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Agenda 2023: experts point out what the Lula administration’s priorities should be for rebuilding the country

Faced with the scorched earth left by the Bolsonaro administration on indigenous, labour, human rights and environmental issues, ‘Repórter Brasil’ asked associations and activists: where should we start rebuilding the country?

Illustration: Suzane Lopes/Movimento1989

It is no easy task to calculate the magnitude of the many adverse policies implemented by the administration of Jair Bolsonaro (PL). It is even more difficult to calculate how to reverse the legacy of destruction, especially in socio-environmental and labour areas.

This trampled and devastated land with which President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) will have to deal includes undermining institutions responsible for curbing deforestation and fires, facilitating access to weapons, a skyrocketing number of conflicts, not an inch of demarcated indigenous land, environmental degradation, and suppressing crucial public policies such as the fight against slave labour.

The result of the presidential election provided an opportunity to discuss the future of the country based on a reconstruction agenda. But where should we start? Which should be the priorities of the Lula administration as of January 1, 2023?

Repórter Brasil heard experts, activists and NGOs that answered these questions in order to list what the government’s first measures should be in four major areas of interest: human rights, indigenous issues, the environment, and labour rights.

1. Human rights

Organizations point out land reform and gun control as priorities

Despite the relief with the end of the Bolsonaro government, movements that defend rural workers and quilombola people project four challenging years to implement measures that revert and repair social violations committed in the last four years

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2. Indigenous issues

Leaders claim that Lula must focus on demarcating land, strengthening FUNAI and evicting encroachers

Reviewing budget cuts that harmed areas such as protection of isolated indigenous groups also needs to be on the agenda; leaders underscore the importance of always making decisions together with native peoples

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3. Labour legislation

For experts, raising the minimum wage and reviewing the labour reform should be the priorities

For organizations in the area, measures to be implemented after the new President takes office must go beyond job creation to guarantee decent working conditions; strengthening the Ministry of Labour and reviewing the rights of app drivers are also crucial

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4. The environment

Fighting environmental crimes and strengthening law enforcement are top priorities

Experts also list protecting defenders of Brazilian biomes as a priority and point out challenges such as reviewing the budget for the environmental area, which was “drained out in the Bolsonaro government”

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Editing by Mariana Della Barba

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