(Agencia Prensa Armenia)—The Federal Senate of Brazil passed on June 2 a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. The Resolution No. 550/2015 was introduced by Senators Aloizio Nunes Fereira Filio and Jose Serra.
The resolution expresses its “solidarity with the Armenian people during the course of 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.”
Filio stressed the need for Turkey to recognize the genocide and to establish a productive dialogue with Armenia. “But that also means respect for life, respect for diversity, and commitment that this will never happen again,” said Filio.
“[The] statement of the plenary of the Senate is the most important in the history of the Armenian Cause in Brazil,” James Onnig Tamdjian, Director of Politics and International Relations of the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Brazil, told Prensa Armenia. “It is an important sign that all political parties have joined and offered their solidarity in the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide,” he added.
“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.