“immense sadness” at the funeral of a black man beaten to death by security agents

The emotion was perceptible, Saturday, November 21, in Porto Alegre, in the south of Brazil, at the funeral of Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas, a black man killed Thursday after being severely beaten by white security agents of a Carrefour supermarket.

In the presence of around forty people, he was buried in a sober ceremony full of meditation. “I hope that all the emotion that his death aroused will ensure that our society improves (…), that we teach the principles of equality on the benches of the school”, launched his father.

The unbearable footage from a video showing the victim punched by a security guard in the supermarket parking lot while the other held him shocked Brazil. According to the first elements of the investigation, he was severely beaten for more than five minutes before being immobilized by his attackers and dying of suffocation. Alexandre Bompard, CEO of Carrefour, yesterday expressed his “lively emotion” and said to have “asked the Carrefour Brazil teams for full collaboration with justice so that all light is shed on these heinous acts.”

On Saturday, at the start of his speech at the virtual G20 summit, far-right President Jair Bolsonaro once again ignored the serious problems of structural racism that plague Brazil, a country with more than half of the 212 million inhabitants are black or mixed race.

“As a man and as a president, I see everyone the same color: green and yellow (the colors of the flag of Brazil)“, he said, reiterating comments posted the day before on Twitter, when he said “daltonien”. His vice president Hamilton Mourao also sparked an outcry on Friday, claiming that there was no “no racism in Brazil”.

On Friday evening, demonstrations bringing together several hundred people took place in front of Carrefour supermarkets in Porto Alegre and other major Brazilian cities.

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