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Note from BW of Brazil: Sometimes, after something depressing happens again, again and again and again, there are simply no more words to really express the sense of outrage and helplessness you feel in regards to the situation. Last December we posted an article entitled “In Brazil, Ferguson happens everyday”, in reference to the world headline making murder of Mike Brown by police that took place in Ferguson, Missouri in August of 2014. The point of the piece was spelled out precisely in the article’s title because, in fact, there seems to be a Mike Brown type of police murder happening somewhere in Brazil everyday. Another reality is the fact that, if the only focus of this was the murder of black youth, only on the part of the police, there would be enough material to cover every day of the year. Actually, a few stories a day! Sadly, the senseless extermination of black youth claimed yet another victim on Tuesday when 11-year old Herinaldo Vinícius da Santana was killed by a police bullet with about 80 centavos (about US 22 cents) in his hand. There’s simply nothing more to say about this case, but the details and video are below…
11-year-old boy dies in clash in Caju and protest closes down Linha Vermelha
Command of the UPP will remove Military Police who participated in the action in Favela Parque Alegria
By Felipe Martins, Diego Valdevino and Guilherme Santos
11-year old boy Herinaldo Vinícius da Santana, 11, was killed on Wednesday afternoon in Caju
An 11-year-old was shot dead Tuesday afternoon (22nd), during a confrontation between agents of the Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora (Pacifying Police Unit or UPP) and drug traffickers of the Parque Alegria community, in Caju. According to information from locals, the boy had been shot in the back. Herinaldo Vinícius da Santana was taken by residents to the Unidade de Pronto Atendimento (UPA or Emergency Unit) of the Complexo da Maré, but he succumbed to his injury. The coordination of the UPA said Herinaldo arrived at 4pm and resuscitation maneuvers were made.
There are reports that the boy was playing in an alley in the community when he was hit. A video made by residents shows Herinaldo wounded on the ground, already unconscious. Desperate, a man shouts: “He’s already dead.” Then he is helped into a black car and taken to the UPA. O Dia online chose not to publish the recording due to its very graphic content.
After the boy’s death, the climate heated in the community and residents came out to protest in the two main expressways of the city: Avenida Brasil and the Linha Vermelha. The latter even stopped traffic for 20 minutes early on Tuesday evening. Drivers reported moments of panic and many abandoned cars after hearing shots. Motorcyclists afraid of an arrastão, went against traffic.
A resident of Vila Isabel, vendor Gabriel Barreiro, 21, spoke of the moments of tension. “Suddenly everyone was stopping and opening a passage for the cars of the MP and BP Choque. The mopeds went back against the grain. After the lane opened, we saw the gas bombs and everyone was terrified,” said Gabriel.
Agents of the Batalhão de Policiamento em Vias Especiais (BPVE or Special Police Battalion in Special Vias) managed to free the path. However, about 30 minutes later, protesters closed the side lane and the reversible lane of Avenida Brasil, at the height of Benfica. Military Police in response, launched stun bombs to disperse the protest on the road. On Facebook and Twitter, drivers said stones were thrown at pavement of the cars. There were no reports of injuries during the demonstration.
Agents of the Homicide Division of the Capital (DH) will hear family members and PMs involved in the action. The Coordinator of Pacifying Police (CPP) decided to open a Military Police Inquiry (IPM) to investigate the boy’s death.
Agents of the UPP of Caju that patrolled the location where the minor was shot will be taken off street duty and will work in administrative jobs. The confrontation of the police was with criminals of the faction Amigos dos Amigos (ADA or Friends of Friends), that still resists the presence of UPP, which has occupied the Complexo de Caju since 2013.
Deaths of four boys
The death of Herinaldo Vinícius was the fourth case of a child killed in a shooting this year. In January, Patrick Ferreira de Queiroz, 11, died in Camarista Méier in Lins. In April, Eduardo de Jesus Ferreira, 10, was shot dead on a doorstep, in Complexo do Alemão, during a clash between police and drug traffickers. Earlier this month, a bullet struck the chest of Cristian Andrade, 13, when he played ball on a futebol field in the Manguinhos community. At the time, O Dia revealed a sad statistic from the Ministry of Health: 50 children under the age of 14 were killed by security agents between 2001 and 2012.
Near Caju, another confrontation left residents frightened yesterday. In Parque União, inside Complexo da Maré, police officers from the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) exchanged fire with drug traffickers in the region. No one was injured. After the confrontation, agents seized 11 kilograms of a cocaine base paste. The material was sent to the 21st Precinct (in Bonsucesso).
“I can’t take publishing news of murdered children anymore”
Artur Voltolini, editor of Favela 247, wrote an article lamenting the murder of Herinaldo Vinicius de Santana, 11, and the naturalization of violence in the country: “How many friends of Herinaldo didn’t go to the beach last weekend? Could it be that they went only ‘to enjoy’? Or did they go to ‘slander’? I don’t know, but the desire that I have now is to walk around in shorts, no shirt and no money, making a sad arrastão in solidarity in protest of all the black children who will still die within the slum where the state wants them in prison for being too ‘vulnerable’ to get out of there”
“I can’t take publishing news of murdered children anymore”
By Artur Voltolini
On the last day of December it will be two years that I edit Favela 247, and during that time I have lost count of how many youth and children killed by the police that I have published. And worse, I have also lost count of how many deaths of young people in favelas (slums) have passed by me without being published. It is very sad to realize the process of naturalization of this absurd violence within yourself. I am an editor, curator of content, I have personal limitations and editorial lines to follow, this channel is not a police serial. According to Amnesty International, more than 20,000 black and poor young people are murdered every year in Brazil. The percentage of these crimes that didn’t become a report don’t come to one decimal place.
Last night I received a message at Favela 247 from an anonymous Facebook profile with a horrific video showing a dead boy in the Caju favela. I don’t know if it was just me, but I had the impression of having seen him there his last breath of life. I didn’t yet have enough information to make a story, and the office closed. The boy’s image accompanied me throughout the night.
The dead boy this morning had already a name: Herinaldo Vinicius de Santana, 11. He was running down an alley to buy ping pong balls when a police officer got “scared” because of the scene and he took a rifle shot in his chest. I received another video in which residents, crying with rage and grief, pointed out the police soldier accused of the barbaric act. I don’t know if the officer is a monster, or was passed his six months (yes, six months) of training for police, armed with war rifle in a slum with UPP, he could have really been scared.
It’s all too sad, horrible and too cynical. It’s worth getting enraged because I know nothing, but absolutely nothing is being done to change this situation. And I know that while I work here I’ll give a bunch a bunch of reports about murdered children in slums occupied by armed security forces for war.
And meanwhile the governor of this mess says it will arrest everyone who is in shorts and no shirt and no money on the way to the beach. And the mayor of this consortium says that poor youth doing an arrastão on the beach is not a social problem. How many of Herinaldo’s friends didn’t go to the beach last weekend? Could it be that they went only ‘to enjoy’? Or did they go to ‘slander’? I don’t know, but the desire that I have now is to walk around in shorts, no shirt and no money, making a sad arrastão in solidarity in protest of all the black children who will still die within the slum where the state wants them in prison for being too ‘vulnerable’ to get out of there.
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