São Paulo: “State Will Pay in Bauru Torture Case”

The image “https://i2.wp.com/i113.photobucket.com/albums/n216/cbrayton/Stuff/emocao.png” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Globo promotional spot, 1973: “News, love, emotion, joy: Everything good is on Globo.” Globo always was, and remains, 75% redundantly sensationalist and emotionalist infotainment lite.

Serra diz que indenizará família de jovem torturado: The governor of São Paulo state (Brazil) says a bill is in the works that would commit the state to pay damages to the family of a young man whose corpse presented clear signs of torture after an encounter with state military police.

G1/Globo (Brazil) reports.

See also

It is actually kind of rare for Serra to appear in the press, being quoted. Which is odd, and a shame. I watched his inauguration speech. The man is no gabbling idiot. He actually seems like something of a responsible adult, even.

NMM policy is not to endorse political parties or platforms (I do not have the right to vote here, and never will have, even though I pay IPTU up the wazzoo), but I will say I find it a little comforting to see signs of intelligent life on all sides of the political questions of the day.

O governador de São Paulo, José Serra (PSDB), anunciou nesta sexta-feira (21) que está em estudo a elaboração de um projeto de lei para garantir indenização à família do adolescente de 15 anos morto em Bauru, a 343 km de São Paulo, no último sábado (15). Seis policiais militares foram presos por suspeita de torturar o menino até a morte.

The governor of São Paulo, José Serra, announced Friday that a bill is being prepared that would guarantee payment of damages to the family of a 15-year-old boy killed in Bauru last Saturday. Six military police were arrested on suspicion of torturing the boy to death.

This might set a helpful precedent, might it not?

Globo does not mention the name of the victim in this story.

Not once.

Globo does not do the Five Ws.

His name was Carlos Rodrigues Júnior.

“Instruí o secretário Marrey (Justiça) e o secretário Aloysio Nunes (chefe da Casa Civil) para que elabore um projeto de lei para antecipar uma indenização. É o mínimo que podemos fazer em uma situação de tragédia como essa. Não vai ser necessário um processo judicial, que levaria anos. Vamos fazer isso imediatamente.”

“I instructed Secretaries Marrey (Justice) and Nunes (Casa Civil) to prepare a bill that would pay damages immediately. It is the least we can do in a tragedy such as this. A judicial proceeding that might take years will not be necessary. We are going to do this immediately.”

Proponents of the “Serra is an authoritarian” meme may — probably will — object that this measure (1) usurps the function of the legislature and (2) prejudges the outcome of judicial proceedings in the case.

Debate over the measure, however, will also probably result in loud, multilateral finger-pointing over alleged attempts to capitalize politically on the incident.

Na madrugada de sábado (15), seis policiais militares foram até uma residência no Bairro Mary Dota à procura de uma moto que tinha sido roubada. Os PMs entraram na residência onde morava o adolescente de 15 anos. Ele morreu horas depois, quando deu entrada no pronto-socorro central. Os policiais negam a tortura.

In the early morning hours of Saturday, December 15, six military police went to a residence in the Mary Dota neighborhood looking for a motorcycle that had been stolen. The PMs entered the residence where the adolescent live. He [was pronounced dead] hours later upon being admitted to the central emergency room. Police deny torturing him.

Thirty injuries consistent with prolonged application of electric shock. Including on the scrotal sack. The medical examiner said the cause of death was the passing of an electric current through the chest, causing cardiac arrest.

O Instituto Médico-Legal (IML) de Bauru confirmou na terça-feira (18) que o adolescente de 15 anos foi torturado com choques elétricos. Ele teve uma parada cardíaca provocada pelas descargas. O corpo do jovem apresentava 30 lesões causadas por choques. Em nota oficial, a Polícia Militar reconheceu que houve indícios de crime militar.

The IML in Bauru confirmed on Tuesday, December 18, that the young man was tortured with electric shocks. He suffered cardiac arrest provoked by the electrical discharge. The young man’s body presented 30 wounds caused by electric shocks. In an official statement, the military police acknowledge there were signs of a military crime.

But not a civil one.

Estado de choque
State of shock

Quatro dias após ter presenciado a morte do irmão, quando sua casa foi invadida por policiais, Débora Rodrigues, 26 anos, disse ao G1 na noite desta quarta-feira (19) estar em estado de choque. “Não consigo assimilar direito o que está acontecendo. Eu e minha mãe estamos em estado de choque. Ela chora sem parar, não come, não dorme. Está sob o efeito de remédios”, conta.

Four days after witnessing the death of her brother, after her house was invaded by police, Débora Rodrigues, 26, told G1 on December 19 that she was in a state of shock.

Extreme emotion paragraph No. 1.

Globo always wants to hear all about your extreme emotions, at the moment you are feeling them.

Globo is predictably ghoulish in this way.

The most astonishing case of this, I thought, was when it aired the announcement of the dead in the TAM air disaster earlier this year over the PA system in the Porto Alegre airport.

Why TAM announced this over the PA? Ask them.

They apparently need some training on how to treat human beings like human beings.

Globo cameras lingered pornographically on the scene of people collapsing in grief in the main lobby of the airport, and the looped footage ran in heavy rotation, with greasy, excited narration.

Globo sucks.

“I cannot quit assimilate what is going on. I and my mother are in a state of shock. She cries all the time, does not eat, does not sleep. She is on medication,” she relates.

Extreme emotion paragraph No. 2.

Débora é a terceira dos quatro irmãos do adolescente de 15 anos. Emocionada, a costureira diz que, agora, sua família só encontra consolo na esperança de justiça. “O que está mantendo a gente em pé é a acreditar que a justiça vai ser feita. Confiamos nisso”, afirma.

Débora is the third of four siblings of the young man. Choked up, the seamstress said that now her family’s only consolation is the hope of justice. “What is keeping us going is the belief that justice will be done. We have faith in this,” she states.

Extreme emotion paragraph No. 3, introducing the Pauline-Thomist virtues of faith and hope.

Nesta terça-feira (18), Débora prestou depoimento à polícia. Mesmo repetindo a história pela segunda vez no mesmo dia para a reportagem do G1, ela ainda se emocionou. “Eles chegaram lá em casa por volta das 3h. Chegaram batendo brutalmente na porta e gritando ‘abre a porta, abre a porta’. Foi quando minha mãe levantou da cama”.

On December 18, Débora gave a statement to police. Even repeating the story for the second time that day to G1 reporters, she was still emotional. “They came to the house around 3 am. They came in beating brutally on the door and yelling, Open the door! Open the door! That was when my mother got out of bed.”

Extreme emotion paragraph No. 4.

Is it really surprising or newsworthy when a human being is devastated by the death of a loved one? That human nature is human nature?

Débora conta que, no momento em que os policiais chegaram, ela, a mãe e o irmão estavam em casa dormindo. “Minha mãe foi direto para a sala. Eles continuavam gritando e a gente viu da janela que eles estavam armados. Aí minha mãe abriu”, diz a costureira acrescentando que não é válido o argumento de um dos policiais envolvidos de que elas os teriam deixado entrar. “O que ela (a mãe) podia fazer? Eles estavam armados e gritando.”

Débora recounts that at the moment the police arrived, she and her mother and brother were at home, asleep. “My mother went straight to the living room. They went on yelling and we saw through the window that they were armed. So my mother opened up,” said the seamstress, adding that it is not valid to argue, as the two police involved do, that they had permission to enter. “What was my mother going to do? They were armed and yelling.”

Segundo Débora, assim que entraram, os policiais apontaram as armas para ela e para mãe e perguntaram pelo irmão. Ela chegou a pedir para que eles deixassem o irmão em paz, mas um deles teria falado: “cala a boca senão vai sobrar para você”.

According to Débora, as soon as they entered, the police pointed their weapons at her and her mother and asked about her brother. She asked them to leave her brother alone at one point, but one of them reportedly said, “Shut your mouth or there will be some left over for you.”

This is emotionally wrenching, but technically speaking, it also pure hearsay.

“Eles entraram no quarto e trancaram a porta. Depois disso só ouvi meu irmão gemendo e gritando “não, senhor”. Isso foi até às 4h11, quando a gente não ouviu mais nada”. Débora diz se lembrar do horário porque olhou no celular quando tudo ficou muito silencioso.

“They went into the bedroom and shut the door. After that I only heard my brother moaning and screaming “No, sir!” That was up until 4:11 am, when we no longer heard anything.” Débora says she remembers the time because she looked at her cellphone when everything got very quiet.

Depois disso, segundo a irmã do adolescente, os policiais saíram correndo do quarto com o garoto nos braços e entraram no carro. Ela conta que ainda ouviu quando um deles falou que era preciso levar o adolescente para o hospital.

After that, according to the sister of the victim, the police left the bedroom in a hurry with the boy in their arms and got in their car. She says she heard one of them say it was necessary to take the teenager to the hospital.

“A gente só soube que ele tinha morrido às 9h30, quando um outro policial que não tinha nada a ver com o caso contou para a gente. Eu estava saindo da delegacia seccional e ele falou”.

“We only learned he had died at 9:30 am, when another policeman who had nothing to do with the case told us. I was leaving the police precinct and he told me.”

Apesar de toda a dor e revolta, a irmã diz que a família não tem mais medo. ‘Isso foi uma coisa que assustou muito a gente. Mas agora a gente não penas mais nisso. Acho muito difícil que qualquer um venha nos fazer algum mal. Tudo o que a gente quer e pensa agora é em justiça”.

Despite all her pain and revulsion, the sister says the family is no longer afraid. “This was something that really scared us. But we are no longer worried about this.”

After the emotionally wrenching narration by a witness to the torture who did not actually witness it — she says was forced to remain in the other room — extreme emotion Paragraph No. 5.

Worried about what?

A report from another news service said the woman had explicitly reported concrete threats. What concrete response did those reports get? It would be good to know that proper protective measures were provided, if that were true.

“I think it is hard for anyone to come do us any harm. All we want and think about now is justice.”

Globo loves extreme emotion.

It is very kind of it to promote the point of view of the victim in this case, and put a human face on the story — although the victim apparently had no name.

But in the process, it also presents an awful lot of hearsay, lingers voyeuristically over accounts of extreme suffering, and glosses over some important factual issues in the story.

For example, has the family, in fact, received threats?

In the meantime, as to horror, shock and the thirst for faith in justice, does the medical report not speak for itself?

Do we really need to be told how to feel about the possibility that police lit up a young man’s scrotum like the Rockefeller Center Xmas tree, and killed him in the process? Does Globo think its readers are all sociopaths?

O advogado Sérgio Eduardo Mangialardo, que responde pela defesa de quatro dos seis acusados, disse que eles negam a tortura contra o garoto. Os policiais informaram ao advogado que o jovem passou mal logo depois de ser algemado. Eles socorreram a vítima, que já chegou com parada cardiorrespiratória ao hospital.

Mangliardo, who is defending four of the six accused, says they deny torturing the boy. The police told their lawyer that the young man fell ill after being handcuffed. They sought aid for the victim, who arrived at the hospital in cardiac arrest.

A defesa irá levar o laudo do Instituto Médico-Legal (IML) que diz que o corpo do jovem tinha 30 lesões provocadas por choques para um perito analisar. “O laudo ainda vamos analisar, estamos chamando um perito para contestar alguns pontos”, disse Mangialardo.

The defense is going to take the IML report, which said the young man’s body had 30 wounds caused by electrical shocks, to an expert for analysis. “We are going to analyze that report, we are calling in an expert to contest some points,” he said.

Ernestina Ascencio, an elderly Nahuatl woman in rural Veracruz, Mexico, died of chronic gastritis, a review of the autopsy and medical reports officially showed.

Três dos policiais que ele defende reconhecem que entraram no quarto onde estava o menino na noite de sábado (15). O quarto acusado permaneceu na sala com a família do jovem. Todos garantem, no entanto, que não ocorreu tortura no local.

Three of the police he is defending acknowledge entering the bedroom where the boy was on Saturday night. The fourth remained in the living room with the family. All swear, however, that no torture occurred at the location.

Maybe I am being a bit hard on Globo here.

But, then again, maybe not.

No, I think not.

Its sensationalism and emotionalism, whether on the side of the angels or not, is predictably gratuitous, and furthermore, beside the point.

The only thing missing is for them to fly in Al Sharpton with a Portuguese interpreter — and pity that interpreter — to anchor its coverage of the story.

Instead of the the four “extreme emotion” paragraphs, for example, G1 could have passed along further information that has been passed along in the case by other reporters: That another youth reportedly confessed to stealing the motorcycle, which was found at the location of the alleged torture, and to asking this boy to stash it at his place, for example.

But Globo does not really do information very well, or care all that much about it.

When it gets exclusive access to a newsworthy person, it uses that access to dwell pornographically on that person’s extreme emotions.

Globo is all about emotional identification.

Its 1999 promotional slogan:

“Uma nova emoção a cada dia”

“A new emotion every day.”


“A emoção de fazer parte da sua vida”

“The emotion of being part of your life.”


“Notícia. Amor. Emoção. Alegria. O que é bom está na Globo.”

“News, love, emotion, joy: Everything good is on Globo.”

And various slogans over the years with variations on “Globo is in the hearts of Brazilians” — strikingly similar to the theme and lyrics of “We Are The World” last hurrah music video of RCTV in Venezuela, I thought, if you have seen that.

Globo: “Your suffering is our business.”

Again, if those cops were NYPD — who have been involved in similar cases — their lawyers would immediately file for a change of venue due to sensationalized and prejudicial news coverage.

And they would probably have a decent chance of winning the motion, too.

Then again, if those cops were NYPD, that venue would be a civilian court, and they would be judged by their fellow citizens.

In this case, the underlying issue is, as always, that in Brazil, in practice if not in theory, some citizens are more equal than others. If you carry a gun on your job, you can pretty much do whatever you want to and never have to answer for it.

Not all persons who carry guns on their jobs take advantage of this de facto state of affairs. But enough do to make you — I confess to this emotion — very, very nervous every time you see a viatura.

If I were reporting this story, I would have explored that angle, talking to legal experts and rights activists as well as the victim’s family and the defense counsel.

Have such measures ever been taken in the past? Will the bill have substance? Will it have scope beyond the present case? Will it substantially affect public policy? Or is it a PR gesture? That, I would guess, would be the pivot of the debate you would hear.

And that would be what I would really be interested in knowing.

I would like to believe that it does represent a substantive step.

And if it does, I think you should give credit where credit is due.

I mean, hell: I did not vote for Bob Dole, for example.

But the guy has actually done useful things for my country about which there is not that much room for political wrangling.

The former Senate majority leader and Bubba opponent is looking into the mess at the Walter Reed military hospital right now, for example.

And I actually trust the guy to do an honest job of it. No one better for the job really. Ever notice how one of his hands is paralyzed? The Germans did that during WWII. The old geezer almost bought the farm as a very young man.

As did my grandfather, a lifelong Democrat who would never have voted for Dole in a million years, because of the Nixon connection. (My grandpa just hated Nixon.)

And no one ever did a Swift Boat Veterans-style “Bob Dole is a bogus war hero” or “McCain is insane” number on him, either, that I know of.

That would be revolting.


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