Target: Michel Temer, President of Brazil
Goal: Prosecute men accused of murdering a trans woman and enact stricter penalties for those found guilty of hate crimes.
Dandara dos Santos, a transgender woman living in Brazil, was allegedly brutally murdered by a group of men. Her murder gained attention in the media when a cell phone video of the incident was posted on YouTube earlier this month.
The video appears to depict Dandara begging for her life while being kicked and beaten with wooden planks. The men continuously yell transphobic and homophobic things at her as they continue to torture her. Before the video ends, she is thrown in a wheelbarrow and carted off to be killed. According to authorities, she was taken to a nearby street, beaten some more and shot twice in the face. Because of the video, police have arrested three teenagers and two men connected to the killing. However, they are still looking for others. The Bom Jardim district of Fortaleza, where the crime occurred, is a low-income community and those who have already been arrested have allegedly been involved in drug trafficking and other crimes.
Rede Trans, a Brazilian website that monitors attacks on transgender people, recorded that 144 transgender people were murdered in 2016. The site’s coordinator, Sayonara Nogueira, told the news outlet UOL that “repercussions only came after the video was released” and that without it would have likely been ignored.
The rise of conservative figures in Brazil like Jair Bolsonaro has created an atmosphere where this sort of violence (without the aid of intense media attention) could easily become the norm. Bolsonaro, who has excoriated immigrants, made jokes about rape and voiced his intensely anti-gay views, is considering running for president in Brazil next year. Sign this petition to ensure that those involved in the murder of Dandara dos Santos are rightly punished and to help create harsher penalties for such hate crimes in Brazil.
Dear President Michel Temer,
As the current president of Brazil, it is important for you to acknowledge the appropriate measures that need to be taken in regards to the murder of Dandara dos Santos.
The vicious attack and murder of Dandara dos Santos, a transgender woman, reveals the hate within some who call Brazil home. You should denounce the actions of these accused criminals, make sure they are rightfully punished and criticize public figures like Jair Bolsonaro to ensure that your community knows this sort of transphobic and homophobic hate is not to be tolerated. In addition, stricter laws need to be implemented to deter crimes like this from happening in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ludovic Bertron