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  • Brazilian soldier patrol a favela community.

    Brazilian soldier patrol a favela community. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 August 2018
Opinion

Ten-year-old Italo Ferreira de Jesus Siqueira was fatally shot by a military policeman on June 23, 2016.

Brazil's Public Prosecutor office of the State of Sao Paulo (MP-SP) has charged five military police officers with the death of 10-year-old Italo Ferreira de Jesus Siqueira, which took place on June 23, 2016. All officers were indicted for administration fraud and two, Israel Renan Ribeiro da Silva and Otavio de Marqui, for homicide.

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The two officers claimed that they fired their weapons after observing a beam of light coming from the car Italo de Jesus and an 11-year-old friend had stolen from a condominium garage in Morumbi, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city of Sao Paulo and all Brazil. 

Forensic evidence, however, indicated that the origin of the bullet holes pierced the exterior of the car. None were of the bullets emerged from the interior of the vehicle.

Police officers gave chase to the car occupied by Italo de Jesus and his friend on in June 2016. The public prosecutor, Fernando Cesar Bolque, said Italo de Jesus, who was unable to steer the vehicle, collided with a bus. The car then slammed into the back of a truck.

Italo de Jesus was shot by Marqui and died on the scene, according to Agencia Brasil. His 11-year-old friend testified that they did not shoot at or confront the police at any point.

The indictment on administrative fraud was related to a firearm that, according to the military police, was recovered from the vehicle occupied by Italo de Jesus and his friend. Military policeman Daniel Guedes Rodrigues told Marqui to remove the weapon from the vehicle and leave it in his custody, altering the scene of the crime. When the firearm was finally presented to investigators, it had been fired.

"Technical proof demonstrates that no weapon was fired from inside the vehicle," said Ariel de Castro Alves, coordinator of the Child and Youth Commission of the State Council on Human Rights and attorney.

"Therefore, we can conclude that the children who were in the car did not shoot the weapon. Only the military policemen shot."

The officers were also charged with administrative fraud for detaining Italo de Jesus' friend inside a police car and riding with him for more than two hours before returning him to his mother.

After identifying her son at the morgue, Italo's mother, Cintia Ferreira Francelino, decried, "My God, Italo just wanted to sing, his thing was singing. He just wanted attention... Help me for God’s sake, people... Look, people, for God’s sake, my son is only ten years old.”

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