Brazil: homeless "kidnapped" & dumped by Corumba municipal guard?

Tom Boland (
Mon, 22 Mar 1999 20:57:46 -0800 (PST)

Subject: News from Brazil, No. 342
From: SEJUP <>
Date: 1999/03/19

NEWS FROM BRAZIL supplied by SEJUP (Servico Brasileiro de Justia e Paz).
Number 342,  March 17, 1999.

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[Excerpted from this week's issue:]



The prefect of Corumba in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, Eder Moreira
Brambilla, was accused of kidnaping street people in early February and
exporting them to So Paulo. Corumba is one of the largest tourist
points in the state-- up to 70 thousand people visit it during the
year. The state borders with Bolivia and has a population of 89,000

According to the prefect, the decision to remove the homeless from the
streets was because the number of people living on the streets had
increased. Brambilla denied the allegations that he was cleaning the
streets of the city from homeless people. Only 18 of the 32 homeless
people who were kidnaped and transferred from Corumba to So Paula have
returned to Mato Grosso do Sul. Fourteen of them have stayed in the
interior of the state of So Paulo, 13 in Campo Grande and five in the
city of Carumba.  Julio Cesar de Almeida,   tells how he was
'kidnaped':  "A minibus stopped in front of me and three municipal
guards jumped out and ordered me into the bus. They took me to a half
way house and locked me in a room. I could not even look out through
the window". Another homeless person called Miguel Gomes da Silva,
spent 34 hours in a similar situation and said it was the most fearful
time of his entire life. Five of the homeless, who returned from So
Paulo to Corumba, said they had lived more than five years in Corumba.

The municipal guard of Corumba, filled a bus with 32 homeless people
and took them for a 'ride' to the interior of the States of  Parana and
So Paulo. They were simply dropped of like animals in the cities of the
above mentioned states. Fortunately the Highway Police in So Paulo,
were able to arrest the guards. A member of city hall told the
municipal guards that they were to return to the city of origins some
beggars who were left in Corumba.

The prefect is directly responsible for this appalling behavior of
picking up defenseless people and 'dumping' them.  In truth, these
street people, excluded from society for one reason or another, deserve
conditions that will help them readapt to society. This is a duty of
those in public office, to provide shelters, housing, assistance etc.
even if it is temporary. How much money is spent on unfinished works,
self-promotion and other things which rarely achieve anything? Why
can't we invest in the human person? People need to use their heads to
think about the problems of their fellow beings, and not crazy ideas
and cowardly acts like this one of 'exporting' defenseless people so
that the city would not loose out in its tourist attractions. On the
contrary, it serves to raise the indignation of people who dream of a
better city and State.

Federal government, as well as state and municipal governments need to
invest with urgency in social projects for the excluded and oppressed
in our society, where such people receive the benefits to readapt back
into a society where they are included and respected.

February 1999


Subject: News from Brazil, No. 342
From: SEJUP <>
Date: 1999/03/19
Newsgroups: alt.activism.d
Dear Sejup readers,

As our numbers are diminished here on staff, we are finding that we need to
readjust slightly our methods of reporting.  Currently, we all do this work
voluntarily in addition to our other ministries here in Brazil; and we no
longer have any one person working on Sejup full-time.  Thus, we have
decided to provide you with news briefs, principally from one of Brazil's
biggest newspapers, the Folha de So Paulo.  We also will include each week
an article from an alternative news source or grass roots movement
concerning a particular issue.  We hope this will meet your needs for news
from Brazil.  We welcome your comments.

Please make note of our new email address: (that's a
number one after the word "sejup").



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