On 4th November 2015 the APAC of “Santa Luzia” Town received the European Comission composed by the Congressman Paulo Rangel (Delegation president of Relationship with the Brazilian Republic); Congressman Antonio Marinho e Pinto (First vice-president of the delegation for Relationship with the Brazilian Republic); Congressman Carlos Zorrinho (second vice president of the delegation for Relationship with the Brazilian Republic); Congresswoman Ines Cristina Zuber, and other workers of the delegation in Brazil and in the European Union.
A Brazilian Congressman called Durval Ângelo, who is a member of the FBAC directorship and the leader of the government in the Congress of Minas Gerais State, welcomed the European congressman and women, saying: “I started my public life in the Small Christian Communities, in the Commission of the Land, called CPT, and the fight for human rights. APAC is a concrete alternative for the restoration of the human rights and serving the sentence with dignity. There is in our days an industry of the prisoners, witch spread terror and fear, forcing some Brazilian States to do special laws in order to benefit them. This industry is growing very much. The APAC is different of all this. APAC is not an idea of somebody lightened. Who build APAC are the prisoners, called “Recuperandos”, means Recovering Person. Between rights and wrongs the APAC prison is growing and offering to the recuperandos a new life, together with their families, friends and neighbors. The local government is committed with the maintenance and extension of the APAC. We welcome you all and are happy to offer this system to the world. If it went well here, certainly it will do well in other places also.”
The Portuguese Congressman, Sr. Paulo RANGEL, explained the objective of the visit.
“We are looking for a health relationship between the European Union and Brazil. We do not want only an economical and commercial relationship, but a politic, humanitarian, social and cultural relationship. Our objective to visit APAC prison is to know it better, so that we can help it and show it in Europe. I am very impressed with what I am seeing. Surely we are going to share this experience of Social Innovation, which can be extended also in Europe. We realize that there are many humanitarian problems in the traditional prison, generating enormous relapsed in the crime. If there is this experience which prevents relapsing, recover the person and contribute for the society, we should support it. I am convinced about this system and its advantages.”
At the end of the visit, one time more, Mr. Rangel said to the recuperandos: “We are very moved by the APAC and for building citizens for the society. We are sure that the support the European Union gives to the project will be well used. We see a big effort for the recuperation to take place and for people to go back to their families, differently of what we have seeing in many prison systems in other countries which insists in disrespect the human rights. I leave you a word of courage to continue, so that very soon, in freedom, you may give your testimony to your community so that they can believe and support APAC. I can see here with my eyes and listen with my ears. With you we can learn that we can change the world we live in. For us it is very comforting to know that the support we give you, also if we are 8 km far from you, it is used to form citizens and good man for the Brazilian society.”
Valdeci Ferreira, who is the executive president of FBAC, concluded the visit saying to the Congressman, Congresswoman and other visits: “The APAC prison is not a finished system. It has been built for almost 43 years. It is a system which works well because it respect the prisoners, valorize them, form them and prepare them for their return to the society. We thank all our partners. Together we are going to revolutionize the world system prison. What was never taught in the past, in our simplicity we are doing, building prisons without guns, without mistreatment, without violence, without police, without drugs, without cell phones. I have no doubt that this new century will be marked by the experience of APAC. We have the boldness of opening the prison doors of the entire world. If we look at the past, we realize that we have done a lot, but if we look at the future, we can see that we have not done the first step yet. In this sense your visit fills us with hope, because we sent you a project. Today the bigger challenge of FBAC is giving assistance to the APACs outside Brazil. The bigger hope is that, receiving you visit, by God´s will, our project may be approved so that we can continue our mission of opening the doors of the entire world prison.”
Some days after the visit of the European Commission, FBAC received the news that the Project was approved. FBAC thanks everybody who believes this work and helps it, in so many different ways.