MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, January 27th 2021 - 11:17 UTC

 

 

Brazil denies racism but the Porto Alegre incident when a black man was beaten to death shows something different

Monday, November 23rd 2020 - 09:10 UTC
Full article 2 comments
A video showed 40-year-old welder Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas repeatedly being punched in the head by a security guard while he is being restrained by another at a Carrefour supermarket A video showed 40-year-old welder Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas repeatedly being punched in the head by a security guard while he is being restrained by another at a Carrefour supermarket

Emotions were running high on Saturday at the funeral of a black Brazilian man beaten to death by white security guards in an assault that sparked protests across the country.

A video taken on Thursday night in the city of Porto Alegre showed 40-year-old welder Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas repeatedly being punched in the face and head by a security guard while he is being restrained by another at a Carrefour supermarket.

The clip quickly went viral on social media.

In the presence of about 40 people, mostly relatives, Silveira Freitas was buried in a somber ceremony. The blue flag of his favorite football club, Sao Jose, was draped over his coffin.

“I hope that all the emotion that his death has caused will make our society better... that we teach the principles of equality in school,” his father said.

“We know how difficult it is to raise awareness, because the enemies of the fight against racism are currently in power,” Matheus Gomes, a left-wing official elected last Sunday to the Porto Alegre legislative assembly said.

“But I think people are starting to wake up. Young black people are taking to the streets in revolt to try to change this reality,” said the 29-year-old black historian, who attended Silveira Freitas's funeral.

Protests broke out on Friday – Black Consciousness Day in Brazil – in Sao Paulo, as well as the capital Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro, many in front of branches of the French-owned Carrefour supermarket chain.

Saturday morning, the slogan “Black Lives Matter” had been painted in Portuguese in large white letters on Avenida Paulista, an emblematic street in Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city.

Black British racecar driver Lewis Hamilton, a seven-time Formula 1 champion who has been hugely outspoken in his support for the “Black Lives Matter” movement, said in an Instagram story posted on Saturday that he was “devastated” by the news of “another black life lost.

”It's still happening and we have to fight to stop this from continuing,” he wrote under a photo of the protests in Porto Alegre.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

Disclaimer & comment rules
  • FortHay

    I fail to see how this shows racism. More likely it is yet another example of the all too common general brutality of law enforcement. The security guards were off duty cops. Police in Brazil, unfortunately, have a long and well documented history of brutality, coupled with corruption, low pay and poor training. While racism may have played a part in this tragedy, the evidence so far does not warrant the conclusion.

    Nov 23rd, 2020 - 05:10 pm 0
  • Jack Bauer

    The brutality unleashed against Joâo Alberto started when he punched one of the security guards in the face. He wasn't armed, nor did he threaten anyone's life, so looks like their reaction was out of proportion.
    And it's absurd that an alleged joke, probably misunderstood by one of the supermarket's female employees, could lead to such a stupid ending.

    But I agree with FortHay, to call the event racially-motivated, seems far-fetched....by the images of the beating, easy to see one guard is a 'mulato' (same as the victim) and the other that had his knee on the victim's neck/back, doesn't look totally white either...but that is irrelevant, as all that matters to suit the narrative of some radical movements, is that the victim be non-white....not particularly surprising when you consider that 56% of the population declare themselves either black or 'mulato'.

    Nov 23rd, 2020 - 09:07 pm 0
Read all comments

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!