Emily and Rebeca join the list of children killed by gunfire in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Reproduction.
Residents of Duque de Caxias, in Baixada Fluminense, protested at Raul Cortez Square, downtown, on December 6, after two children were murdered while playing in front of their family’s house in the Barro Vermelho favela, Jardim Gramacho neighborhood.
The cousins Emily Victoria, four years old, and Rebeca Beatriz, seven years old, were playing at the gate of the house on December 4, when they were shot by rifle fire. The girls died on the spot. During the protest that gathered hundreds of people, including community residents, neighbors, family members and members of social movements, Rebeca’s grandmother, Lídia Santos, said she arrived from work around 8 pm and saw military police (MPs) shooting into the community. When she arrived at the gate of her house she found her niece dead with her brain out and her granddaughter laid out in the backyard with a shot in the abdomen. “I arrived 8:20 p.m. from work, jumped off the bus, saw the police shooting into the favela, they took off. I arrived at the door of my mother’s house and found my four year old niece with her brain on the floor, walk another two meters and see my seven year old granddaughter with a shot in the heart in my mother’s backyard. Is that right?” the grandmother asked.
Emily’s mother, Ana Lúcia Silva Moreira, also stated that there was no confrontation at the time the girls were shot and that only the police officers shot. “They only know how to do that, shoot. She looked, shoot. When I realized, I just took the picture. Because I already knew, my daughter was already gone. My daughter was shot in the head with a rifle. My daughter was already dead. My niece ran and died next to her mother’s water tank. The people are with me. It’s not the councilman, it’s not the mayor, it’s not the governor. It’s the people,” said the angry mother.
Ana Lúcia said that she will fight for justice: “We are not trash, my daughter will have justice. I will fight for them, I will fight to the end for my children, for my niece”.
The two girls were buried on December 5th in the cemetery of Our Lady of Grace, also in Duque de Caxias. The burial took place with great commotion. Emily’s father, who works as a mason, helped to bury his daughter. He fainted several times during the ceremony. When it was time to close the coffin, the father expressed: “This is what we bear, you see. Two children, my daughter, my niece. I’m just burying them, this is for the community, for the governors.”
The Homicide Police Station of Baixada Fluminense (DHBF) seized five pistols and five rifles that were in possession of the agents who were in the area where the girls were murdered, to do the investigation. The MPs also released a statement.