Note from BW of Brazil: Ya know, this is far beyond tiring, outrageous, frustrating and draining. How long will keep going on? Short summary. Another death in Rio in which the Military Police are being blamed. Now while the murder of black youth throughout Brazil and police involvement seem to be a regular occurrence, we won’t jump the gun and make a judgement because there is still a dispute over this death. According to the community and the mother of the victim (a dancer known as DG on the popular televised variety show Esquenta), the police took yet another life. The official report is saying that the victim died as a result of a 23-foot (7 meters) fall.
Here’s my take.
According to residents, the mayhem started with yet another shoot-out between police and drug traffickers. Of course, we can ascertain if that is an established at this point, but as shoot-outs and innocent victims are common in the favela slums of Brazil, I’m would side with residents on this report. Also, assuming this is true, even if police didn’t directly kill DG, they are would be indirectly responsible if they indeed invaded the slum and sprayed bullets as they always do. There’s of course more to come on this story, but below are the initial report and photos.
Police accused of murdering dancer Douglas Rafael
Courtesy of Pragmatismo Político and DCM
‘I’m sure he was tortured’, says the mother of a dancer found dead in Rio de Janeiro. The body of Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira was found in a daycare center in the Morro Pavão-Pavãozinho neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro. Police are suspected of the crime.
Maria de Fátima Pereira, mother of Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira, the dancer known as DG on the Globo TV variety show Esquenta, believes that her son that was found dead Tuesday in a Morro Pavão-Pavaozinho nursery in Copacabana, in south zone Rio, was tortured before he died. “I’m sure he was tortured. People say they heard screams and many community residents have said this,” she said on Wednesday morning.
The housewife believes that DG had been tortured by police since he was found with a dent on the right side of his skull, a cut on his right eyebrow, a bruise on his nose and marks on his back. “He was found in a position as if he had been fighting,” she said. Maria also said that DG was found with no documents or R$800 (US$359). His ID and passport only showed up at the 13th Precinct. “The documents were wet him just like he was,” she said.
Also according to Maria de Fátima, about two years ago, when still working as motor taxi driver, DG had the vehicle seized by the MPs. “The police filled the tank of motorbike with sand,” his mother said. Days later, the bike was stolen. One resident told the family that the bike was taken in a pickup driven by the UPP officers themselves.
For Fátima de Fatima, the last image that will remain of her child is the memory of him dressed as a rabbit in the Easter Special of Esquenta program, where Douglas handed out chocolate to children and danced happily. The body of DG was scheduled be veiled on Wednesday at 5pm. The funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 3pm in the João Batista cemetery in Botafogo.
Protest intercepts Avenida Nossa Senhora in Copacabana for more than five hours
Angered by the death of the dancer, residents of Pavão-Pavãozinho last Tuesday at around 5pm, closed the main streets of the neighborhood setting up barricades and setting objects on fire. Fear spread throughout the neighborhood. The PM was called and there was shooting. A 30 year old man was found dead on a soccer field in the slum, and one 13 year old, identified only as Mateus, was shot in the head. Hundreds of people remained in the street unable to return home.
According to the Military Police, policing was reinforced in the favela (slum) with the effect of several UPPs, the 23rd BPM (in the Leblon area of Rio), the 19th BPM (Copacabana), battalions of Special Operations (BOPE) and Shock troops. Subway access to Rua Sá Ferreira of the General Osório Station was closed, as was the Sá Freire Alvim Tunnel, which connects Raul Pompeia and Barata Ribeiro streets. Traffic had to be rerouted through Rua Miguel Lemos (street). Avenida Nossa Senhora (avenue) of Copacabana was just liberated at around 11:30pm.
The confusion began shortly after the body of Douglas was found inside the Menino de Luz daycare in the community. Residents accuse police of killing the dancer. According to them, there was a shooting early in the morning between MPs and drug traffickers. Douglas allegedly jumped the daycare center’s fence to escape from the confrontation and plummeted from a height of seven meters. But relatives believe that the dancer has been attacked by MPs during the confusion.
In a statement, Civil Police reported that the analysis of the IML (Instituto de Medicina Legal) showed that DG’s bruises were “consistent with death caused by a fall.” The dancer’s mother challenged this version: “He didn’t fall, he was injured. He had kick marks in his back and ribs.”
“[Military Police] and beat him when they saw he was a boy from Globo (TV) they tried to hide the body. My son would be another Amarildo if they had not seen his body,” she said.
Regina Casé, host of Esquenta program, expressed herself on the dancer’s death through her Facebook account: “I and the whole Esquenta family devastated are devastated by this terrible news. It causes me immense sadness the death of DG, a cheerful boy, pushing himself, with an immense desire to grow. What can you say at such a time? I lament all of this violence that only produces tragedies like this, which only leads to the insecurity of the poorest of the country.”