|Claudiane Malachi Nogueira|
The publishing assistant Claudiane Malachi Nogueira, 24, an employee of SINDETUR/MA (Sindicato do Turismo do Estado do Maranhão or Union of Tourism of the State of Maranhão), was verbally abused by the building owner of Royal Center, located at Avenida Daniel de La Touche, in Cohama, in São Luís, on the 29th.
According to reports contained in the Boletim de Ocorrência (incident report) filed at the 7th Police District, in the neighborhood of Turu, Claudiane said that businessman and building owner Carlos Laerte Alan Coutinho went to the Sindetur/Ma office to pick up a late rent payment and asked her to sign a locational debit document. After she signed the document, Coutinho asked why she did not make the payment. She replied that she didn’t have cash on hand and that her boss was away.
Outraged, Alan Coutinho began to insult the girl. “Neguinha, macaca (little black monkey), your place is in the trash, along with your family. My building already has too many blacks. You are dirtying up my building,” said the building owner.
Many people witnessed the verbal assault, but only one was willing to testify to the fact.
On Facebook, a friend of Claudiane wrote: “I just saw the BO in question, where the employee of the Journal of Bidding of SINDETUR-MA (Claudiane Nogueira) claims to have been the victim of RACISM! (It’s) Unacceptable nowadays that a citizen thinks they are better than another because of COLOR!! The owner of Royal Center (building where I work) has called monkey, negrinha and that she shouldn’t work here because there are already too many BLACKS here in the building (He already sent me away!)!! I hope Sindetur-MA/Jornal of Bids has a firm and energetic attitude because, nowadays, this is an abhorrent attitude.”
Royal Center building in São Luís, Maranhão
In regards to the outrage of her friends, Nogueira, originally from the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, said she would enforce her rights as a citizen in small claims court and would not let the situation go without action. “I was never so offended in my life! I’m going to fight this and I’ll show this citizen who this negrinha is here!” said Claudiane.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, Nogueira initiated proceedings of a suit against Coutinho, owner of the Royal at the Juizado Especial (Special Court) of CEUMA. She accused the businessman of having committed a crime of racism. The first hearing on the case was scheduled for Nov. 23. She says she was willing to take the case to the attention of the local and even national press.
Incident report filed by Nogueira
“He’s thinking that everyone is a layperson,” argued Claudiane Nogueira. According to her, after he insulted her and having taken notice of the legal action taken by the victim, Coutinho tried to defend himself saying that his company worked with “several blacks.” She reported that the greatest difficulty she encountered in registering the report at the police station was the refusal of people who witnessed the incident to testify in her favor; some out of fear of retaliation, such as summary dismissal, and others for sheer neglect.