RIO DE JANEIRO (Agencia Prensa Armenia) — The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Fernando Pezao, enacted Law 7046/2015 filed by Deputy Jorge Picciani, president of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Rio de Janeiro on July 21, which establishes April 24 in the city of Rio as the “Day of Recognition and Memory of the Victims of the Armenian Genocide” in its official calendar.
Rio de Janeiro is the fourth State in Brazil that has recognized the Genocide, along with Parana, Ceara and Sao Paulo. In June, the Brazilian Senate passed a vote of solidarity with the Armenian people for the centenary of the crime against humanity.
James Onnig Tamdjian, director of politics and international relations of the Armenian National Committee of Brazil, told Prensa Armenia that “the Armenian communities of Sao Paulo and Osasco always played a key role in the statements of local authorities in favor of Armenian claims.”
“In other Armenian communities of the State of Sao Paulo, such as the city of Sao Jose do Rio Preto, there are declarations of solidarity of the local legislatures with the Armenian people. The presence of Armenian families in other states such as Ceara and Parana was also important for political leaders to join in the cause,” he said, recalling the recognition by the Federal Senate.
“In the case of Rio de Janeiro the initiative came from the president of the Clube de Engenharia (Engineering Club) Francis Bogossian, son of one of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide, Jacob Bogossian, active member of the Armenian community in that city that fought for decades for the maintenance of Armenian history,” he added.
Clube de Engenharia is an organization founded in 1880 and now works as a “think tank” and participates in discussions of national development. On May 22, Francis Bogossian sent an official letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mauro Luiz Vieira Iecker, expressing the club’s support of the Armenian Cause and calling for Brazil to officially recognize the slaughter of the Armenian people as genocide.
Following these steps, Deputy Jorge Picciani introduced the bill in January, a project that was approved last week. The resolution of Picciani notes that “on April 24, 1915, dozens of Armenian leaders were arrested and killed in Istanbul. The slaughter was aimed to exterminate the Armenian people and characterized by the brutality and the use of forced marches with deportations that often led to death.”
“More than twenty countries recognize the genocide of the Armenian people, but the Turkish government denies that the deaths were intentional,” concludes the resolution.