Note from BW of Brazil: Today’s story is perhaps a bit dated, going back to the end of October, but nevertheless, I felt it necessary to share this story as it speaks to the regular experience of the Afro-Brazilians with police brutality. The mother of the young man brutalized in a police action is a well activist in the city of Belo Horizonte, the capital city of the state of Minas Gerais. I’ve followed the posts on her blog for a number of years and I was more than a bit concerned for her safety after hearing this news about her son. I’m sure many of our readers outside of Brazil can surely identify with the reality of the relationship between black people and the police.
“Despite the fear, I will continue denouncing the arbitration,” says activist who had her son beaten by police in Minas Gerais
Monica Aguiar: “Nothing justifies this violence. My sister Maria Lina Aguiar was assaulted and shocked, my 17-year-old daughter was also beaten, and my son is full of bruises, with broken finger and nose.”
By Lucas Vasques
The family of social activist and feminist Mônica Aguiar, well-known in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, was the victim of violence, abuse of authority, arbitrariness and torture by members of the Minas Gerais Military Police. On Wednesday afternoon (25), unidentified and heavily armed police invaded, without a warrant or a court order, the activist’s house in the Candelária neighborhood of the capital.
They broke utensils and furniture from the house and severely assaulted her son, Lucas Emanuel Souza de Aguiar, 22. They alleged that they were after drugs and guns, although Mônica and her relatives vehemently denied it. Mônica’s sister, Maria Lina Aguiar, who lives nearby, went to the scene and was also a victim of violence, including shocks.
The family sought, in addition to the lawyer Ana Cristina de Lana Pinto, the representative of the Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), Cristina Paiva. Both are giving legal support. “We are all convinced of Lucas’s innocence in this case. Despite the charge of possession of weapons and drugs at the custody hearing held on Friday (October 27), he was released to go home, wearing an electronic ankle brace and under house arrest for a period of six months,” reports the representative of the OAB Human Rights Commission.
Ana Cristina, in turn, demonstrated revolt: “The events that have occurred are causing outrage to the victim’s relatives. The persecution of Lucas Emanuel by some police is evident. Proof of this was the improper approach taken by those few members who disagree with the existing corporation to protect the good citizens, as the case of the relatives of the Lucas. The outcome of the custody hearing proves the suitability of the person Lucas, a victim of the system,” she reports.
The lawyer of the young man points out that, “released with the application of the precautionary measure, a reasonable appeal will be filed, in view of the fact that said injunction could pose a risk to the physical and mental integrity of Lucas. The other acts to determine the facts are already being provided,” he says.
Mônica, who is an activist, believes that the PM’s action may have been motivated precisely by her militancy. She tells the Revista Fórum (magazine and site) what steps she has taken and what she still intends to do in the face of this scenario of violence to which her family has been subjected.
Forum – In your opinion, what motivated the violent action of members of the Military Police of Minas Gerais? Is it related to the fact that you are a social activist, an activist in the cause of blacks and human rights?
Mônica Aguar – Although I can’t be sure, the motivation for this true attack may have been because I was a social activist. I am 51 years old and I am a black mother who raised her six children by herself. I do activism 24 hours a day, defending the black woman, human rights, fighting racism and any form of prejudice. I think the state has to take account of what it provokes, and the young people need work, not torture, as they did against Lucas (Emanuel Souza de Aguiar). I have a blog called “Mulher Negra” (black woman) (monicaaguiarsouza.blogspot.com.br), where I publish news and try to report human rights violations, as well as writing articles for some newspapers of the Movimento Negro (black movement).
Forum – Has anything similar to this on the part of the Military Police of Minas Gerais ever happened?
Mônica Aguiar – Yes. There is a persecution, especially in relation to my son Lucas. It is important to clarify that he was imprisoned for three years for involvement in drug trafficking. But he’s done what he owes to society. Fortunately, I was able to rescue my son and today he is fully recovered and seeking to relocate in society. In the specific case, the policemen came to my house in a civilian car without identification, invaded my house and claimed that there were weapons and drugs, which is a complete lie. No weapons ever came into my house, but they put it in the incident report and kept Lucas in custody. The good news is that his custody hearing has already been held and he has been released to return home.
Forum – How is the family after all this happened?
Mônica Aguiar – I would like to make it clear that, in any case, nothing justifies this violence. My sister Maria Lina Aguiar was assaulted and (given) shocks, my 17-year-old daughter was also beaten up (both of them underwent the corpus delicti – body exam) and my son is full of bruises, with a broken finger and nose. Next Monday, she will undergo nose surgery. This is a lot of violence.
Forum – What steps did you take after the fact and what do you still intend to do?
Monica Aguiar – Despite the fear of reprisals, I will continue to denounce the arbitration by these policemen. In addition to using an unidentified civilian vehicle, they invaded my home, assaulted my family, took my son and didn’t even let me have access to the incident report. We sought a lawyer and also the Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), through Dr. Cristina Paiva. They are following the case and giving great support. In addition, we are receiving support from the militancy of black women, which helps us endure what happened.
Source: Revista Fórum