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Man confesses to ripping heart out of trans woman in Brazil

Man confesses to ripping heart out of trans woman in Brazil

A protest sign reading "Black & Brown Trans Lives Matter"

Police arrested a 20-year-old man in Brazil on Monday (21 January) for the murder of a transgender woman. The man subsequently confessed to the crime.

Multiple Brazilian outlets have reported on the story throughout the week.

It also gained attention when trans actor and activist Maria Clara Spinelli tweeted about it.

Authorities reportedly said that Caio Santos de Oliveira admitted to his crimes. He allegedly tore out the heart of Quelly da Silva, 35, and then stole her electronic devices after sleeping with her the previous night.

Police found Silva’s body with injuries to her face and a gaping wound in her chest.

Oliveira reportedly told journalists outside the precinct that Silva was a ‘demon’.

The crime occurred in Jardim Marisa, which is in the state of Sao Paulo. Oliveira now faces charges of robbery and felony homicide and remains in police custody.

Officers initially arrested Oliveira because he showed ‘suspicious behavior’ and had various wounds on his body. As they questioned him, he eventually confessed to the crime and led police to a bar where they found Silva’s body. They found her heart wrapped in cloth at Oliveira’s home.

A terrifying and violent reality for trans people in Brazil

Less than a month ago, a transgender woman was shot 11 times and killed on her way to a gym in the country.

Over the past several years, Brazil has had the most reported number of trans murders.

A 2017 report found 171 known trans murders, while last year’s report tallied 167 murders. This is almost more than 100 murders than the country with the second-highest record of trans murders, Mexico.

A more general overview of the country found a high rate of violence against the LGBTI community overall. A 2016 survey determined that at least one LGBTI person in Brazil is murdered every 25 hours.

Clara Masiero, a doctor of law and member of the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences, while speaking of Silva’s death, referenced the rampant transphobia in the country.

‘The cruelty, the fact that the perpetrator referred to the victim as a “demon,” the religious references — there is a whole level of symbolism that brings us face to face with the reality of transphobia in Brazil,’ she said.

Lawyer Paulo Iotti, who works for the Sexual and Gender Diversity Advocacy Group, reiterated Masiero’s point.

He said this ‘level of cruelty is a relatively common indicator of transphobic hatred’.

See also

Brazil’s only openly gay lawmaker flees country after death threats

Brazil’s new president strips LGBTI rights on his first day in office

Man arrested in Delhi accused of shooting trans woman in stomach