open letter to red cross international
DEAR BOARD OF THE RED CROSS INTERNATIONAL:
We represent the NGO BRASIL-LINK, www.brasil-link.org, an impartial, neutral and independent Civil Society Organization, that works as an agent of upholdment of both citizenship and environmental integrity in our region, without the aid of public funds. On behalf of the moral integrity of the Red Cross Institution, as an International independent and impartial organization, we are hereby addressing this letter. It has come to our attention and eyewitnessing that the Brazilian Red Cross volunteers that recently took part of the rescuing efforts on the mountainous countryside city of Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro state, in the wake of a major flashflood and landslide catastrophe dating 01/11/11, were submitted to unfair and rude treatment by local authorities, being prevented from working at disaster areas and expelled out of the Red Cross headquarters by armed forces of the Municipality of Teresópolis. Red Cross medical equipment, medications, food and toiletry donations were confiscated by Municipal authorities and their armed personnel, and doctors, nurses and a host of volunteers were prevented from entering the installations and therefore being denied their humanitarian mission. Both national and local representations of Red Cross, by reasons of either incompetence or political subordination denied whatever support to complaining volunteers. Such an embarrassment, I give my word as an eyewitness and president of Brasil-Link is a crime against humanity, for whilst volunteers tried to ward off the Municipality agents from that preposterous and surreal situation, human beings were suffering because of the so much needed however obstructed medical aid.
What we have witnessed was a revolting, disqualifying and slanderous act on the part of Red Cross local representative to publicly deny before the press that any such embarrassment and obstruction of Red Cross activities occurred as previously denounced by a Red Cross volunteer doctor and other Red Cross volunteers. Now in a final, conclusive act of hallucination the Mayor of Teresópolis issued yesterday 27/01/11 a press note in major Brazilian news media suing the Red Cross volunteer doctor for libel.
There are numerous other personal accounts of Red Cross volunteers who were denied access to disaster areas or who were morally abused by municipal authorities. The volunteers of Red Cross that helped at the catastrophe of Teresópolis are local residents as well as citizens from other many other cities across Brazil, that is spite of being betrayed and offended in their dignity, still pursued their noble mission. Red Cross International must investigate this incident and owes the general public, a formal request of apologies and demand the demoting of local and state Red Cross representatives since they are dishonoring the prestige of this institution and treated the body of volunteers as something estranged from the Cross and the Crescent.
Available for any further clarifications, please feel free to contact us.