Note from BW of Brazil: Of course there are always two sides to a story. Some say there are even three: one side, the other side and then the truth. The investigation into this story will certainly, hopefully, ascertain the facts. Obviously I cannot speak with any real authority on this incident as I wasn’t there, but I will say whose story sounds my believable. First, let’s get to the facts.
Cut on her hand with a machete, Ipanema resident accuses of neighbor of racism: ‘Black in my building, no,” she reportedly told the woman
By Luã Marinatto
The year 2016 had begun just over 12 hours when an argument between neighbors turned into a police case at the corner of Alberto de Campos and Vinicius de Moraes streets in Ipanema, in Rio’s South Zone. Claudia da Chaves Silva, 47, accuse the resident of the apartment below, Clarice Barbosa Petereit, 61, of having attacked her with a machete and having uttered racial slurs.
Wounded on her hand, Claudia underwent two surgeries to repair damage to tendons and spent a week in the Miguel Couto Municipal Hospital in the Lagoa region. On Thursday, she went to the 14th DP (precinct) (in the Leblon region) and said in a statement that around 1pm on January 1st, her neighbor came to her house and started an argument “about condominium issues.” After the squabble, motivated by differences in garbage disposal, Clarice went down to her property and returned with a machete. While unleashing the blows, still according to this account, Clarice screamed: “Preto no meu prédio, não” (Black in my building, no)
“You can’t treat this lady as a crazy person, she’s a sociopath. A crazy person doesn’t argue and go back to the house of another with a knife,” said Claudia to EXTRA. She continued:
“She wanted to cut me in the neck in reality. It was I who put my hand up to defend myself and she did what she did.”
On the very 1st one day, Claudia’s friend, who was with her during the attack, recorded the fact at the 14th Precinct. In this first instance, however, those involved appear as victims and perpetrators, as Clarice also claims to have been called names and physically beaten.
A friend that was with Claudia in the apartment tried to break up the fight and was also assaulted. The neighbor threw the armoire against the two of them. In order to escape the aggressions, they ran to the street and called the police.
At the police station, Clarice said that after the disagreement about the trash, both came “to blows with mutual aggression.” Only in the second registration by Claudia, did she state the crime of injury due to prejudice.
“I opened an investigation and we have to hear witnesses. It will necessary to ascertain whether there was an injúria racial (racial slur). It is premature to make any judgment,” explained the police chief Monique Vidal, head of the 14th Precinct.
EXTRA attempted to contact Clarice, but the only time that she answered the phone, she vehemently asked not to be disturbed.
“Can you stop disturbing me?” she said, before hanging up the phone.
“She always picks up the trash and puts it at my door” – Testimony of retired small business owner Claudia da Silva Chaves, 47
“Sometimes, we go down and the trash is full, and everyone leaves it out. But she always picks it up and puts it at my door, even that which is not mine. On the 1st when I saw what had happened again, for the first time, I put it back at her door, I was tired of that. Soon after, we began to argue. She ended up grabbing a huge machete and came inside my house. As soon as I moved here, she had already called the guy who delivers water macaco (monkey). In fact, these people are worthy of pity, because it is synonymous with ignorance. So much so that I never placed confidence in this kind of thing, I’m more than that. I got upset upset about this sensationalism about racism, it ended up diverting attention from the greater violence that is in the world. But I was tired of it always being the same story.”
Claudia told a similar story to another news outlet. After revealing the racial slur directed toward, she continued:
“But she had already treated other persons badly. Once I saw, as soon as I moved here, there was a guy who has delivered water here for years, since I’ve lived in Ipanema. She called him macaco (monkey) through the window and didn’t even know that I lived here above her and that I was black.”
According to Claudia, her neighbor’s behavior had finally got to be too much to take:
She says that her neighbor, despite living in the apartment downstairs, goes up to the next floor to put her trash in front of her door. Every time this happened, the small business owner said nothing and took the trash to the trash can, but the time came in which she gave up.
“For the first time I put the trash back in front of her door, because, until then, I always took her trash.”
The neighbor that assaulted Claudia registered the occurrence at police station. In her registration, she alleges that it was she who was assaulted. In her version, she says that Claudia and her friend went down the steps, invaded her house with a gun and that, as she takes martial arts, managed to disarm them.
The two versions will be considered by the police chief Monique Vidal
“We opened a police investigation to look into the conflicting versions. All those involved had a forensic examination. We are analyzing images and hearing witnesses to help in the investigations. The investigation was opened, the principal, such as the corporal wounds and racial injury. And the investigations continue.”
Note from BW of Brazil: So as I wrote in the introduction, I have no certainty of whose story is actually the correct version o what transpired. But I will say Claudia’s story appears to be more believable. Why? 1) There is an image of the other woman wielding a machete, 2) The photo shows the woman in front of stairs as if she is about to go up, 3) Claudia has wounds, 4) The woman with the machete clearly didn’t want to explain her story to the press, although I acknowledge she has the right to do so and 5) If we are to believe the commonly used racial slur and judge by the image, the woman with the machete is white. And as we have documented time and again, many white Brazilians don’t react too kindly to seeing black people in areas that they (whites) believe is exclusively their domain. Need examples? Well….
We saw it in a famous case involving the daughter of a black governor who was assaulted in a upper crust apartment, also. We saw it in a case involving a group blacks people eating in a restaurant. We see it often on university campuses (see here or here). We see it in reactions to black presence on airplanes. And these are but a few of the many examples of this blog that show that white Brazilians are none too pleased when they see Afro-Brazilians beyond “the place” ascribed to them in society. We’ve also see examples of brutal aggression when dealing with poor and/or homeless black people in the street (see here or here). The neighborhood in which today’s post took place is located in Rio’s South Zone, a ritzy region where some of Rio’s richest (mostly white) residents live. So, no, I cannot say with any certainty whose story is the true story. But I can take a pretty good guess and have a pretty high level of confidence that I’m right!