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Jul 25th 2005

Grow Up Brazil, Part Deux

UPDATE: Many of the facts available when I originally posted this story have now changed. Jean Charles de Menezes did not, in fact, do anything that should have placed him under suspicion (running towards subway, jumping the ticket barrier, etc). He was followed by plain clothes police officers because he looked like a suspect and these officers received (erroneous) confirmation from their home office that Menezes was the terrorist in question. You can read an extensive summary of the case here.

Mourning the tragedy of a lost countryman was not enough.

Now hundreds of Brazilians are demanding that the London police who acted against a perceived threat be arrested.

GONZAGA, Brazil – Hundreds of relatives and friends of a Brazilian shot to death in London after being mistaken for a terrorist marched along the cobblestone streets of his hometown Monday, demanding the arrest of the British police who fired the fatal shots.

Some of the protesters held banners denouncing British police as the real terrorists; other placards were adorned with snapshots of Jean Charles de Menezes, urging British Prime Minister Tony Blair to send his body home so it can be buried.

(emphasis mine)

What planet are these people from? I certainly hope they aren’t echoing the sentiments of the Brazilian people at large.

In London, Foreign Minister Celso Amorin said he had instructions from president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva “to take firm measures to defend the interests of the family of a Brazilian who died in an absurd manner.”

The only absurdity of this episode has been the Brazilian government’s response to the tragedy. It is painfully obvious that they do not understand in the slightest the terrorist threat faced by countries such as England.

Gonzaga’s mayor, outraged over news Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder, called the killing an “assassination.”

“It’s easy for Blair to apologize, but it doesn’t mean very much,” said Mayor Julio de Souza. “What happened to English justice and England, a place where police patrol unarmed?”

Apparently Julio de Souza has been hibernating for the past few weeks.

The entire episode, and the hateful comments by Brazilians here on our blog accusing us of racist tendencies, has taught me one thing: some people simply do not understand the threat that terrorism presents to the civilized world.

Terrorists are not deterred, or their deadly attacks prevented, by candlelight vigils and moments of silence. They are deterred and eliminated by force, swift and sure. Sadly, this young Brazilian placed himself in the crossfire.

For the Brazilian government to mourn his passing is natural, to feign offense is understandable, but to demand action against well intentioned police is lunacy.

4 Responses to “Grow Up Brazil, Part Deux”

  1. Tell them like it is Doug!

    Perhaps if there had not been terrorist attacks so recently in London, there would be justification for outrage. However, there were attacks recently and you cannot excuse the kind of behavior this Brazilian exhibited.

    If Menezes was shot while trying to surrender to police or was holding his hands up, or something, there would be justification for outrage. But seeing that none of that is the case, we can only commend the British Police for showing that they’re ready to stand up to the potential threat of terrorism.

    I’m sure that the British Police are not going to shoot anyone that looks suspicious, but my guess is that this guy signed his death warrant when he jumped into the Subway car. I’m sure that these British Police have orders to protect the public above all else. And that is exactly what their training and perhaps recent orders told them to do when they shot this man to death.

  2. de Souza: “What happened to…England, a place where police patrol unarmed?”

    Apparently Julio de Souza has been hibernating for the past few weeks.

    well put. geez, it is like these people are trying to stuff feet in their mouths every time they open them.

    i think it is interesting to note the brazilians now clamoring for a british withdrawl from iraq.

    The militant Landless Rural Workers’ Movement has scheduled protests Tuesday in front of the British Embassy in Brasilia and the consulate in Rio de Janeiro. The movement said in a statement that Menezes “was assassinated in cold blood, victim of intolerance” and called for the British withdrawal from
    Iraq
    .

    – – – – –
    Souza said the root cause of Menezes’ death was Blair’s decision to back the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. That prompted the wave of terrorist attacks, the mayor said.

    the guys doing all the beheadings in iraq couldn’t agree more with the brazilians.

  3. Moni Brecht

    ” If Menezes was shot while trying to surrender to police or was holding his hands up, or something, there would be justification for outrage. But seeing that none of that is the case, we can only commend the British Police for showing that they’re ready to stand up to the potential threat of terrorism.”

    erm… any comments about it now that it was discovered that he DID surrended to the police, DIDN`T run and wasn`t wearing a heavy coat?

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