Note from BW of Brazil: Today, in cities throughout Brazil, the Movimento Negro and other organizations will lead the Second Marcha (Inter) Nacional contra o Genocídio do Povo Negro ((Inter) National March Against the Genocide of Black People) and for good reason. Homicides in Brazil are utterly out of control and although international media doesn’t cover the fact, the numbers are similar to that of a country at war. While Afro-Brazilian youth and men and vastly over-represented in these statistics, black women are also the majority of women who die in a violent manner.
As police operations often lead to the same violent end, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that sometimes the same officers are responsible for such gross violations. It is the case of Lieutenant Rodrigo Medeiros Boaventura and Sergeant Zaqueu de Jesus Pereira Bueno, who were involved in the horrendous shooting and dragging death of Cláudia Silva Ferreira earlier this year. A report from last year showed that the two were also present in five other deaths including the August 15, 2013 shooting deaths of mother and daughter Maria de Fátima dos Santos and Alessandra de Jesus.
These victims, who our community will never forget, are the reason why we march!
Black women and violence
Courtesy of Justiça Global
The Second National March Against the Genocide of Black people
In Brazil, six in ten women murdered are black.
If violence that falls upon the black population in Brazil victimizes mainly young men, favelados (slum residents) and inhabitants of urban peripheries, it is equally important to draw attention to violence against black women – cases that generate still less impact.
Just this week, two cases of appalling violence against black women occurred in the city of Rio de Janeiro. On Sunday, in the Complexo do Lins, Joana Darc Brito was killed with two shots to the back. Residents tried to help her and were prevented by police from the local UPP (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora or Pacifying Police Unit). Moto-taxi drivers were able to take her to the hospital but it was too late. There is news that another woman, eight months pregnant, died amid police crackdown on protests by residents.
In March of this year, Cláudia da Silva Ferreira – woman, black, mother of four children – was shot during a police operation in Congonha in the Madureira area of Rio, and had her body dragged on the ground 350 meters by a police car that was supposed to have helped her.
In August 2013, Maria de Fátima dos Santos and Alessandra de Jesus, mother and daughter, were executed in an alley on the Quitanda morro (hill) in Costa Barros (see story below).
Stories like these are behind the increasing number of autos de resistência (resistance followed by death) in Rio de Janeiro, which has already reached nearly 60%. The shock that this data provokes also contains the warning: black women are also victims of police execution. And upon them also fall greater intensity of other forms of violence – obstetric, sexual, domestic and gender.
It is also for them, that the (Inter) National March Against the Genocide of Black People will take place. In Rio de Janeiro the concentration of the march is scheduled for 2pm at the Manguinhos train station.
Relatives of mother and daughter killed in shooting in Rio provide testimony
Maria de Fátima and Alessandra de Jesus were shot during a police operation. Relatives say that Fatima left Rio for fear of violence in the city.
by Mariucha Machado
Mother and daughter were killed during shootout
Relatives of Maria de Fátima dos Santos, 52, and Alessandra de Jesus, 24 – mother and daughter killed during a police raid on the Quitanda morro (hill) – in Costa Barros, in the suburb of Rio, on Thursday (15) provided testimony at the Homicide Division (DH) on the morning of Friday (16), according to the Civil Police.
The military police said they opened an investigation into the deaths. The Homicide Division is also investigating the case and have seized the weapons of the officers involved in the action. A crime scene investigation will be able to tell if the shots that killed the mother and daughter came from the guns of the police. In the operation, two men were arrested with guns and grenades.
The family accuses the military police and says that Alessandra had short hair and was wearing her husband’s denim jacket when she was mistaken for criminals by police. According to relatives, Maria de Fátima had gone to live in Sao Pedro da Aldeia, in the Região dos Lagos, a few months ago but often came to Rio.
“I lived in Costa Barros a long time and know how it is. The police come and don’t respect anyone in the slum. They come and take shots at all sides. PMs (Military Police) kill innocent people,” said the victim’s cousin, Janaína Manoel Mendes.
“It’s very difficult. Nobody knows what I’m experiencing. How am I going to bury two people like this. I can’t imagine. My mother and my sister were afraid of living there. But we couldn’t afford to live in a better place. The police don’t give you any relief. I was working in São Conrado when it happened. I’ll do whatever it takes for Justice. I cannot leave it like this,” said Alex de Jesus dos Santos, 23, M aria de Fátima’s son.
Fear of violence
According to Maria de Fátima’s sister, the service assistant Kátia Regina, the victim left Rio de Janeiro out of fear of violence. “Alessandra came to the Hospital Carlos Chagas alive, but my sister was dead. My sister was not living here because she always found it very dangerous. Maria de Fátima was very afraid of Costa Barros because of shootings and police operations,” she said.
“Both were very good people. Fátima worked for 11 years in a family house in Gávea. Her boss is in shock. She asked for a day off yesterday because she had found a piece of land in Costa Barros and wanted to show it to her daughter for her to move,” said Antônio Jorge, Maria de Fátima’s cousin.