Jean Charles Is a Hero, Victims of Brazilian Polic

In the aftermath of the murder, a cascade of misinformation and lies from the very top down. From Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to the trigger-happy plain-clothes shooters identified only as "carrying a long-barrelled weapon", the actions that day have been exposed as a cover-up of the events that resulted in the extra-judicial execution of an innocent man.

Jean Charles Is a Hero, Victims of Brazilian Polic

Joined: Nov 25 2005, 11:41 AM

Jun 4 2006, 12:54 AM #1

Brazzil Magazine - Brazil's Inhumanity: Jean Charles Is a Hero, Victims of Brazilian Police Are Nobodies
Written by Alberto Dines
Wednesday, 03 August 2005

One of the 30 victims of the massacre carried by Rio, Brazil, police on March 31, 2005 Jean Charles de Menezes has been buried with all his fellow citizens and politicians' honors and homages. It would behoove now to review the behavior of great part of the Brazilian media in the episode. The victim was innocent, perhaps he didn't have his papers in order, but there is no justification for his murder at the hands of the English police in their hunting for Islamic terrorists.

The funeral in Gonzaga, Minas Gerais, however, was a hero's one, with the Brazilian mistakenly killed being entitled to the Brazilian flag, national anthem, blazing speeches, presence of local authorities and State ministers. Globo network's prime-time Jornal Nacional was prodigal in the time it gave to show the last homages rendered to Jean Charles. Except for the Estado de S. Paulo, the newspapers scattered their emotions for a few days.

Before the 7th day mass it behooves to think over the difference of the funeral of Jean Charles, killed by the police in London, and the funerals of the 30 slaughtered victims from Queimados and Nova Iguaçu, neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro, which occurred on March 31st. All of them were also murdered by policemen - but, in this case, deliberately murdered. It was no accident, everything was planned, although the military policemen have shot aimlessly.

Nobody showed up to offer those murdered by Rio's police a national flag at the time of the funeral. Are by any chance those who die here murdered less Brazilian? Why patriotic honors are reserved just for the innocent compatriots who die overseas?

Invitation to Tears

When a few hundred emigrants from Minas Gerais were recently repatriated, once again there was commotion and they were received as heroes and, however, they had chosen to abandon the motherland. They went away voluntarily and they returned against their wishes.

The Brazilian media is letting itself be carried away by a dangerous chauvinism emotion. Jean Charles' death overseas cannot weigh more than the hundreds who are slaughtered by the police and by the banditry in São Paulo, Rio, Vitória or Recife.

It's understandable that a government stuck in a tremendous political crisis does everything to divert attention of the population, stimulating tears and solidarities. But the media, apparently so attentive to the subtleties, cannot be partner to this so insensitive and inhuman orchestration.

Alberto Dines, the author, is a journalist, founder and researcher at LABJOR - Laboratório de Estudos Avançados em Jornalismo (Laboratory for Advanced Studies in Journalism) at UNICAMP (University of Campinas) and editor of the Observatório da Imprensa. You can reach him by email at

Translated from the Portuguese by Arlindo Silva.

"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown