Human rights defender
Aristênio is a human rights defender from Brazil who focuses primarily on civil and political rights. He is part of a collective called ’Movimentos: Drogas, Juventude e Favela’. The collective denounces violence against young and black population in Brazil, and the effects that the war on drugs have particularly in their lives. Together with his colleagues he travels to favelas, universities and conferences to inform the most deprived populations about human rights, Aristênio has a partnership with the Center for Security and Citizenship Studies (CESeC) through which he has carried out monitor projects. One such project was a national meeting which prompted research highlighting the positioning of Brazil’s black and peripheral youth in relation to the current and old drug policy. Apart from that, he is also a community teacher for a Preparatory Study Group which helps students from favelas to prepare to pass entry level exams for universities.
Human rights violations in Brazil
In recent years Brazil has faced an unprecedented level of police violence and human rights abuses, aggravated by the election of Jair Messias Bolsonaro in 2018.  Many proposals which threatened human rights and existing policy passed as legislation, including a statute providing that murder committed by military personnel against civilians would be tried by military courts, where judicial independence is not guaranteed. The findings of Amnesty International’s 2016/2017 country report demonstrates that violence and homicides had greatly increased, mostly affecting young black males. Favelas and other marginalized areas face frequent police brutality in the context of the so-called “war on drugs”, with Human Rights Watch documenting 64,000 killings in 2017.
Threats and harrasment
Aristênio has been threatened on multiple occasions by police who entered his home to intimidate him. In addition, he has received threatening messages on social media; both anonymous and openly from those who condemn his human rights work.