Rio Governor Says Young Girls Death Should Not Be Politicized

For Witzel, girl's death should not Be Used to deny Approval of Moro's Anti-Crime package

Ana Luiza Albuquerque
Rio de Janeiro

In his first interview after the death of the girl Agatha Vitória Sales Félix, 8, Governor Wilson Witzel (PSC) said the case should not be used as an "electoral platform" or to obstruct votes for the anti-crime package of the minister of Justice Sergio Moro.

Although regretful, Witzel said death is not a reason to "stop the state." "The state has to go on; they have to have the strength to work; everyone has to have the strength to work."

Witzel said his administration prefers to work quietly to assist victims. "I asked her, 'Major Fabiana [secretary for Victimization and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities], do not turn the coffin of a victim of violence into a political platform.' And especially to prevent this from happening, we created this secretariat. It is indecent to use a coffin as a platform, especially for a child. "

Rio de Janeiro's Governor Wilson Witzel. (Photo by MAURO PIMENTEL / AFP) - AFP

He said he talked to Moro over the weekend and defended the approval of his anti-crime package. Witzel also blamed trafficking and drug users for the child's death and again defended his government's security policy. "At no time have I had a soft speech with anyone. I have no pet bandit, either in badge or in uniform. The law is for everyone."

At another point in the interview, he again denied being selective in who the state targets. "To say that we are protecting anyone here, sorry, why we don't have pet thugs here."

The case is being used politically by opponents, the governor said. "The opposition is making a podium over the fact."

"I deeply regret the loss; my feeling is the feeling of a father; I have a nine-year-old daughter." She said she still feels for her mother that she will not see her daughter anymore. "You don't think so? I'm not heartless.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language