17- year old black teen killed by Military Police; police pepper spray people trying to help, ambulance arrives after two hours

Marcos Vinícius Heleno


Note from BW of Brazil: The relentless war on black teens continues in the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Year after year, reports show that Afro-Brazilian youth are 3.7 times more likely to die in a violent manner than white youth, but the bodies continue to be taken to the morgue. Communities continue to call for the de-militarization of the police (a topic for which a black candidate for governor of a state was recently assaulted) while the government claims that safety in communities has improved since the “occupation” by special Military Police units. These types of senseless deaths are the reason for the recent marches against the genocide of the black population. All of the details of the story have yet to surface, but DO keep one thing in mind. After murdering people, it is a common practice for police to place weapons in the hand or near the corpse in order to connect the victim to criminality. 

17- year old black teen killed by Military Police; police pepper spray people trying to help, ambulance arrives after two hours

Courtesy of Jornal de Piracicaba and Rio Watch (by Nicole Froio)

A soldier from the Polícia Militar (PM – Military Police) of Rio de Janeiro identified as Jeferson Baquer will be heard on Monday (29) in the internal affairs of the PM to clarify why he mocked the death of teenager Marcos Vinícius Heleno, 17, the last Saturday (27), in the Complexo do Alemão of northern Rio, in a social network.

Amid posts of people who regretted what had happened on the young page, the officer wrote: “Acorda diabo, carne fresca chegou. Kkkkkkkk,” meaning “wake up devil, fresh meat has come, hahahaha.”

Military Police soldier made a crude comment about the teen's death in a social network
Military Police soldier made a crude comment about the teen’s death in a social network

In a statement, the PM said it “has identified the soldier who made ​​the comments and he will be heard by internal affairs.” The corporation did not say what kind of punishment he might suffer.

Marcos Heleno was shot dead around 1:30pm Saturday Terço Square in the Nova Brasília favela, in Complexo do Alemão. According to a spokesperson of the Coordination of the Polícia Pacificadora, UPP (Pacifying Police Unit) officers of Nova Brasília made ​​routine rounds in the community when they were surprised by shots by criminals. The police returned fire and struck the young man, who died on the scene.

According to police, a 9mm caliber pistol was found near the boy’s body. No one was arrested.

In the newspaper Voz da Comunidade, residents of Alemão said the ambulance arrived in the community only two hours after the shooting. Businesses in the region were closed and the cable car of the group of favelas (slums) was restricted from 1:55pm to 5:30pm — for security.

Cable cars in the community of Alemão came to halt after teen gunned down
Cable cars in the community of Alemão came to halt after teen gunned down

Marcos is the third young man killed in four months of unrest in Complexo do Alemão. Witnesses allege once he was shot down, the police did not allow anyone near to help, which led to his bleeding on the pavement.

“A working man was hit in Praça do Conhecimento,” a witness posted online. “He is agonizing and the police is pepper spraying anyone who tries to help. He is going to die because no one can help. He is one more innocent person.”

A video posted by the community’s internationally-recognized newspaper Voz da Comunidade shows Marcos on a stretcher, being taken to the hospital to the sound of desperate screams from his family.

A few residents blamed Marcos Heleno for getting involved with the wrong crowd, although there has been no indication from the authorities he was involved in any criminal activity: “I was born and raised in Alemão, I had family support, always studied in the same public schools everyone goes to. Even so, I never got mixed with anyone I shouldn’t. Life is made of choices,” wrote Luana.

Others blamed the Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) policemen for the killing of young black men in the favelas. “They are human beings and they shouldn’t be treated this way,” wrote Lais. “Unprepared policemen go to the streets without knowing what has to be done, with the objective of killing. When will this stop?”

The disappointment with the UPPs was apparent in several postings. Young Lucas wrote, “What this UPP is doing here is not cool. People we love are dying. People, this isn’t a pacifying unit, it’s a killing unit. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.”

Source: Jornal de Piracicaba, Rio Watch

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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