"They Killed the Woman," Says Resident After Beating in Guarujá; See Video
05/06/2014 - 09h13
SPECIAL ENVOY TO GUARUJÁ (SP)
"Dear God in Heaven," shouted one of the people who saw the body lying on the ground. "It's over," said another.
This is one of the dialogues that appear in videos given to Folha by a lawyer representing the family of housewife Fabiane Maria de Jesus, 33, who died Monday (5) after being beaten by a group of people from Guarujá, in coastal São Paulo, two days before.
According to the defense, the lynching - reported in the Morrinhos neighborhood on the outskirts of Guarujá - was motivated by suspicion that Fabiane was connected to child abductions in the region thought to be linked to black magic rituals. According to Military Police, however, there is no indication that she had committed such a crime.
In one of the two videos, the body identified by family as being Fabiane is lying on the ground when a person pulls her head by the hair. The girl's face slams against the ground.
At that moment, a woman screams several times: "Don't do that. Don't do that!"
Next, a resident rides over Fabiane's head with a bicycle tire, ties one of her hands to it with a rope and drags her body for a few meters.
"They killed the woman," says a resident. "It's the same face [from the sketch]," says another.
According to lawyer Airton Sinto, who represents Fabiane's family, part of the blame for the beating can be attributed to a news-related profile on Facebook called "Guarujá Alerta."
The profile circulated a "rumor" that a woman was abducting children to use during black magic rituals. Also according to Sinto, a composite sketch of the supposed witch was published on the profile.
In one of the videos, the suspect is called a slut. One resident said: "It's her." At one point, the woman appears to whisper something and someone says: "Uh my ass, motherfucker. Now it's uh, huh?"
Early this afternoon, Fabiane's husband, Jailson Alves das Neves, 40, and a brother-in-law and cousin of the victim gave testimony at a police station in Guarujá.
The names of two suspects were given to the officer in charge of the case, Luiz Ricardo Lara Dias Jr., so they could be confronted with images of the crime. He said police are taking steps in Morrinhos to find witnesses to the lynching and the identification of possible perpetrators.
Fabiane was admitted to the ICU at Santo Amaro Hospital on Saturday (3) in very serious condition. According to information from the hospital, she succumbed to her injuries and died around 6:30 a.m. Monday (5).
According to Sinto, Fabiane was tied and dragged until she reached a ditch near a shack in Morrinhos 4. There, she was beaten.
Other residents of Morrinhos, a neighborhood of around 20,000 inhabitants, called police. The woman was rescued and taken to Santo Amaro Hospital. No suspect has yet been identified.
In a statement, "Guarujá Alerta" said that it always referred to the child abductions in Morrinhos as "rumors" and that it is the victim of a smear campaign.
According to the Facebook profile's administrators, the composite sketch was released with a warning: "Whether or not it is a rumor, let's stay alert." They said they also rebuke any form of "taking the law into your own hands."
Translated by JILL LANGLOIS