Argentine Consulate Paid Bail of Boca Fan Accused of Racism in São Paulo

Fan made gesture imitating monkey at Corinthians in Libertadores game

Accused of racism against Corinthians fans, Argentine trader Leonardo Ponzo, 42, did not even pay the R$3,000 bail imposed on him. The Argentine consulate paid the amount to São Paulo. According to people at the Department of Strategic Police Operations, officials from the Argentine government's representation in the capital, upon learning about the value of the bail, asked where there was an ATM at Banco Santander so that they would withdraw the amount.

Ponzo was filmed by Corinthians fans making a monkey gesture towards the Brazilians and later identified by the stadium's security cameras. He was detained at halftime of the match played this Tuesday (26), valid for the Copa Libertadores, and taken to the Jecrim Special Criminal Court inside the Neo Química Arena.

Soccer Football - Copa Libertadores - Group E - Corinthians v Boca Juniors - Arena Corinthians, Sao Paulo, Brazil - April 26, 2022 A Boca Juniors fan is detained by police during the match REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli - REUTERS

But the case could only be registered on the spot in crimes with a maximum penalty of two years in prison. As the Argentine's gesture fits as a racial slur, with detention of up to three years, he was referred to the DOPE. Consulate officials argued this Wednesday morning (27th) that Ponzo was not imitating a monkey and was just scratching himself.

Folha contacted the Argentine consultation by telephone and e-mail, but has not received a response so far.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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