Note from BW of Brazil: This June all eyes will be on Brazil with the beginning of the 2014 World Cup. But until then, a number of incidents have been earning the world’s attention for completely different reasons. The incidents show a Brazil that continues to display signs of social chaos. One incident in which a boy was beaten, stripped naked and tied to post has been covered thoroughly on this blog. The other two also attracted international headlines. The most recent involved a cameraman of a major television network being hit with fireworks as he recorded images of a clash between police and protesters against the increase in bus fare price in Rio.
The first incident, from January 23rd, shocked the world as an assassination was caught on video in broad daylight. The shooter and the victim, both having criminal records, are examples of the vast social inequalities that Brazilian officials have yet to adequately address. And, as such, it doesn’t seem that these types of senseless crimes, or equally criminal police actions, will cease any time soon. But who cares, right? Like the great Pelé said last month, we should all just focus on the World Cup because Brazilians will “ruin the party”. So good to know that “The King” of soccer thinks that the preparation for the Cup, which costs more than the two previous combined, is so important with such serious social issues at hand!
The recent history of Brazil in three acts
By Eustáquio José
There are several ways to tell a story. I chose one. It’s not even close to be the mildest, the most cinematic, which fits into a fairy tale of a Brazil, home to the World Cup and a festive, courteous and friendly image. This way of telling the story could earn a lot of criticism for being so rude, for being so strong, for being so surly, but I will not desist from telling it. I need to do this. With the obligation of indignation that a citizen has I bring strongly this image and history that is behind us and ask you, what country is this? Regardless of a leftist or rightist connotation, or any other form of perception, regardless of whether you are in the north, northeast, the midwest, the south or southeast. It doesn’t matter. Just read this story and what this country has become.
First act: black boy, nude and pinned to a pole.
Black boy, naked, beaten, although he had stolen and had already been seen in the neighborhood, nothing justifies savagery and “justice” in one’s own hands. What sustains it? Why does this kind of justice win support from media, the press and people who call themselves “good”?
Second act: journalist dies in a demonstration after being hit by a firework
A journalist from a television station (Rede Bandeirantes) has been announced brain dead after being hit by a firecracker in a demonstration. He, a cameraman, working in the transmission of the protest, another protest, when he was hit by a firework. Again we are faced with questions: why him? What was missing in the situation so that these protests would not have happened and the firework had not been thrown and hit this citizen-worker? Why have we not understood where this great and constant inequality goes that allows protesters and criminals, cops and criminals, politicians and criminals to walk so closely together?
Act three: Young man murdered in broad daylight.
The video is graphic and shows an execution in broad daylight. An execution with the element that it has is crueler than the null chance of defense. The terror seen by any person demonstrates that “parallel power”, brute force, along with the legalized violence of the state concerns everyone. The state violates through its police, but does not do it to solve inequality, but increasingly nourishes it. How do you change this? There is no miracle, nor will there be! This is the great circus that expects that people who govern us are actually thinking about us. They are not. And this scene seems to be a symptom of what everyone is looking at, doing what they want and trampling on the social, while the laws are still debating who is the subject and object of the law.
Three gruesome acts of this country. Three real facts and of our frightful reality. All happened this week. All were close to one another by the trivialization of violence, crime, and the undoing of the other. The “justiceiros (vigilantes)”, performers and “protesters” seem to land side by side within the same reality. The days are always the absolute uncertainty in knowing: what is this human being capable of tomorrow?
This week I was faced with an attempted robbery near where I was. What happened? The usual: someone stricken by drugs wanting, with crime, to get more. A double sentence of marginalization for a contumacious application of the law. Stuck in front of being arrested and the girl, the youth who would have been burglarized, courageously scared, managed to resist. Do you see any good guy in this story? I see two victims and a situation getting worse in this country: all the poor and blacks are guilty. All civil and common society is guilty. All those who are not rich are guilty. Only them. The bungalow and souvenirs are credit of these, our days: Brazil SA (anonymous society). How to think and who to punish?
Man assassinated in broad daylight in Rio: Warning! Strong images!