Rio Government makes changes to Public Defenders Office

The Public Defender’s Office has gone through a series of extreme attacks from higher ups in government, causing a significant change to its administration. The Public Defender’s Office has been hard at work, fighting against the forced evictions in the wake of preparations for the World Cup and Olympic Games.

As a result of these drastic changes to the PDO, four employees of the Housing and Land Nucleus (NUTH) have resigned of their position, and this can be directly linked to the firing of Roberta Fraenkel from her post. According to the NUTH employees this was the last straw in what had been a series of moves to destroy NUTH.

Defender General, Nilson Bruno, denies that the changes to NUTH had anything to do with that group’s efforts in fighting the forced evictions. He argues that NUTH has had problems of communication with the organizations superiors. He adds that NUTH involved itself deeply with social movements, and refused to negotiate with the local city hall.

The infrastructural changes taking place for the World Cup and Olympics have been heavily critiqued by the UN and Amnesty international. According to both organizations there has yet to be a dialogue with residents of the removed communities, or viable options for removal.

Issues with NUTH reached their boiling point in February during protest at the Public Defender’s headquarters. Adding to the conflict was Adriana Brito’s ( a former NUTH employee) comments, stating “Many of these social movements are associated with political parties, this made it look like NUTH was associated with these movements.”

Source: Folha de Sao Paulo