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Persecution of mestizos: Nação Mestiça will require Federal University of Minas Gerais to be investigated

Pardos quotists are being submitted to the investigation at UFMG, says newspaper O Estado de Minas.

Brazilian Quota Law determines that the quotas of the pardos (Mestizos) must be separated from those of the blacks. The Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), however, takes the case to 34 pardo students and puts another 28 under suspicion. The Brazilian Pardo-Mestizo Movement (Nação Mestiça) will request the Federal Public Ministry to investigate whether there has been a crime of racism against pardos and guides the pardos who have been harmed to seek compensation for moral and material damages.

University has concluded an investigation and submits partisans to administrative and disciplinary investigation, reports the newspaper Estado de Minas. According to the newspaper, activists of negro movements “denounce” more cases, which must be determined and can also lead to expulsions of the pardos. UFMG has set up commission to make mischief among pardo candidates, but Federal denies ‘witch-hunt’.

Although the Quotas Law establishes that quotas of pardos must be separated from the quotas of blacks, pardo students are accused of circumventing the quota system to obtain a seat at the UFMG. Sixty-two students are in the limelight, at risk of expulsion. Of these, 34 will already be submitted to administrative disciplinary proceedings, a result of an investigation instituted last year by the institution to determine alleged irregularities. The names of 28 others were presented yesterday in a dossier drawn up by students who are members of the negro movement, the newspaper said in a further series of denunciations. A commission formed to conduct and monitor affirmative action promises to make a debauchery in documents and even in the lives of candidates for the system and its family nucleus in case of “suspected fraud”, but the Federal University states that it will not promote a ” witches “, only to improve social policy.

The case of quotas at the largest public university in the State of Minas Gerais gained momentum in September 2017, when a group of students “denounced” three others who would have circumvented the system to enter medical school, among them a young man with blue eyes. According to the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), whose criterion is adopted in the Law of Quotas, pardo is mestizo, regardless of appearance. The IBGE also only adopts self-identification, that is, it is not the enumerator that classifies the census, but the interviewee himself that says his color or race among the Amerindian (índio), white (branco), mestizo (pardo), black (preto) and yellow (amarelo) options.

In November there was a new “complaint”, in that opportunity involving a student of the master’s degree. The UFMG opened an investigation and, almost eight months after the first “accusations”, announced the outcome of the first phase of the investigations. The university reported that the administrative and disciplinary process is confidential, in order to preserve the dignity of those involved and, according to the legal orders of the Ministry of Education (MEC) and of the Federal Government, ensures a broad defense of the investigated persons.

Although the Quotas Law establishes that the quotas of pardos and blacks must be independent, the MEC, during the administration of the then minister Aloizio Mercadante, of the Dilma Rousseff’s (Workers’ Party) government, against the legislation determined in ordinance that the quotas of pardos and blacks should be unified.

In all, the syndication commission analyzed 61 allegations of alleged fraud by students who entered the institution through the Unified Selection System (SISU) in 2017. Of these, 34 will result in lawsuits and 10 refer to students who have already left the institution. In 17 cases, the commission validated the self-declaration (“blacks/pardos” and Amerindians) through phenotypic analysis – skin color, hair type, lip shape, among other characteristics.

“The administrative and disciplinary process is the second stage, the continuity of investigation. Documents were gathered and, from then on, a case was opened in relation to the 34. These students will be called again. There will be information gathering again,”(1) says Rodrigo Ednilson de Jesus, the pro-Rector of Student Affairs.

According to him, based on the work of the first commission, the new group formed to verify the information will issue an opinion indicating the application or not of the punishments – the maximum is the dismissal of the university.

“This procedure committee will define the appropriate penalty after identifying and clarifying the facts,”(2) he points out.

Commission without mestizos

The Permanent Commission for Affirmative Actions and Social Inclusion of UFMG was created to elaborate, follow and conduct the policy of affirmative action and social inclusion of the university, says the newspaper Estado de Minas. According to the newspaper, it will have nine people, including negros and whites, represented by teachers, technical-administrative officials and “students related to the subject.”

According to the institution, its members may

“To conduct interviews, home visits, consultations with the candidate’s socio-economic information and family nucleus, and questionnaires with multiple questions about race for the purpose of verifying racial belonging.”(3)

The group will be established by means of an ordinance. The document is expected to be signed by the dean Sandra Goulart Almeida in the coming days.

Asked about the self-declaration provided for in the Law of Quotas for the candidate for a position in a federal educational institution, the pro-Rector of Student Affairs says that self-declaration needs to be based on criteria.

“From the point of legal vita, we refer to two opinions of the Federal Supreme Court, the ministers Ricardo Levandowski and (Roberto Roberto) Barroso, recognizing that self-declaration does not take place in an empty or autonomous way, because it is a negotiation between how the subject is seen and how it is seen. (…) Although we recognize the validity of self-declaration, in terms of denunciation the university needs to investigate and has the instruments to do so. The classification for this is a legally recognized principle as much as self-declaration,”(4) he says.


“Politics is not directed at people without race”

The pro-dean also argues that one point is the recognition of the mestizo subject.

“The son of negro and white, but who does not recognize himself as a negro student. The racial vacancy reserve policy is for negro student, black or brown, ie light-skinned negro (pardo) and dark-skinned negro (black). But it is not possible to be pardo without being black, and maybe this confusion is that it is in the imagination of the Brazilian population: that of the mestizo without race,”(5) he points out.

“And politics is not directed at people without race, but for this negro, whether he is light-skinned or dark.”(6)

In addition to the measures, the UFMG states that it will invest in racial education and the dissemination of materials to guide candidates not to act in bad faith. “The decision does not go in the direction of a ‘witch hunt’, but of social improvement, to build a more appropriate procedure.”

Profile in social network has defined new dossier

The most recent targets for allegations of fraud in UFMG’s racial quotas are pardo pupils who have passed the Unified Screening System (SISU) of 2018 and have graduated this semester or will enter the next.

Alexandre Braga, president of the Union of Negros and Negras for Equality (UNEGRO), an entity historically linked to the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB), stated, according to the Estado de Minas newspaper, that:

“These are glaring and scandalous cases of racial misuse. We had the worry of not even telling the pardo student. We look for cases of absolute neglect of public policy.”(7)

PCdoB defends the imposition of negro identity on pardos.

The UFMG announced that these 28 cases will also be scrutinized by the panel. If “irregularities” are found, the brown pupils will undergo administrative disciplinary proceedings.

Hunt for pardos

Under the motto “Fraud in quotas will not go blank,” a Facebook page was created to collect the allegations. About 40 people attended the screening commission to find accused students in dentistry, social science, medicine, communication and psychology courses. In a mandatory form, the complainant should name and course the students that he/she judged to have rigged the system. According to him, the group received 154 complaints.

“We did a sorting and from these, the 28 protocols of suspicions of fraud that were taken to the UFMG were generated,”(8) Alexandre said. He explained that the main criteria are skin color and physical traits. “We looked up the profile of the students on social networks (like Facebook and Instagram) and we made this report, including also the registration number.”(9)

The names of those charged with fraud were not disclosed. “We will inform the names only for the university, but this will be open for public consultation on social networks. The goal is not to create any conflict with the student, but to ensure the integrity of public policy. The investigated were not contacted, so we could formalize the complaint,”(10) he said.

Alexandre Braga said that the platform remains open to further denunciations. “There will probably be more cases. We will continue to investigate and send to UFMG. And now, there is a warning for the student who wants to enter the public university. We do not want to punish anyone. We want to point out that there is a public policy that needs to be respected and it is not for everyone. If it were for everyone, I would not need politics,”(11) he said.

What the law says: quotas of pardos must be independent of the quotas of the blacks

Law 12.711, of 2012, known as the Quota Law, mandates that Brazilian universities and federal institutes reserve half of all undergraduate degrees for those who have completed high school in public schools. In this universe, income and racial criteria are established. Half of the vacancies will be destined to students of the public network of families with income of up to 1,5 minimum wage per person. Other competitors in the public network may have any income. The percentage of students who declare themselves black, pardo, Amerindian and disabled must be at least the same as that of the population in the State, according to the IBGE census.

The Quota Law do not establishes that the quotas of the blacks, pardos, Amerindians and disabled are unified.

The Brazilian Pardo-Mestizo Movement (Nação Mestiça) will require the Federal Public Ministry to investigate the facts reported in the newspaper, the racist acts and declarations against proven  and compliance with the Quota Law, with the separation of the quotas of the pardos and blacks.

The Nação Mestiça also guides the pardos who have been harmed to seek justice for indemnity for material and moral damages. “The legislation is very clear: quotas of pardos are separate from those of blacks and the criterion is that adopted by IBGE, which does not admit heteroidentification. If the student has followed the law and is now suffering from embarrassment, including insults to his condition of pardo and physical appearance (because a pardo can have any appearance), he can go to court and seek compensation, “said Leão Alves, general secretary of the Nação Mestiça.

Translated from Perseguição a pardos: Nação Mestiça irá requerer que UFMG seja investigada

1. “O processo administrativo e disciplinar é a segunda etapa, a continuidade da sindicância investigatória. Foram juntados documentos e, a partir daí, houve a abertura de processo em relação aos 34. Esses estudantes serão novamente chamados. Haverá novamente coleta de informações”.

2. “Essa comissão de procedimento vai definir a penalidade adequada depois de identificar e apurar os fatos”.

3. “fazer entrevistas, visitas em domicílio, consultas a cadastros de informações socioeconômicas do candidato e do seu núcleo familiar e aplicação de questionários com múltiplas questões sobre a raça para a verificação do pertencimento racial”.

4. “Do ponto de vita jurídico, fazemos referência a dois pareceres do Supremo Tribunal Federal, dos ministros Ricardo Levandowski e (Luís Roberto) Barroso, reconhecendo que a autodeclaração não se dá no vazio nem de forma autônoma, porque é uma negociação entre como o sujeito se vê e como ele é visto. (…) Embora reconheçamos a validade da autodeclaração, em termos de denúncia a universidade precisa investigar e tem instrumentos para tal. A classificação para isso é um princípio juridicamente reconhecido, tanto quanto a autodeclaração”.

5. “O filho de negro e branco, mas que não se reconhece como estudante negro. A política de reserva de vaga racial é para estudante negro, preto ou pardo, ou seja, negro de pele clara (pardo) e negro de pele escura (preto). Mas não é possível ser pardo sem ser negro, e talvez essa confusão é que esteja no imaginário da população brasileira: a do mestiço sem raça”

6. “E a política não é dirigida para pessoas sem raça, mas para esse negro, seja ele de pele clara ou escura.”

7. “São casos gritantes e escandalosos de uso indevido de cota racial. Nós tivemos a preocupação de nem contar o estudante pardo. Procuramos casos de absoluta negligência da política pública”.

8. “Fizemos uma triagem e, destes, foram gerados os 28 protocolos de suspeitas de fraude, que foram levados à UFMG”,

9. “Procuramos o perfil dos alunos nas redes sociais (como Facebook e Instagram) e fizemos esse relatório, incluindo também o número de matrícula”.

10. “Informamos os nomes só para a universidade, mas isso ficará aberto para consulta públicas nas redes sociais. O objetivo não é criar nenhum conflito com o estudante, mas garantir a integridade da política pública. Os investigados não foram contatados, para que pudéssemos oficializar a denúncia”.

11. “Provavelmente haverá mais casos. Continuaremos apurando e enviando para a UFMG. E, agora, fica um alerta para o estudante que quer entrar na universidade pública. Nós não queremos punir ninguém. Queremos orientar que existe uma política pública que precisa ser respeitada e não é pra todo mundo. Se fosse para todo mundo, não precisaria da política”.


Posted in Português.

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