A 40-year-old black man was beaten and murdered by two security guards at the Carrefour supermarket in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre, on Thursday night, this Friday was announced.
The crime is generating great indignation in the country because it occurred on the eve of November 20, when the Black Awareness Day in Brazil.
The black conscience holiday celebrates the memory of leader Zumbi dos Palmares, who fought slavery and helped hundreds of blacks escape from captivity, founding a community to shelter them [quilombo] in the northeast of the country, during Portuguese colonization.
Videos showing the beating of the man, known as Beto, in front of the supermarket, and the attempt by rescuers to save him circulate on social networks and are causing the mobilization of activists against racism.
The crime is being investigated by the Homicide and Personnel Protection Office in Porto Alegre.
Images can hurt the susceptibility of the most sensitive readers:
O site GaúchaZH, one of the most important media outlets in Rio Grande do Sul, a state whose capital is the city of Porto Alegre, where the crime occurred, reported that Beto’s beating and murder occurred after a fight between the victim and a supermarket employee , who called security guards responsible for the crime.
In a note published on social media, Carrefour said it would take steps to hold those involved in the crime accountable and said it would break the contract with the company of security guards who committed the assault.
“The employee who was in charge of the store at the time of the incident will be disconnected. In respect for the victim, the store will be closed. We will contact Mr. João’s family to provide the necessary support”said the company.
“For us [Carrefour], any type of violence and intolerance is not allowed, and we do not accept that situations like these happen. We are deeply dismayed by everything that happened and will follow the developments of the case, offering all support to the local authorities “, added the note.
The issue also provoked reactions from politicians.
“We were upset by the brutal scenes of aggression against João Alberto Freitas, a black man, beaten to death at Carrefour. Racism is the origin of all the chasms in this country. It is urgent to interrupt this cycle”, wrote former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on the social network Twitter.
Manuela D’Ávila, a candidate for mayor of Porto Alegre, who will run for the second round of the elections on November 29, commented on the case on Thursday night.
“I was in the debate at Band [TV Bandeirantes] and on the way out he learned of the murder of a black man by the violent approach of security guards at the Carrefour parking lot. I know that there is already a request for an investigation being made by parliamentarians and the newly elected anti-racist group. But the images say a lot “, said the candidate on Twitter.
Sebastião Melo, who is also running for the second round of the Porto Alegre election, spoke out and called for strict measures.
“An absurdity! The scenes are shocking. Precisely on the National Day against racism. Strict measures must be taken immediately!”, wrote on the social network Twitter.