FOR MILITARY DICTATORSHIP KILLING
General Miguel Dalmao was condemned May 8 for the death of activist Nibia Sabalsagaray, committed 39 years ago. It´s the first time an active member of the country’s military has been convicted for a crime perpetrated in the military government (1973-1985).

Sabalsagaray was a 24-year-old literature professor and communist activist who was taken from her Montevideo home March 29, 1974. After less than 12 hours of her detention, she was found hanged in the jail cell Nº 3, at the 1st Transmissions Battalion.

Defense attorney said that she committed suicide and that there is no evidence against the general, but Jugde Dolores Sánchez found Dalmao guilty of “especially aggravated murder,” citing the physical autopsy carried out by Dr. Marcos Carámbula (now the mayor of Canelones) that showed evidence of torture.

Every May 20, since 1996, there will be a protest demanding an explanation for what happened to all the people who were systematically disappeared during the dictatorship.