Intern accuses boss of racism in capital city of Brasília; supervisor called her a monkey

Afro Brazilian women

A young woman was allegedly called a monkey by one of her superiors, a process analyst at an agency in the Federal District. The agency stated that the case is investigated by the board of ethics. The victim sought the 5th police precinct, but the investigation has been put on hold due to a police strike.


An intern of the Agência Nacional de Transportes Terrestres (the National Agency of Land Transport or ANTT) filed a complaint against one of her superiors. She accuses the woman of having called her a “macaca (monkey)”, a very common problem for Afro-Brazilians. The Civil Police has opened an investigation into the complaint. Luana Santos Conceição, 20, has worked at the agency since 2011 and one of her duties is to distribute proceedings. As workers have been on strike, the documents accumulated. When she took the paperwork to the process analyst, Clenilma Santiago Borges, she was met with hostility and racist terms.

According to Luana, Clenilma stood up and yelled at her, complaining of the workload. “Somebody get this macaca. Look at all of the work she just threw on my desk,” she reportedly said. She is part of the Chartered Passenger Transport Management (Gfret) of the Superintendent of Passenger Transportation Services (Supas). The incident occurred on August 10th, in a room full of other workers at ANTT at around 3:40pm. Luana says that everyone around stared at her when it happened. “I was so embarrassed that I couldn’t continue doing my job”, says the young woman.

Luana Santos Conceição: This has happened before but this time she has witnesses

Colleagues who witnessed the scene spoke with Luana and advised her to issue a complaint in internal affairs and with the internal ombudsman. Until now, however, she has not returned. “The impression it gives is that they are trying to hush up the case because she has a upper position and I’m just an intern,” he laments.

After waiting that some provision be made by the ANTT and not getting answers, Luana decided to record the incident in the 5th Precinct Police Station (downtown) on the following Monday, the 13th. “She had done this before, but as we were alone, it would have been my word against hers,” she explains. This time, Luana went to the station accompanied by a witness of the situation.

The delegate from Precinct 5, Reinaldo Vilar says that investigations have been on hold because of the police strike. “An investigation was initiated. These cases, the procedure is quick because there is specialization or recordings. Only the testimony of the parties and witnesses,” details the delegate. According Vilar, Clenilma’s testimony was scheduled for this week, but he can’t know if it will proceed as scheduled due the work stoppage.

Records

Between 2010 and June of this year, 120 incidents of race-related crimes were registered in Federal District of Brasília. In 2012, an administrative region of the Federal District, Ceilândia, led the list of racial slurs with 10 cases while Brasília had six. Data is taken from the Secretariat of Public Security. During this period, only one case of racism was recorded in nearby city Paranoá.

ANTT said through a spokesperson, that “from the administrative point of view, the matter is addressed in the board of ethics.” It was ensured that word of the report was passed along to Clenilma so that she can decide if she has interest in giving her version of the story, which did not occur until the time of report. The newspaper O Correio also called the direct extension of the server, but no one answered.

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Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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