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Brazilian journalist Taíza Brito says guilty verdict in Catalan trial would be 'institutional violence'

Author of new book on 2017 referendum believes Supreme Court decision on Catalan leaders could be "turning point" in attracting international attention


12 October 2019 05:39 PM



With the second anniversary of the 2017 referendum last week, and the upcoming verdict in the trial of Catalan independence leaders in Spain's Supreme Court due out within days, the issue of the attempt to split from Spain remains a hot topic.

Adding to the debate is Brazilian journalist and resident of Catalonia, Taíza Brito, who spoke with Catalan News about her new book, ‘Catalunha. Entre a esperança e a tempestade’ about the 2017 independence referendum and what came afterwards.

"Everything that happened had a huge impact on me, not only the police violence but also how strongly people wanted to vote, the hope in their eyes and the whole storm of violence, which is where the title comes from," says Brito about why she put pen to paper.

As for how the issue is seen in Brazil, Brito thinks that "academics and journalists have more information," and so they see "that the problem should have a political solution, that it is a political problem and not a violent one, there is no violence here. Everyone sees it like this."

However, the journalist also thinks that "there's a bit more disinformation among the general public," and she is very clear about what to expect from the Brazilian government, which she describes as "fascist" and only interested in "promoting the discourse of hate."

Trial verdict could be "turning point"

While Brito believes that the message the independence movement is sending abroad "has become a little confusing," she also thinks that the impending verdict in the independence trial could be a "turning point" in attracting international attention.

"There'll be reactions from institutions that defend human rights, as is already the case with the UN, Amnesty International, and other institutions." Earlier this year, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for the immediate release of some of the leaders.

Above all, Brito thinks a guilty verdict would be impossible to ignore: "If these people who just provided ballot boxes get sentences of 15 years, it will be brutal. The reaction is very difficult to foresee. From my point of view, it would be institutional violence and brutality."

Yet the journalist also has a message for the political leaders of the independence movement, which she thinks need to regain a sense of unity. "They ought to be working together, in a united way, and they aren't, they're fighting among themselves," she says.


  • Brazilian journalist Taíza Brito speaking to Catalan News (by Alicia Egorov)

  • Brazilian journalist Taíza Brito speaking to Catalan News (by Alicia Egorov)