At the entrance of a Carrefour group store in the Passo d’Areia district of Porto Alegre on Thursday evening, two security agents beat to death a 40-year-old black man: Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas. The violence of the scene filmed by a witness is terrifying. Held on the ground, Joao Freitas’ cries of distress do nothing. The two white security guards beat him in the face. The latter succumbs on the spot.
This November 19, the only fault of Joao Freitas is to have gone to do his shopping in a Carrefour, in the company of his wife. Because for the family of the deceased, the nature of the crime is in no doubt on the eve of Black Conscience Day, celebrating the memory of an insurgent slave, Zumbi, hero of the Afro-Brazilians, who died on November 20, 1695. “For me, it’s an act of racism”, commented the father of the victim, evoking an assault motivated by “Hatred, fury”.
This murder sparked anger in the country, which abolished slavery in 1888, a few days before the second round of municipal elections. Many demonstrations broke out, in particular against French hypermarkets, accused of racism. “It is not possible to be silent in the face of racism which kills thousands of blacks every day”, was indignant Manuela d’Avila, Communist candidate (PCdoB) for mayor of Porto Alegre, calling Carrefour to ” accountable “. The group’s management condemned this “Tragedy”.
In Brazil, three quarters of homicide victims are black or mixed race, although they represent only 56% of the population. For his part, the vice-president, Hamilton Mourao, dared to assert that “In Brazil, there is no racism”. Since the coming to power of fascist Jair Bolsonaro, racist acts have continued to increase. “Every day we have a George Floyd in Brazil, notes PCdoB MP Jandira Feghali. This government is irresponsible. And the citizens are exhausted from this Bolsonarist system of hatred, cynicism and corruption. ”