White acquaintance offers to sell "legitimate African negro in good state of health" in online auction site; police investigating

black Brazilians
Classified ad: “Legitimate African negro, only one owner, good state of health”

Note from BW of Brazil: OK, so three days and three straight reports of a ridiculous racist incident. One has to ask: “What’s next Brazil?” A few days ago BW of Brazil posted a racist “joke” involving  someone painted in blackface and being led by a white man by a chain, another photo with three white men giving a Hitler salute while standing next to what looked like another person in blackface tied to a pillar. Yesterday this blog brought you the idea of a Brazilian stylist to “homage” black Brazilian soccer players by having models walk the runway wearing scouring pad-like material on their heads, apparently representing Afro textured hair. 

Today, the story of a young white male in southern Brazil who advertised a black colleague for sale online as a “legitimate African negro”. Considering Brazil’s 350 year history of slavery and a report on slaves recently being freed in the very same state where this incident happened (Paraná), the lengths that some people will go for the sake of humor or other practices of bad taste never ceases to amaze me. 

Ad selling “legitimate African negro in good health”; case came to attention of police in Paraná

by Rafael Moro Martins

A classified announcement published at least ten days ago in the e-commerce, online auction site Mercado Livre offered, for “an agreed upon price”, a “legitimate African negro in a good state of health.” In the product description, the seller, who is not identified, says that this is “negro negroso (1), good for domestic service, manual labor, brick laying, etc.” A suspect from the city of Irati (145 km west of Curitiba, capital and largest city in Paraná) is being investigated by the police.

State of Paraná (left in red), city of Irati (right in red)

The announcement, #465763746, which on Wednesday (20) had a “finalized” status, was “liked” by 5,000 people on Facebook, reported the Mercado Livre at 5:30pm.

Student filed a suit in court against the ad that “would sell a negro”

A suspect of publishing the notice in lives in Irati. It is a young man who used it to tease a black colleague. The case went to the police. The local police chief, Jorge Luiz Wolker, opened an investigation and will prosecute the suspect, Luiz Henrique Seco Jacomel for “injury, aggravated by having been disseminated via the means of communication.”

Law 7.716/89, with which Wolker will base the indictment, deals with “crimes resulting from discrimination or prejudice based on race, color, ethnicity, religion or national origin.” The penalty for those who “induce or incite discrimination or prejudice based on race” is one to three years imprisonment and a fine. As it was committed via the media, the penalty can reach vary from two to five years in prison, plus fines.
“We are dealing with discriminatory prejudice,” the chief said. “In addition to responding to the police investigation, the author may be a defendant in an action for damages. It was a joke in bad taste, for which he will pay dearly.”
Luiz Henrique Seco Jacomel, accused of posting racist ad on Mercado Livre

On March 10th, Jacomel posted on the profile of João Victor dos Reis Neto the classified ad from Mercado Livre, preceded by the following comment: “Someone needs a slave, dammit? Cheap, only one owner.”

The next day, the suspect continued the act on his Facebook profile: “Promotion of the day,” he wrote on a link for the ad in Mercado Livre. Jacomel went even further with a message on Facebook saying that he’s selling for “very cheap” and has an “entire family” for sale but as this one is the youngest, he is the cheapest.

Jacomel posted that he has an entire family for sale

Jacomel must testify to the police next Tuesday (27). Sought for comment, he refused to say anything about the case and denied being the author of the posting on Mercado Livre. “The picture in the ad is not my client. We don’t know who made the ad, nor who posted it,” said the victim’s lawyer, Saul Henrique Boff.

Acquaintances at church

A sophomore in high school, João Victor dos Reis Neto, 18, said he met Jacomel in a group of young people who in a Catholic church that both attended in the city. “But we’re not friends, we only had contact there.”

A visibly shaken João Victor dos Reis Neto speaks to the press
Besides resolving go to the police, his family hired a lawyer, who promised to turn in remedial action for punitive damages by the weekend. After the publications, for which he was heavily criticized on social networks, Jacomel decided to apologize to João Victor. “When he arrived here at home, I was leaving to go to the precinct to register a police report. I accept the apology, but there is no way that I’m not pursuing the case. I am speaking not only on my behalf, but all blacks. Many people suffer silently with this. If there are damages, I will donate (them),” he said.
João Victor dos Reis Neto: “Many people suffer silently with this”

No punishment

Titular of the Center for Combating Cybercrime in Curitiba, the representative Demetrius Gonzaga was informed of the case by UOL and said there was no certainty that the site would be punished.

“I understand that anyone who offers this service needs to offer some debugging of published content, and is co-responsible for it. But this is still an issue much discussed, there is even consensus on it in the discussion of the future of cyber crimes law,” he said.

“It is obvious that service providers are against such liability because they would have more rigorous control of what is posted on their services,” explained the officer. “But we have some court cases making them responsible in similar cases.”

One of them, that became famous during the election campaign of 2012, led to the arrest of the general-director of Google in Brazil, Fábio José Silva Coelho. The company was held liable by the courts for maintaining videos on YouTube in which a candidate for mayor was accused of crimes.

Mercado Livre said through a statement that it is “a technology company that offers the user a space to announce their products and/or services for sale, bringing together the seller and buyer, who should negotiate directly.” “In order to use the MercadoLivre.com platform, both vendors and buyers must follow the Terms and Conditions of Use, which define appropriate practices to remain active on the site.”

The company also offers “a button of denouncement in all ads on the site for anyone to denounce actions that are against the law, the Terms and Conditions of Use MercadoLivre.com, or offer to the community any apparent damage.” “Users who break the site rules have their profile canceled.”

According to the note from the company, Mercado Livre “has as a practice collaborating permanently with the authorities and put ourselves at their disposition whenever requested.”


1. Loosely meaning a really black, black, a black that does what most blacks do.

Source: UOL Notícias

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.


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