Caro Gonçalo,

Obrigada pela mensagem. I am replying as Board liaison to the Affiliations Committee. 

Wikimedia Portugal received its suspension notice on July 2018, along with a roadmap to resolve its outstanding issues and a deadline, October 30th. You were to:

* Organize General Assembly meetings that comply with the relevant portions of the Chapter's bylaws and applicable local laws and have a valid Board by September 15th, which you submit you did on September 1st.
* Complete and submit the required overdue chapter 2017 financial reporting, which you submitted on September 2nd.
* Submit a plan for active contributor involvement and improved chapter capacity, which you submitted on October 1st.

Further concerns related to the ability to manage conflicts and to fulfilling the basic transparency and disclosure commitments of your jurisdiction and your governing documents in order to ensure open participation.

As you know, the Affiliations Committee is currently reviewing the documentation provided, and WMF has engaged the relevant Portuguese legal expertise to ascertain that the September 1st General Assembly was indeed valid and in accordance to your bylaws and local law. The Affiliations Commitee is being thorough with its due diligence, as per our values. I do not diminish the strain this situation must hold for the members of Wikimedia Portugal, while you await for AffComs' decision in the next few days, nor the efforts you must have taken to improve the situation and reactivate the local community - but we do come from a situation where the chapter was not in compliance and was suspended, and there has to be a review to determine its future viability. While it is regrettable that the review may take a longer time than you might perhaps have expected originally, it seems unavoidable under the circumstances. Your characterisation of AffCom is unjust, we all want a strong, active and engaging affiliate in Portugal - and I would make the argument that you'd be the most invested in having AffCom conduct the most thorough review possible, vis a vis the movement and your own local community. Your appeal to the Board is premature, when AffCom has made no decision yet. I urge you, in this period of uncertainty, to try to set an example and not give in to frustration, challenging as it may be.

Wishing you the best, 

Kind regards,


El jue., 25 oct. 2018 a las 12:21, (<>) escribió:

Dear members of the Board of Trustees,

We are writing to you in regards to the lifting of the suspension of Wikimedia Portugal (WMPT) as a Wikimedia Affiliate.

As you may know, WMPT received a suspension notice in July from AffCom, and was given a roadmap to follow that would lead to our de-suspension. During the past months, we have followed the roadmap carefully and diligently. Despite that, AffCom has now raised the possibility of de-recognition, for unclear reasons, while acknowledging that the roadmap was fulfilled ahead of the deadline.

From the start, AffCom seemed to us to have served as an echo chamber for the unsubstantiated claims of our former president, João Vasconcelos, and has made decisions that seem to be based on a superficial reading of the Portuguese Civil Code. We are certain that if AffCom had NOT intervened, the situation in Wikimedia Portugal would be much more stable by this time and the conflict with João Vasconcelos would probably have long been resolved. From the very beginning we have been in close contact not only with AffCom, but also to Wikimedia Legal and Trust and Safety departments, which have helped us deal with some of João Vasconcelos’ attitudes, and protect the Wikimedia movement.

João Vasconcelos resigned as President of WMPT  in March of this year, and in May said he wished to leave the association. We did not prevent him from doing either, and it is unclear why he tried to derail our General Assembly of September 1st, and keeps making threats, legal and otherwise, to members of WMPT.  Our consciences are clear, and AffCom is witness that we tried to resolve the situation with João amicably from the start, but his actions are unfortunately no longer compatible with membership in our association, so we intend to take disciplinary action against him as soon as possible.

It is even more unclear to us why AffCom continues to make decisions without listening to all parties, and to make rulings without obtaining and reviewing proper legal advice. We are happy that finally, after we wrote a public appeal to AffCom, they are consulting with a legal expert (even though we have not been asked to provide any clarification to this expert nor participate in the process). But we worry that if there is an intention to de-recognize, other reasons could be raised to back such intentions, without us having a possibility to counter-argue. We would like your assurance that no de-recognition would happen without us being given a chance to hear and respond to any concerns.

Despite all this, Wikimedia Portugal is today on a sustainable path. We have been working with WMF departments in order to develop and improve our capacities, we had months full of activities, many more to come. But planing all this, along with João Vasconcelos’ menacing on top of AffCom’s inability to deal with our situation, left us reaching our physical, psychological, and motivational limit. A number of us have started to question whether continuing to contribute to this movement under these conditions is worthwhile.

We are at the mercy of AffCom and the Board of Trustees to remain an Wikimedia Affiliate. We are tired and broken from the lack of support of AffCom, and we feel that we have not been heard properly throughout the last six months. It is no longer sustainable to continue to have this shadow above us. We would like to ask the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees to allow us to prove, to you, to AffCom and to the Wikimedia Movement, that Portugal can have a vibrant Chapter that you can be proud of. Please help us by lifting this suspension.

Thank you for your attention!

Gonçalo Themudo

Wikimedia Portugal

Imagine um mundo onde cada ser humano pode partilhar livremente a soma de todo o conhecimento, na sua própria língua.


María Sefidari Huici

Chair of the Board
Wikimedia Foundation