Five of the eight men arrested for the brutal murder of a trans woman in Brazil last year have been sentenced to jail for a collective term of 83 years.
The video of Dandara dos Santos, 42, horrific bashing and shooting by a group of men sent shockwaves through the world after it went viral.
The men beat dos Santos in the head with their bare hands, flip flops and wooden plank. The men tried to force her into a wheelbarrow but she couldn’t stand up. The group ended up throwing her into a wheelbarrow. They took her down a dirt road in the wheelbarrow where they shot her twice in the face and bludgeoned her to death with a big stone.
A Brazilian court has just sentenced five of the accused. They were sentenced individually but also charged with three other crimes. They were a hate crime, not allowing the victim a chance to defend herself and cruelty.
Francisco José Monteiro de Oliveira Junior was sentenced to 21 years for shooting dos Santos.
Jean Victor Silva Oliveira was penalized for 16 years beating dos Santos with the wooden board.
Rafael Alves da Silva Paiva and Francisco Gabriel dos Reis will both serve 16 years for kicking her and hitting her with flip flops respectively.
The man who hurled homophobic slurs at dos Santos, Isaías da Silva Camurça, will go to jail for 14 and a half years.
Their trial started on Thursday 5 April with their sentence handed down a little after midnight on Friday (Brazil time).
A mother’s pain
Francisca Ferreira de Vasconcelos, 75, is dos Santos’ mother. She refused to attend the trial because it would be too hurtful for her.
‘I’ve already lost a lot and it got under my skin what these people are capable of doing. This trial will not change anything in my life,’ she told the BBC.
‘I’m still scared, I lost my son because of prejudice and I lost my grandson on the sidewalk here from home with one shot, all in the same year.’
Trans murders in Brazil
Brazil is one of the most dangerous places in the world for trans people. The trans community faces daily violence and discrimination.
Brazil has one of the highest rates of violence and murder against trans people in the world. The rate of LGBTI murders in the country has escalated to more than one a day.
By March this year, 35 trans people have been murdered according to ANTRA – the national association of transvestites and transexuals.