Note from BW of Brazil: Sad news to report here. In a story that was originally reported here back in early April, with a follow-up report three weeks later, an elderly black man has died a little less than two months after sustaining severe injuries from a suspected neo-Nazi group who assaulted him while he worked. Here his death has been reported.
Benedito Oliveira Santana, 71, the car guard that was attacked by neo-Nazis in the early hours of April 6th in Rio Claro, a city a little less than 100 miles (187 km) from the capital city of São Paulo, died early Saturday (June 1st), at his home in Ipeúna in the interior of the state of São Paulo.
Santana didn’t overcome the severity of injuries of which he never recovered according to the family. After spending about 20 days in a coma state in the ICU unit of Santa Casa de Rio Claro, with a head trauma, he was discharged and returned home, but then had to be hospitalized again.
Last Thursday he was released from of the second hospitalization was taken to the house where he lives in Ipeúna. Severely weakened, however, the elderly gentleman could not speak and had to get around in a wheelchair. On Saturday morning, the suffering ended.
Family and friends will present the body in a wake. It is not certain whether he will be buried today or tomorrow morning in the town cemetery.
The car guard was attacked by punches and kicks, particularly in the head, when he had already fallen, by three young neo-Nazis when he was working at a nearby social club, the Grupo Ginástico Rio Clarense, in the city’s downtown area.
Hélcio Alves Carvalho and Axel Leonardo Ramos, respectively of 20 and 21 years of age, who were responsible for the attack, according to city police officers who appeared on the scene of the incident, said that they remained aggressive on the way to the police station: “Blacks have to die anyway,” they said, according to the police report.
Despite the severity of the crime, the two (there were three, the third is still at large), the Civil Police of Rio Claro, framed the case as serious bodily injury, the most beneficial framework, and not as attempted murder which has now been consummated.
According to police, Carvalho and Ramos, belong to a neo-Nazi cell from Ponta Grossa in the southern state of Paraná and remain imprisoned, in Cadeia Pública (Public Prison) of Itirapina, a city near Rio Claro. As the suspects were from Paraná, the São Paulo Civil Police made contact with the police in Paraná and found that the two accused were investigated for alleged involvement in neo-Nazi groups. In testimony, both denied their connection, but admitted that they are friends of people in the group. They also did not confirm the attacks, although they were identified by witnesses.
According to police chief Mário Antônio de Oliveira, who is investigating the case, the prosecution will become murder with intent to kill, with a penalty of up to 20 years in prison. In addition, they also account for the slight injury, of Sebastião Gonçalves de Oliveira, a 57 year man who is also black, who said he was assaulted by the trio when he tried to help Oliveira.
Oliveira’s son, José Donizete, said he was still disgusted with his father’s death. “Since it happened, I couldn’t understand why they did it. My father is peaceful, worked to help out at home, never drank and neither did he argue,” he said.
Benedito’s widow, Mrs. Maria Aparecida Zaqueu, 73, and one of his five children, Silvio Roberto Zaqueu Santana de Oliveira, said the elderly man never recovered from the blows he suffered, especially to the head. “We want justice, that’s all we want: Justice,” they said.
The suspects still do not have a lawyer, police said.
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