Note from BW of Brazil: This is a follow-up to a story we presented yesterday. In yesterday’s post we pointed out the race factor and how Afro-Brazilians, regardless of their education or credentials, are always seen as “suspect” by Brazilian authorities. As it turns out, the imprisoned woman’s mother sees the writing on the wall too!
It’s easy to blame a ‘neguinha’ says mother of woman arrested after death of Italian woman in Jericoacoara
Courtesy of Ceará Agora
From her home in the Baixada Fluminense region of Rio de Janeiro, the retiree Valdicéia França, 63, hasn’t managed speak with her daughter, Miriam França de Mello, 31, since she was arrested last Monday (29/12), in Fortaleza, suspected of involvement in the murder Italian woman Gaia Molinari.
She was found dead on the 25th, strangled in Jericoacoara on the coast of Ceará. Mirian, who traveled with Gaia, has been placed in preventative prison for 30 days, for contradictions in her statements, police said.
“I tried to talk to her by phone, but they said that they could not make the connection or pass messages. The police saw a neguinha (little black girl) (1), poor, and tourist and it’s easy to put the blame on her,” Valdicéia told the newspaper Folha de São Paulo, in the edition this Saturday (01/03).
“If it was my daughter dead, would the Italian woman be arrested? It’s racism. The commissioner said that she will keep my daughter imprisoned until she collaborates. What does that mean? They want to force her to confess to a crime that I know she would never do,” she added.
The Folha de São Paulo newspaper couldn’t find a representative of the Ceará police for comment.
The last time that she spoke to Mirian, on Christmas, her daughter made a prayer request. “She told me: I am very ill mother, a friend of mine died. Pray for me and for her soul. I’m now in a spiritual center to pray for her too,” she recalled.
A doctoral student at the Institute of Microbiology at UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro), Mirian has lived alone since the age of 20, she passed the vestibular (entrance exam) for a Chemistry course at the same university.
Until 29, she lived in the UFRJ accommodation, aimed at low-income students. Two years ago, she began to share an apartment with Raquel Albuquerque, 27, a course colleague.
“She invited me to travel, but I didn’t have any money and didn’t go,” said Rachel.
According to her friend, while she was giving her testimony, Mirian came to talk to her by cell phone message. “She told me that on Christmas Eve she was waiting for Gaia to return to Jericoacoara to go to Canoa Quebrada, but Gaia didn’t show up, not even for dinner,” she said.
“They arrested her because of her skin color. The only thing that weighs against her is the fact of her being black. It’s discrimination.” At the moment, Mirian still hasn’t constituted an attorney.
Professor Maria Bélio that counsels Mirian at UFRJ, said that the university is in contact with public defenders in Fortaleza, who should take on the case.
“She is an applied, studious student. We know that by the nature of Miriam, she would never commit a murder.”
Source: Ceará Agora
1. The term neguinha, a diminutive form of the term negra, literally means “little black girl” and can be used in an affectionate manner or a pejorative manner depending on the tone of voice and context of a conversation. Numerous posts that feature the term can provide examples of its usage.