Eight arrested after viral video of brutally murdered trans woman causes outrage
Three more men have been arrested on suspicion of the brutal murder of a Brazilian trans woman who begged for her life before being beaten to death in a shocking online video.
Dandara dos Santos, 42, was taken from her home, beaten, stripped and thrown in a wheelbarrow before being taken away to be killed by a gang of six men.
The terrified woman, who lived in Fortaleza in northeastern Brazil, is seen wiping blood from her face and body in the video while pleading with her attackers to stop.
The group of men who attacked Dandara can be seen laughing and cheering in the video as they kick, punch and beat her with shoes and plank of wood.
She begs them to stop, but instead, the men taunt her about her breasts and throw transphobic and homophobic insults at her, telling her in Portuguese that they “will kill the faggot”.
Thankfully the footage, which LGBT groups began spreading online on Friday, has helped the police to identify the attackers.
Officers raided homes in Bom Jardim in Fortaleza last week, arresting five people in the same neighbourhood where the murder took place.
After revealing the arrests, André Santos Costa, the secretary of public security in the state of Ceará, told Brazilian news channel Globo: “Acts like these, by cowards and vagabonds are not accepted by any good citizen, nor by the police.
“We need more education and guidance for people, to learn to respect others.
“Intolerance only has bad consequences. The people of Ceará deserve this response and a policy of protecting minorities.”
On Wednesday night, an adult was arrested and a teenager handed himself in at a police station.
Then on Sunday morning, police arrested an eighth suspect in Pedra Branca, 261 kilometers from where dos Santos was murdered.
The suspect was arrested at 6am, next to his grandparents’ house, according to police. Upon seeing the police officers, the man tried to run, but was soon captured. He will be taken back to Fortaleza.
Of the eight male suspects arrested, four are teenagers and four are adults, Globo has reported.
Though Brazil legalised same-sex marriage in 2013 and hosts the world’s largest Pride celebration, LGBT attacks are upsettingly common.
A survey earlier this year found that one LGBT person was killed every 25 hours in Brazil throughout 2016.
144 of the victims were trans people, which translated to a hugely disproportional 42 percent of victims.
Far more trans people are killed in Brazil than in any other individual country. Of the 295 trans people killed worldwide between October 2015 and September 2016, 123 were Brazilian.
India, whose population is six times the size of Brazil’s, saw six trans people murdered in the same time period, according to the Trans Murder Monitoring project.
If you believe that there should be tougher sentences for transphobic crimes in Brazil and around the world, please sign this petition.