The murderers of Brazilian trans woman, Dandara dos Santos, have been jailed for a collective term of 83 years. Dandara was beaten, tortured, shot twice in the face and then bludgeoned to death by a group of men who filmed the attack and shared it online. Although 8 were arrested, only 5 have been jailed for her torture and killing.
The horrific video footage of the attack was shared on Youtube before the clip, and images from it, went viral. While a single case, it highlighted the appalling violence and discrimination trans people face in Brazil. With more than 1 LGBT+ person murdered in the country every day, trans support group ANTRA state that, of those, in this year alone more than 35 trans people have been killed.
Of the group convicted, Francisco José Monteiro de Oliveira Jnr received 21 years for her shooting, while Jean Victor Silva Oliveira, Rafael Alves da Silva Paiva and Francisco Gabriel dos Reis each received 16 years for her brutal beating. Another who encouraged the attack, Isaías da Silva Camurça, was sentenced to 14 years. The men intend to appeal the charges saying that although they did attack Dandara, they were not responsible for her eventual death. They believe they may be successful as the video footage which helped to convict them doesn’t show her last moments. This led the prosecutor Marcus Renan Palace to quip, “No one killed Dandara? Was it lightning that fell on her head? A stone that fell from the building?”
One of those jailed, Francisco Gabriel dos Reis, apologised to the family of his victim in court. He said, “I did this because I was deluded… Today I serve Jesus. I learned that we have to have love in our hearts.”
This was too little too late for Francisca Ferreira de Vasconcelos, Dandara’s mother, who couldn’t bring herself to attend court proceedings. In an interview with the BBC she stated, “This trial will not change anything in my life. I lost… [Dandara] because of prejudice and I lost my grandson on the sidewalk here from home with one shot, all in the same year.”
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