Brazil Creates Rights Medal Named after Abolitionist Black Writer, Replacing Princess

Tue Apr 04 2023
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BRASILIA: Brazil’s government on Monday abolished a human rights medal that former President Jair Bolsonaro had named after the daughter of the Latin American country’s last monarch, and replaced it with a prize named after an abolitionist Black writer.

The medal is now named after Luiz Gama, a leading figure of the movement to abolish slavery in Brazil in the 1800s.

In 1888, when slavery was finally abolished, Brazil was ruled by the Braganca family of Portuguese origin whose monarch was sick, so his daughter Isabel signed the decree to abolish slavery.

Bolsonaro had established the Princess Isabel Order of Merit during the last days of his presidency last year. Isabel is praised by Brazilian conservatives for ending slavery.

Medal named after abolitionist black writer Luiz Gama

The current government of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva set up a human rights ministry right after taking office in January and named the prize after Gama.

Brazil’s deputy minister Rita Oliveira said in a statement that it is not that a white person cannot be part of the anti-racist movement, but about recognizing an abolitionist Black man as a human rights defender.

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