AFRICANGLOB – Note: One must really ask if there is a such thing as justice. When it involved police and black youth in Brazil it seems the answer is no. As black males are consistently stopped, harassed, brutalized and murdered at alarming rates, today’s report once again gives credence to anyone who believes that justice doesn’t exist in Brazil. For background on this case, please see previous articles. Needless to say, we are probably not the only ones who believe that the judge’s career aspirations may have weighed heavily on his decision. If there is in fact an unspoken bond to eliminate black males in Brazil, the system must protect and reward those who play the game. Conspiracy? Well, always remember, truth is sometimes stranger and more outrageous than fiction!
In a decision with unusual speed by the standards of Brazilian courts, Judge Marivalda Almeida Moutinho acquitted nine Military Police soldiers accused of executing 12 people in Cabula neighborhood on the eve of this year’s Carnival in Salvador, Bahia, on Friday, EL PAÍS learned through sources familiar with the process that runs on secrecy in the court. The ruling brings a new controversial chapter to the case that mobilized relatives, national and international activists and threw a spotlight on episodes of police violence in Bahia. It is also a problem for governor Rui Costa (PT), harassed by militants of his own party in June in endorsing the summit of the security and the Military Police in the episode.
The massive denouncement of Bahia prosecutors about the deaths in Cabula fully contests the version of the report from the Civil Police about the confrontation and describes summary execution standards – for example, the amount of shots and the position of the shots that hit the boys between the ages of 16 and 27 years. It was accepted in June by Judge Vilebaldo José de Freitas Pereira, who initiated the process, but because of the holidays, the case was taken up by Judge Moutinho. The report found that the sentencing judge based the decision on an article of the Code of Civil Procedure, in spite of dealing with a criminal action, which caught the attention of who read it. There will be an appeal in the Court of Justice of Bahia.
“If this decision is confirmed, it will be the second death of the boys. There is no acquitting in record time, it’s summary proceeding. The judge would be able to collect testimony, hear more evidence, hear witnesses who only spoke being cornered,” says Hamilton Borges, of the Reaja ou Será Morto (React or You Will Be Killed) campaign, which militates in favor of the right of blacks and has done demonstrations for the clarification of what they call the “chacina do Cabula” (Cabula slaughter).
Threats Against Gallo And Janot’s Request
Those involved in the case report suffering constraints and veiled and direct threats. Among the targets of pressure are activists of movements such as Reaja and even the prosecutor David Gallo, who heads the Bahia prosecuting quartet responsible for the denouncement.
‘This case shames Bahia, with the exception of the prosecutor,” the prosecutor Gallo said a few days. “We fulfill our work and we will continue to fulfill it.”
The impact of the case, which mobilized Amnesty International, Justiça Global (Global Justice) and members of the CPI that investigated cases of violence against black and poor young people in Brazil, caught the attention of Attorney General of the Republic, Rodrigo Janot. According to the report found, Janot made the request for access to the case file, which indicates that the prosecutor must ask the STJ (Supremo Tribunal de Justiça or Supreme Court) so that Cabula case of passes to the federal level. The procedure takes place when the prosecutor believes that there are human rights violations and constraints to due process at the state level. Contacted on the evening of Friday, Janot’s spokesperson had not responded to the questioning of El País before the publication of this report.
The political discomfort caused by the case and the clash between the prosecution and the Bahian security summit only grows. The officers involved, called “artilheiros” (artillerymen/marksmen/scorers) by Governor Rui Costa hours after the deaths are being supported by the Secretariat of Security of Bahia. Earlier this month, the department released audio showing traffickers of the Cabula zone lamenting the deaths of the boys on February 6. The alleged link between victims and criminals strengthen the completion of the investigation of the Department of Homicide and Protection of Persons (DHPP), which states that the police acted in self-defense.
“This decision of the Courts serves as a political shield for the Government and for police officers who work in Cabula and other parts of Bahia. It’s very hard. It’s a license to kill,” laments Borges of Reaja.
According to the Anuário Brasileiro de Segurança Pública (Brazilian Yearbook of Public Security), 11,197 people were killed by Brazilian police in the past five years. The PM (Military Police) of Bahia ranks third in the ranking, with at least 234 deaths caused in “confrontation” in 2013, according to the Yearbook, although the Secretariat of Security says it’s only 13.
By: Flávia Marreiro
Judge Who Acquitted Death Squad Running For Federal Judge Position
Judge Marivalda Almeida Moutinho, that “summarily acquitted” 10 policemen from qualified triple murder charge against 12 young people in Cabula is running for federal judge position of the Tribunal de Justiça (Court) through the criteria of seniority and merit.
The judgment of the magistrate, titular of the 34th Circuit Court de Substitutions, was in the last of five days in which he replaced Judge Vilebaldo José de Freitas Pereira, titular of the 2nd Vara do Tribunal do Júri initially assigned to the trial. The decision clears the officers speaking of “self-defense” (circuit court) and builds upon a reconstitution made by the Public Security Bureau on the night of May 27th. The sentence itself that cites an “armed confrontation” and “exchange of fire” reports that one of the technical reports shows scrap metal (powder) on the hands of only four of the 16 victims (dead or injured) of the episode.
“A judge’s decision is not discussed, we resort,” countered by telephone, the judge to this blog. “I fulfilled my duty of my profession, based on what’s in the records. This was not the first time that’s it’s been decided on these terms.” On the urgency with which made the decision, the magistrate showed tranquility. “Any process can be fast, it depends on the judge and the conditions of the process,” he said, citing almost 10,000 pages among denouncements termination of the Ministério Público (Public Prosecutor) and investigations of the Civil and Military Police. Experts criticized the trial without hearing the parties involved.
Judge Marivalda Moutinho was designated by the President of the Court of Justice, Eserval Rocha, to occupy the 1st judgment of the 2nd Vara do Tribunal do Júri in the period between July 21 and 25. The decree is published in the July 21st Diário da Justiça do Estado da Bahia (Journal of the Court of the State of Bahia). In the same journal, it’s possible to see the qualification of magistrate for the post of federal judge in the process of number TJ-HAM-2015/00493.
The criteria for worthiness include performance, productivity assessment, readiness, technical improvement and ethical conduct. In the seniority list, the magistrate, who has 14 years and nine months in the final indentation, occupies the 76th position.
A federal judge position is decided in session by the Tribunal Pleno do Tribunal de Justiça (Court of the Court of Justice) after the formation of a triple list.
At dawn on February 6, 2015, 12 young black men with no criminal records were killed by police gunfire. Witnesses say it was an ambush and execution, the government says it was a shootout.
By: Pablo Reis