Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Cláudia da Silva Ferreira

The three military officers who rescued Cláudia da Silva Ferreira, 38, in Morro da Congonha in Madureira, a suburb of Rio, are under arrest, as shown by Bom Dia Rio on Monday (17). 

The cleaning assistant died after being hit by stray bullets (in the neck and back) during a police operation against drug trafficking in the region. Witnesses reported that Cláudia was placed in the trunk of the police car to be taken to hospital. 

However, along the way, the trunk opened and the woman’s body fell the fell out of the trunk, and was dragged down the street. 

The Military Police (MP) opened an inquiry into the facts and reported that the officers involved were being heard in the morning in Precinct of the Judicial Police and then will be forwarded to the Batalhão Especial Prisional da PM (BEP or Special Prison Battalion of PM).

The Extra newspaper published on Monday (17) a video made by an amateur video maker showing the woman being dragged for about 250 meters. Cláudia da Silva Ferreira’s body was hanging on the bumper of the vehicle only by a piece of clothing.

“My daughter (referring to his wife) said she was going to buy R$3 of bread and R$3 of bologna, but didn’t have to go,” said Cláudia’s husband who preferred to remain anonymous for security reasons.

Cláudia Silva Ferreira, 38, was the mother of four children and raised four nephews. The wake was to be held on Monday at the Irajá Cemetery. The funeral was scheduled for 1pm.

According to the PM, the police did an operation in the community. There was a shootout with drug dealers and the cleaning assistant was shot. Soon after, angry residents protested against the police action. Two buses were set on fire.

They blocked Avenida Ministro Edgar Romero (avenue), one of the main streets in Madureira. According to residents, Cláudia was shot in the chest and head by the police of the 9th Battalion, which went up in the hill shooting.

“The police came in the morning and they came shooting not even giving any orders they came shooting and the shots came all over her. People shouted: it’s a woman, worker, resident and they continued firing,” said one resident.

Cláudia’s friends complained that MPs took a long time to help her. To them, the victim was not immediately helped after being hit: assistance would only have been rendered after a drug dealer was shot.

“At the time when they came to help her, she didn’t have the injured leg when she was placed in the PM’s car, but when she arrived at the hospital her right leg was eaten raw, we understand that she was dragged somewhere, that was not there, that didn’t have blood marked on the ground, but her leg is in live flesh. They didn’t let anyone go with them, they hardly informed anyone where they were taking her,” said the victim’s friend.

Heartbroken, Cláudia’s husband lamented the fact that his wife had not been able to realize her dreams. “Extroverted, a true warrior, determined about what she wanted. Unfortunately, her dream could not be realized now, we’re going to try for me to do this, modify the house for her, that she couldn’t, not that she couldn’t, they interrupted her dream,” he said.

Response from MP In a statement, the Military Police said that Cláudia da Silva Ferreira was placed in the trunk of the car and on the way to the hospital when the door opened and it was at that time that part of her body ended up being dragged through the street causing more injuries. The command of the MP stated that this type of conduct is not consistent with the core values of the corporation that is the preservation of life and human dignity.

The Military Police also reported that the police found Cláudia already shot up on the hill.
She also was taken to the Hospital Estadual Carlos Chagas (State Hospital Carlos Chagas), but succumbed to her injuries.

According to the MP, in the operation in Madureira, a drug dealer was killed and another was wounded and arrested. The police seized four guns, walkie talkies and drugs in the community. The Civil Police will investigate where the shots came from.

For the family, the pain is mixed with indignation. “The feeling is that on the hill, only criminals and marginals live in the favela (slum); insecurity, we are treated like animals,” says a friend of Cláudia.

Cláudia’s son said that his mother feared that her children would be shot in confrontation in the community or be confused with traffickers in the region. Everton Ferreira da Silva, 16, said during his mother’s funeral that there is constant exchange of gunfire on the hill.

“She was afraid of police actions in the community. Every day, they [PMs] will come in firing and then see who it is. She wouldn’t let us stay on the street for fear of something happening or them confusing us with traffickers,” he said.

Cláudia’s brother, Júlio Cesar, said that the cleaning assistant was placed alive in the MP car. “They [MPs] did it to her. We don’t know what will become of our lives now. There are eight children. Who will take care of them now? The father can’t stop working. What will our lives be like now?” he asked.

“It was disgusting to see that hanging body. They were passing other cars, and the body was banging (on the ground). People on the street were screaming, trying to warn the police, but they didn’t listen. They only stopped because of the signal and then, they managed to hear what people were saying. Two officers then descended from the car and put the body back in the car,” said the cameraman.

Cláudia’s sister, Jussara Ferreira Silva, 39, was shocked when she saw the image of her sister’s body being dragged. Outraged, she wants the police to be punished:

“They think that whoever lives in the community is a criminal. They treat us as if we were disposable meat. This will not go unpunished. These MPs must answer for what they did.”
Before even knowing what had happened to Cláudia, relatives had suspicion that something might have happened, as viewed her raw body flesh upon arrival at the hospital.

“We found it strange when we saw the body that way. We suspected that it had happened on the way to the hospital,” reported Diego Gomes, 30, Cláudia’s cousin.

Thaís Silva, 18, the victim’s daughter and the first to find her dead, had already complained about the way the 9th Battalion police rescued her: “They dragged my mother as if she was a bag and threw her into the van like an animal, said the revolted young woman.

The victim would have been 20 years married to the Alexandre Fernandes da Silva, 41, in September of this year. Outraged, residents of Morro da Congonha staged protests in the morning and also at night.

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