Caption: CDD residents demonstrate on second day of protests. Photo: AND Rio de Janeiro Support Committee
RJ: CDD residents close Yellow Line after MP murders worker; see editorial comment
On January 4, residents of the Cidade de Deus favela (CDD), in the west zone of Rio, closed both directions of the Yellow Line, an important road that connects the region to the center of the city. They were protesting the murder of 38 year old Marcelo Guimarães.
According to family members, the man was killed by military police of the 18th Military Police (MP) Battalion. A video shows the MP’s armored car fleeing the crime scene. A new protest is scheduled for January 5, at 5 p.m. at the CDD.
In the protest on January 4, the residents placed barricades with pieces of wood, furniture and other objects and closed the two lanes of the Yellow Line, leaving traffic completely interrupted. A MP armored vehicle tried to break the blockade, but was repelled by the infuriated demonstrators and turned back.
According to witnesses, Marcelo was shot at around 8:30 a.m. when he was passing through a road under the Yellow Line that connects to the CDD. The man was returning home after leaving his son at daycare before going to work. According to family members, the man went to pick up the cell phone he had forgotten and then go to work. Marcelo, who worked in a marble shop, and was married and the father of two children, was hit by a rifle shot from inside an armored MP vehicle, known as a “skull”.
A witness reported that he saw the moment when the rifle’s barrel came out of the “skull” and fired from a short distance, hitting Marcelo’s chest.
“Two police officers entered the ‘skull’ seconds before Marcelo went on a motorcycle. I saw the moment when the barrel of a gun came out (from the door of the vehicle) and the shot was fired. It hit the guy in the chest,” the witness told the newspaper Extra.
During his testimony one of the MPs confessed that he fired from inside the “skull”. According to the military, the shots were made to “protect ” a colleague in uniform. The armor and rifles used in the action were investigated, according to a note released by the MP. A video shows the moment the policemen flee with the armored vehicle without helping the victim. According to witnesses they returned only 40 minutes later.
Revolted, Marcelo’s family denounced the sadism of the military and reiterated that there was no confrontation at the time of his death: “And they kill and keep laughing. Because there were police here (at the scene of the crime) laughing. I only want one thing: that this time justice be served. It can’t go on like this, they’re murdering lives,” Angélica, Marcelo’s mother, said indignantly.
The wife, Carla, accused the MPs: “It was the cops who took my husband’s life. I know this because there was no confrontation at CDD. Unfortunately I got there and my husband was on the ground,” said the wife, moved.
“My brother was going to work, he’s even wearing his work boots. He’s being treated like a lowlife, a father of two,” said his sister, Carine Guimarães.
MP THREATENS RESIDENTS WHO PROTEST
On the same day Marcelo was murdered, a MP used social media to threaten anyone protesting the murder of the worker and denouncing police violence.
The MP, who is stationed in the same battalion responsible for the worker’s death, said that if the residents went out to have “fun” they would get hurt. According to the corporation, the military was summoned to give a statement.
This case is far from being accidental, and is the result of the old social order. Seeking to justify this and so many other deaths of workers, victims of a true genocide, the old state, through the MP, always claims that it is a casualty, a “stray bullet”, etc., as if the misfortune that occurs in the favelas and the “accidental” death of innocent people (the great majority are not accidental) were “side effects” to eliminate delinquency. But as we can see, the bloodbath of the police force not only fails to eliminate crime, but unites these forces; in order to combat it, it would be necessary, in addition to solving the main problems that launch young people into this life, to focus on the repression of the real bandits: landowners, big businessmen and politicians involved, from the top of their heaps of money, with international drug trafficking, led by tycoons who do not suffer at all from the police operations in the favelas. On the other hand, this delinquency that grows in poor neighborhoods, of which Marcelo and so many others were not involved in, is the result of an economic massacre that, in Rio de Janeiro, from May to October, increased the number of unemployed by 48% (not counting the legions of thousands of street vendors and other workers on the edge of complete misery). First, the old order disposes of a huge contingent of angry and disillusioned youths, leading them to commit crimes, and then kills those who have nothing to do with delinquency but are poor and black, potentially angry at such exploitation and oppression, which is their “crime.” This and all other cases are not accidents, but sinister wickedness, with the aim of controlling the revolt of the poor – revolt against all the rottenness and suffering they face – by imposing a regime of police terror, of shock. And the greatest proof of this is the threat of a petty policeman, a little devil who finds himself the authority to declare an end to the right to protest, always effectively denied to the masses of people.
AND stands in solidarity with the family and friends of Marcelo and so many others who, in the darkness of alleys, are targets of the murderous rage of the old Brazilian state.
RJ: Second day of protest at CDD after PM murders worker
On the afternoon of January 5, the residents of Cidade De Deus (CDD) held the second demonstration against the murder of Marcelo Guimarães, a 38-year-old worker killed by the Military Police (MP) the day before, according to witnesses.
Residents and demonstrators gathered at the place where Marcelo was murdered. The family joined the action after the burial that took place in Inhaúma earlier that day.
In an exclusive statement to AND, Guilherme, who works in front of the murder site and witnessed the moment of the murder, said: “There was no exchange of gunfire… He slowed down and the ‘skull’ (armored MP vehicle) fired a shot. He fell here, where the blood mark is… The ‘skull’ came around shooting up, then they came with a plastic bottle full of shell casings and released it here.”
Outraged by the situation, the family made several speeches during the protest, denouncing the genocidal policy of the old state and the cowardly actions of the MP. Marcelo’s daughter, Vitória Guimarães, said: “We want justice, not only for him, but for all those the police killed. My father was a worker, different from them, who are bandits and corrupt. The government kills the blacks, the poor, the slum dwellers, and the workers. My father was honest, they are not, that’s the difference”.
Marcelo’s mother-in-law, Claudia Lucia, said: “The policeman was a coward! He has to pay! Carla, Marcel’s widow, reinforced: “There was no exchange of fire, my husband was murdered!
The demonstrators marched on to a central square in CDD and, as they passed the police station, the protest stopped and the demonstrators chanted: It was not confrontation, it was murder! and It is not over, it has to end, I want the end of the Military Police!
The MP were clearly present throughout the action, with vehicles, armored vehicles (“skulls”), policemen with rifles and many of them with their faces covered. Surrounding the streets around the site and the demonstrators during the protest, the policemen were booed and rejected with the masses shouting: Murderers and There was no confrontation.
On the same day, in another part of the state, in Niterói, neighborhood of Fonseca, another protest was taking place. The causes were similar: residents of the Santo Cristo favela accused the MP of murdering two young men.