Note from BW of Brazil: Here we have yet another tragedy to report that appears to be connected to race. Following the deaths of a 71-year old black man in Rio Claro, São Paulo, and the murder of a 63-year old black woman in the state of Paraná, this is the third brutal murder of an elder Afro-Brazilian. The use of the word “negro” in this sense once again shows that the term can used by blacks in a sense of pride but can also be used in offensive ways by persons who are not black. The words and dispute that would lead to this 66-year old man’s death are still not completely clear but this is how it is being reported at this point.
Man accused of killing another man turns himself in to the police
Shooter was a policeman and killed a public employee in a bar last Wednesday.
by Maria Clara Estrêla, Fábio Lima, Indira Gomes, Catarina Costa and Pedro Santiago
The man accused of murdering the public employee Cecílio Sousa, 66, after an argument in a bar in the city’s east zone turned himself in on Thursday (03) to the police. According to the chief of the 11th police district of Piçarreira, Wilon Gomes, the gunman, identified only as Braga, is a police officer and turned himself in at the Central de Flagrantes late Thursday morning.
“At the moment, we are awaiting a report from the Central and, from this, we will continue the investigation.” The accused appeared at the police station carrying the weapon used in the crime, a .38 revolver, and was accompanied by a lawyer.
The police chief Wilon already has already taken the testimony of the owner of a bar where the crime occurred on Avenida Presidente Kennedy. The man reported that overall, four shots were made against the public employee. “He said he heard the shots and when he went to see what was going on, he saw Braga placing the gun in his waistband and climbing on a bike,” he informs.
Braga should be indicted for murder and the penalty for this crime could be a maximum of 30 years in prison. He spoke with the delegate on duty in Central de Flagrantes and then left. He turned himself in 17 hours after the crime was committed. According to Gomes, he was not arrested because he was not caught in the act.
In the affidavit, the owner of the Bar do Maru bar, Mariano da Costa, said it was the third time the police came to his bar and the victim was frequent customer, but he didn’t hear an argument before the shots were fired because he was behind the counter. He reported that he heard only four shots.
Before dying, the victim argued with the killer for being called “negro”.
Cecílio Sousa Santos, 66, lived on Avenida Presidente Kennedy and returning from work with two colleagues. Witnesses report that the three stopped at the bar to pay a bill. Cecílio ordered a beer and the others a soda.
Witnesses reported not knowing how the argument began, but confirm that the accused offended Cecílio, who retaliated by saying “respeite as caras (or “respect us/the guys).” Colleagues decided to leave and Santos decided to speak to the aggressor after the squabble. He then took a number of shots and died.
According to Antônio Gomes da Silva, a colleague of the victim and who was with him at the time of the crime, Sousa arrived at the bar around 4pm when he was offended by Braga who identified himself as a police officer.
“Cecílio came, paid a bill and ordered a beer. After this, Braga offended him calling him ‘negro’. Angry, Cecílio stood up above the man, who pulled out a gun and shot. We ran and he gave him two more shots,” said Gomes.
For Assunção Aguiar, the coordinator of the Movimentos Sociais e Igualdade Racial of SASC (Secretaria da Assistência Social e Cidadania or Secretary of Social Assistence and Citizenship), these incidents of prejudice of color, race or sexual orientation are lamentable and still exist in Piauí on a great scale.
According to Aguiar, this prejudice decreases opportunities. She guarantees that in comparison, there is different treatment received by store salesperson applicants when the person’s skin is black.