A black man was beaten to death by two security guards at a Carrefour supermarket in Porto Alegre, in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, on Thursday, on the eve of the Black Awareness Day that this Friday is marked in Brazil.
The victim was identified as João Alberto Silveira Freitas, better known as Beto, 40 years old. The two security guards, one of them, a member of the Military Police, according to G1, are in the custody of the authorities. THE The authors’ identity was not revealed, only that they are 24 and 30 years old. An investigation into the case was opened.
Videos of the beating began to be broadcast on social media last Thursday night and caused huge outrage, with several political leaders, including former presidents, reporting the crime.
In the images, it is possible to see two men, dressed in black, in what appear to be security uniforms, punching the victim several times. The assaults continue, even with the man immobilized on the floor.
The circumstances that led to the beating have not been fully clarified, however, according to the Brazilian press, the victim was involved in a conflict with a supermarket employee, who called the security guards. Then the two men began to beat the victim, who eventually died on the spot, despite the intervention of the emergency services.
The cause of death has not yet been determined, however, G1 says that a preliminary analysis points to suffocation, with a witness saying that, before he died, João Alberto Silveira Freitas said he was unable to breathe.
“I heard about the murder of a black man by the violent approach of security guards at the Carrefour parking lot. I know that there is already a request for an investigation being made by parliamentarians and the newly elected anti-racist group. But the images say a lot ”, said on the social network Twitter Manuela D’Ávila, candidate of the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) who is going to run for the second round of the municipal elections in Porto Alegre.
“The racism that structures the relations of our society needs to be faced head on,” he added.
Sebastião Melo, an opponent of Manuela D’Ávila in the second round of the municipal elections (scheduled for 29 November), considered the murder as “absurd”.
“I have just heard of the death of a black man by security guards from Carrefour in the northern zone here in Porto Alegre. Absurd! The scenes are shocking. Precisely on the national day of the fight against racism. Strict measures must be taken immediately! ”Said the candidate of the Brazilian Democratic Movement.
Former presidents Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff also condemned the murder. ”Racism is the origin of all the chasms in that country. It is urgent that we interrupt this cycle ”, said Lula, while Dilma stressed that the murder of João Alberto Silveira Freitas“ is revolting and shows the persistence of slave violence in Brazil ”.
Carrefour condemned the crime and announced the end of the contract with the security company, whose name has not been revealed, from that supermarket.
The news of the murder of yet another black man in Brazil came on the eve of Black Awareness Day, celebrated annually on November 20, in honor of Zumbi dos Palmares, a black leader who fought to end slavery, murdered in 1695.
According to data from the Atlas of Violence 2020, murders of blacks in Brazil increased by 11.5% in the last ten years, while those of non-blacks fell by 12.9%. In 2018, 75.7% of the people murdered in Brazil were black.
The same report also states that in Brazil, for every white woman victim of homicide, 1.8 black women are murdered. Of the 1326 victims of femicide in 2019, 67% were black, and they represent only 52.4% of the female population.
In addition, between 2008 and 2018, the homicide rate of non-black women fell 11.7%, while the death of black women increased by 12.4%.
Globally, Brazilian women accounted for 8% of homicides, but the risk of black women being murdered is 64% higher than that of white women, according to data from the Atlas of Violence 2020.
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