Note from BW of Brazil: In truth, I don’t know why anyone would be surprised with an incident like this. Brazil can continue to pretend as though racism isn’t a real problem and that no one is racist is they prefer, but in the meantime, people continue to experience racist acts and threats. Of course, the country of sun, samba and soccer doesn’t necessarily conjure up images of “white power” and racial hatred in the minds of most, the truth is, these types of groups, followers and organizations have existed for some time and have been expanding to different parts of the country in the past several years. This in addition to the infamous death squads that have killing Afro-Brazilians with impunity for years. WAKE UP BRAZIL!! While you remain in denial, people are being threatened and killed! According to the initial police reports, the possibility that the threats came from outside of Brazil is not being ruled out, but as there is also a history of racial hatred/extremism, it should also come as no surprise if it turns out to be Brazil’s own homegrown racists!
UFPA student in Altamira was the target of racist messages on Facebook. Police investigating.
Courtesy of ORM News
A police inquiry will investigate the death threats and racist offense published in social networks against a college student in Altamira, in the southwest section of the state of Pará. The victim, Sônia Regina Abreu, 27, who is from Medicilândia and is studying forestry engineering at the Federal University of Pará (UFPA) at the Altamira campus, reported the case to the Civil Police on Thursday (11).
The inquiry opened on the case has 30 days to be completed. The author of the messages can be sentenced to one year and nine months in prison.
The Ministério Público do Pará (MPPA or Public Prosecutor) of Pará and the Commission on Human Rights of the Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (OAB or Lawyers Guild of Brazil) will follow the procedure. Employees, teachers, technicians and students also discussed the issue on the UFPA campus in Altamira and drafted a letter of outrage and protest against the injúria racial (racial injury/slur) and act of violence committed against the student.
According to Sônia Regina Abreu, a person identified by the profile “Branco White” (branco meaning white in Portuguese) left the message on the page that she maintains on the Facebook social network. The text brought death threats because she was black. The posting also had other offenses of a racial slant. “In Altamira there’s no place for dirty blacks like you. (…) It’s time to clean up our city of this black plague. Neguinhas (little blacks) like you we rape you and then burn in order to not pollute the soil. (…) The place of the black is in the senzala (slave quarters) or six feet deep,” the message said.
The girl says that she was scared, but saved the post and deleted the profile “Branco White” from her group and took other measures. “On the morning of Friday (12), I filed a denouncement with the Federal Police (PF) and yesterday I registered a boletim de ocorrência (police report) at the civil police station in Altamira. I want to investigate, discover and a file a lawsuit by applying the law to those who did this crime. I was horrified. Now I am beginning to take more care with my internet and communication tools, like my notebook because I can’t imagine who it could be. It could be a person or a group. Any person becomes suspicious,” said the student.
After filing the complaint with the Federal Police, Sônia claims to have received more threats. This time by e-mail, sent at 1:48pm on Friday (12). The new message said that investigations would not succeed because the alleged assailant had left the message from the victim’s own computer.
“Good Morning! I’m going to say that you’re wasting your time going to the PF to figure out where that post was made. I’ll give you a little help … I posted it and I did it using your computer. You have a habit of leaving your computer everywhere and its pages open. It was very easy, like taking candy from a baby. When the police track it, it will go to your IP. Every time you access the internet I have access to your computer and everything it has in it. Ah! I used the network of the University also. So, you negra suja (dirty black) have no way of knowing who I am. But I know who you are and where you live. You are only the beginning. We’re going clean Altamira of this black plague. No place will be safe for negros in this city. I’m a genius. I have access to everything you search on the internet and I’m now using your IP to send you this message. Even more …” says the e-mail sent to the victim.
Prosecutors will prosecute the case
The promoter of justice and coordinator of the Center for Combating Domestic and Family Violence against Women of the MPPA, Lucinery Helena Resende Ferreira do Nascimento, is in contact with the lawyer Luana Thomaz, president of the Human Rights Committee of the Lawyers Guild of Brazil and with Altamira prosecutors, Rodrigo Aquino Silva and Antônio Manoel Cardoso. Both have a criminal assignment and are following the established police investigation. Lucinery Ferreira also made the nucelus available, if necessary, to put the victim in the network of state protection (social assistance, shelter and other measures).
Luana Thomaz said the author of the offenses to be investigated for inciting the formation of criminal organizations, such as grupos de extermínio (death squads). “It could also be a criminal organization involved, a grupo de extermínio, a gang,” she said. Police believe that they can locate the aggressor. “The Civil Police has effective mechanisms, working in partnership with the judiciary and the public prosecutor, to come to the authorship of that posting,” the commissioner Samuelson Igaki said.
For the Movimento Negro (Black Movement) in Pará, the case is serious and goes beyond a racial injury. “It is also a crime of racism because he generalized his hatred of the entire black population of the country. The important thing for us, the Movimento Negro, is that the perpetrator be punished.”
Police will request server logs
According to the commissioner Rodrigo Leão, superintendent of the Civil Police in the Xingu region, the case is being investigated by the commissioner Rubens Ribeiro, of Altamira, which has already opened a police investigation from police report registered by the victim.
“We will take appropriate steps to get the messages on Facebook and email. We should take a little more than 30 days because it involves servers from other countries. The person who committed these crimes will be held responsible for racial injury under Article 140, paragraph 3, of the Penal Code, and for threat, contained in Article 147 of the Code. The first offense can lead to a year and three months in prison and the second between one and six months,” said Leão.
Letter from college students repudiate the act
Employees, teachers, technicians and students from UFPA in Altamira drafted a letter of condemnation and protest against the act of racial prejudice and violence committed against a student of the institution.
“Verbal and/or physical assaults are not normal or natural. In Brazil, as these actions are considered crimes of racism according to the Federal Constitution and specific laws that impose penalties of up to five years in prison, plus fines, crimes resulting from prejudice and discrimination,” says the first part of the letter.
“I was shocked,” said the young woman threatened with death because of being black. Student says she never imagined being assaulted just for being black. Prosecutor says criminal connections should be investigated.
Courtesy of G1
The young woman who suffered a racial injury in Pará said she was scared after receiving threats of violence and death by email. “I was shocked. Never in my life did I imagine I would run into this issue. Seeing my name like that, exposed with such strong aggressions and death threats, because I am black,” tells the student Sônia Regina Abreu.
Sônia says the threats left her horrified. “It’s always been quiet here, there are a lot of people from the outside. Now the city is something else because many people move down here to work at the Usina Belo Monte (plant), so there are many people, the city became a thing that we don’t knows anymore. I don’t know the origin of this. I have no idea what motivated it,” she sighed.
On campus where young studying at the Federal University of Pará in Altamira, the academic community expects that the offenders are held accountable. “We hope that this case is actually resolved, and those who have done such an act should be punished,” said Ivonete Coutinho, coordinator of campus.
“It is an appalling situation. This person or this group that did this on the internet was directing racial prejudice at this girl and the raça negra (black race) as a whole,” said the prosecutor Lucinery Ferreira, who coordinates the nucleus of combating violence against woman in Pará.
According to prosecutor, groups who preach hatred against blacks act in other states and even outside of Brazil. Therefore, it is necessary that the police, besides identifying the criminal, investigate the connections of those responsible for the offenses. “If it were identified that it’s a movement with reflection overseas, even the Federal Police should get involved because it becomes a transnational crime. We’re in the first moment. Yesterday (15th) was the testimony of the victim, and now we are starting the investigation” she concluded.