Brazil: Justice for Brutal Attack Victim Vitor Suarez

On Monday, July 30, 2012, the Brazilian judge Murilo Kieling announced the release of five young men from Ilha do Governador in Rio de Janeiro. They had been in preventive prison since February after brutally attacking Vitor Suarez, a student who was trying to stop them from beating a homeless person on the street.

A report by mainstream media Rede Record in February, shared [pt] on the blog of Welliton Cordeiro Pires, features a video from a citizen who bears witness to Vitor being attacked with kicks in his face on February 3. Vitor is still recovering [pt] from a surgical procedure to plant 63 pins in his face.

Early on the morning of July 31 [pt], the victim – who is active on Twitter (@EuVitorSuarez), Facebook and also a blogger – started a wave of protest under the hashtag #JusticaVitorSuarez (JusticeVitorSuarez) [pt] against the court decision:

inicio do ano fui espancado por defender um morador de rua, agora eles estão livres. Me ajude com a TAG #justicavitorsuarez

in the beginning of the year I was attacked for defending a homeless and now they are free. Help me with the tag #justicavitorsuarez
Banner in support of Vitor Suarez, by Rede Esgoto de Televisão on Facebook

“If you are against impunity too, share! “justicavitorsuarez”. Banner in support of Vitor Suarez, by Rede Esgoto de Televisão on Facebook

Reactions of outrage on Twitter were immediate.

Andrea Castanheira ‏(@andrea_c_cast) wrote:

Chega de impunidade. Enquanto tivermos este tipo de decisão da justiça a violência só irá aumentar. #justicavitorsuarez

Enough of impunity. While we have this type of decision from justice, violence will only rise. #justicavitorsuarez

Matheus M de Souza (@matheusmraposo) said:

@EuVitorSuarez cara, eu nuca fui fã do Twitter. Mas hoje faço parte dele só pela sua causa. Uma andorinha não faz verão, mas seremos todas.

@EuVitorSuarez man, I was never a fan of Twitter. But today I take part of it only because of you. A swallow doesn't make the summer, but we will all be.

And Everton (@gnueverton) from Porto Alegre added:

Este caso #justicavitorsuarez deve nos indignar e nos movimentar p/mudar esse mundo. Estamos em época d eleições e saber votar é 1 começo.

This #justicavitorsuarez case should make us indignant and move us to change this world. We are in elections time and to know how to vote is a start.
"Don't allow this to end on black and white". Banner from Nós Queremos Justiça (We Want Justice) on Facebook

“Don't allow this to end on black and white”. Banner from Nós Queremos Justiça (We Want Justice) on Facebook

Netizens revolted against the judge's decision to replace the remand by alternative measures and also for considering that there wasn't an intent to kill in the attack against Vitor Suarez, which means that the aggressors won't be subject to a people's trial [pt], but only to a conventional court. A petition [pt] launched on Avaaz on August 2, asking the judge to reconsider his decision, has reached fifteen thousand subscribers in about 24 hours.

Now that his aggressors are back to their normal lives, while Vitor is still away from home recovering, he mourns [pt] “for all of us who form this body called society”:

Meu caso teve uma repercussão mundial, pessoas de todos os lugares do mundo visitam diariamente meu blog e me mandam mensagens de apoio. O que me faz lembrar daquelas pessoas que passam por coisas piores, que vivem de forma desumana, e não possuem a menor informação pra botar pra fora tudo isso, e fazer com que o mundo saiba de cada problema que vivem. Porque, mesmo com vídeos, provas, fotos, e meu corpo sendo a maior prova de todo esse processo, os caras que quase me mataram estão LIVRES, e penso nos casos que não tiveram a sorte de ter repercussão, pra onde vão ?

My case has has a worldwide impact, people from all over the world visit my blog every day and send me messages of support. This reminds me of those people who go through worse situations, living in an inhuman manner, and do not have the slightest information to convey and make the world aware of each problem they are living. Because even with videos, exams, photos, and my body being the greatest proof of this ordeal, the guys who almost killed me are FREE, and I think of those other cases that were not lucky enough to gain attention, where did they go?

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