Note from BW of Brazil: The theme of Brazil’s brutal Military Police and the countless assassinations of black youth is a frequently covered topic here on the blog. The story of little Joel, while well known in the northeastern state of Bahia, is one that has yet to be approached here….until now. As all of the other murders of black men, teens and youth by agents that are supposed to “serve and protect”, Joel’s killing caused outrage in a black community that has dealt with this type of senseless tragedy more times than one blog can cover. A documentary that was made about Joel has kept the case in the community’s memory and apparently the police is none to happy about it. Check out the story and brief history below.
Military police prevent screening of the film Menino Joel in Northeast Amaralina
by the newsroom of Correio 24 Horas
The Military Police said it would investigate the reasons for which prevented the screening of the documentary
On Saturday (August 3), Polícia Militar (PM or Military Police) prevented the screening of the documentary Menino Joel in Nordeste de Amaralina, which was to be shown through the Cine Maloca project, reported the Associação de Moradores do Nordeste de Amaralina (AMNA or Association of Residents of Nordeste de Amaralina, which is a neighborhood in Salvador, Bahia). According to a report published on the association’s blog, young association members were prevented by PMs to present the video and were threatened with truculence.
The police were heavily armed and claimed that the video incited the public against the police, according to AMNA. The youth tried to negotiate, offering the viewing of another documentary video, but the police stopped them, threatening them with weapons and claiming the World Cup operation as reasons for not allowing the screening of the film, according to the report.
The Cine Maloca project, which has been in development by AMNA since July, fortnightly displays videos and educational documentaries in various parts of the district. The aim is to promote discussion and community mobilization around the issues of violence, poor living conditions and the abandonment of the neighborhood by public authorities. This viewing would have been the third showing of the video documentary.
In the blog, the AMNA said it will continue with the show and will make an appeal to the Defensoria Pública do Estado (State Public Defender) and to the Ministério Público (Public Ministry) in order to secure the democratic right to freedom of expression. “We call for the solidarity of all people and democratic organizations that defend human rights to position themselves against more of this police violence against the population of Nordeste de Amaralina, sending letters of protest to the Command of the Military Police of Bahia and Governor Wagner and disseminating widely the banned documentary video,” read the text published last Saturday.
The Social Communication Department of the Military Police of Bahia said it will “investigate the reasons that would have prevented the screening of the documentary” and put their Ombudsman at the service of the community of Nordeste de Amaralina.
Joel died at home in 2010
Speaking to iBahia (news agency), the film’s director Max Gaggino said that he was not there at the time of viewing and stressed the importance of the documentary to the community. “I think that Northeast needed more visibility, because the family [at the time I was thinking about doing the documentary] was complaining about the lack of support and visibility through the media. They [the family] did not want it to be a forgotten case. Then I got excited. The film was made n order to have more visibility then the people embraced the idea,” he says.
The documentary deals with the murder of Joel da Conceição Castro, age 10, in 2010, during a police action in Nordeste de Amaralina. In June this year, the death of Joel’s cousin, Alberto Carlos Conceição Júnior, sparked protests in the Nordeste de Amaralina. According to family members, Carlos Alberto worked in a hotel and was off. He went out to meet some friends when he was killed during a police approach. The Military Police, in a statement, said that a squad car making a standard round in the area when it received shots by eight men, initiating a trade of gunfire.
Below is the full note from the Military Police
“The Military Police as an institution maintains the order of Law and of the democratic state of law, guarantees freedom of expression, it will determine the reasons that prevented the showing of the documentary Menino Joel on Saturday (August 3), in Nordeste de Amaralina.
The Military Police makes available to the community of Nordeste de Amaralina its Ombudsman, through 0800-284-0011 and website www.pm.ba.gov.br“
Joel was preparing to go to bed on November 22, 2010, when he was shot inside his home, in Nordeste de Amaralina. He was killed in an action of the 40th CIPM (Companhia Independente de Polícia Militar or Independent Company of Military Police) in the neighborhood and the local community has accused the military policeman Eraldo Meneses, and eight other officers, of being responsible for the death of the child.
The family claims that MPs refused to provide assistance to the boy, who had been wounded in the face. The father, the capoeirista (1) Joel Castro, saw the boy’s death a few hours later. Nine Military Police will respond to charges of second degree homicide for the crime.
Documentary Menino Joel (in Portuguese)
Source: Correio 24 Horas
1. Capoeirista refers to someone who practices the Afro-Brazilian martial art form known as capoeira.
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