Favela stories #1

I heard this story yesterday.

There was a 19 year old kid who lived in the favela (marginalized slum community) of Jacarezinho (the little alligator.) His name was Bruno. He was an average Brazilian – loved soccer and hanging out with his friends, but his family came first. He worked as a pizza delivery boy on his motorcycle, racing through traffic and up and down the hills through the narrow winding crowded streets, beeping his horn, enjoying the speed and the wind rushing past his face.

One day, his 77 year old father (João) fell and hurt himself badly. Bruno knew that his dad needed emergency care, so he rushed him to the hospital. Or rather, he would have, if he had a car, or if there was one available nearby. He would have called an ambulance, but besides being super expensive, they would refuse to come into the slum community he lived in.

So Bruno and a friend hopped on his motorcycle and drove down the hill to one of the access roads into the favela. They pulled the motorcycle up in the middle of the road, and both flagged down the first taxi to come down the road. Bruno’s friend jumped into the back of the taxi and began to explain the situation to the driver as Bruno rushed to move his motorcycle out of the middle of the road so they could race up the hill and get João to the hospital.

At that moment, two police officers were driving by with their M-16s hanging out the window of their car. They saw Bruno pushing the motorcycle out of the road, and another young man in the back of the taxi. So, assuming the taxi was being robbed by these two young men, they did what any reasonable police officer would do. They shot Bruno, and killed him.

His funeral was this afternoon. He was buried alongside his father, who did not make it to the hospital in time. Pray for their family who now mourns. Pray for peace. Pray for justice.

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Filed under favela, injustice, violence

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