Draft Resolution on Armenian Genocide Introduced in Brazilian Senate

(Agencia Prensa Armenia)—A draft resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide was introduced in the Federal Senate of Brazil on May 26. Senators Aloizio Nunes, Fereira Filio, and Jose Serra sponsored the resolution (No. 550/2015).

The draft resolution expresses its “solidarity with the Armenian people during the centenary of the campaign of extermination of its population,” and states that “the Senate recognizes the Armenian Genocide, whose centenary was commemorated on April 24, 2015.”

James Onnig Tamdjian, a representative of the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Brazil, said the resolution “has great support from Senators, and hopefully in the near future the Brazilian Senate will vote for this proposal, which will be historic for all Armenians and their descendants in Brazil.” Tamdjian also expressed his hope that “the Senate would continue its support to formalize the decision soon.”

“To honor the victims and recognize the contribution of the thousands of Brazilians—descendants of Armenian refugees—to the economic, social, and cultural formation of Brazil, we emphasize that no genocide must be forgotten so that it does not happen again,” reads the text.

The draft highlights that the Armenian Genocide was rooted in the “need for a racial cleansing, to make Turkey—then multiracial—a uniformly Turkish nation.”

In addition, it denounces the “systematic denial, pressure, and intimidation against those who try to reconstruct historical events.”

“The policy of extermination is so far denied by the Turkish government,” reads the draft resolution, and cites the cases of recognition from a growing number of countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, and Venezuela in Latin America, as well as European countries, the European Parliament, and, more recently, Germany and Pope Francis.

“It is estimated that at least 100,000 descendants of Armenians live in Brazil, mostly in São Paulo. They are Brazilians whose ancestors had to leave their homeland to escape the genocide. In Brazilian lands they could restart their lives, build families, and contribute to the economic, social, and cultural development of our country,” reads the resolution.

The Brazilian government has not yet recognized the Armenian Genocide, although the legislatures of Ceará and Parana have. “In 2015, the State of São Paulo instituted April 24 as the Day of Recognition and Remembrance of Victims of the Genocide of the Armenian people,” concludes the resolution.

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