On the 17th February, Alex, a young boy just 8 years old, was brutally beaten by his father Alex André Moraes Soeiro, 34, on Vila Kennedy, in the west zone of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil. The motive? The child did not want to cut his hair to go to school.
After a two-hour beating, Alex was taken to Vila Kennedy UPA (Unidade de Pronto Atendimento – Emergency Care Unit), already dead and with bruises all over his little body. The medical team suspected of domestic violence and send the case to Conselho Tutelar de Bangu (Bangu Guardianship Council).
At the Afrânio Peixoto IML (Instituto Médico Legal – Legal Medical Institute) the experts found that he died due to internal bleeding. He had his liver perforated because of the brutal beating. His body also showed signs of malnutrition.
Alex lived with his mother, Digna Medeiros, 29, in Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte state. In early 2013, the Guardianship Council threatened to take custody of the child for not taking him to school. Digna is unemployed and lives with money given by Alex’s grandfather,so she sent the child to his father, in Rio.
Soeiro, the father, who has already served a sentence for drug trafficking and is unemployed, was living with his wife Gisele Soares, and 5 children in a 3 room house situated in an area disputed by three rival gangs.
In a statement given to authorities, the father claimed to frequently beat his son for being disobedient.
In that statement, Soeiro told deputy Rui Barbosa, from Bangu’s 34th Police District, that the beatings were “correctives” to teach the child “to walk like a man. (literally translated meaning “be a man”)” For him, Alex, who liked to wash dishes and belly dancing, was “effeminate”. Soeiro also told that the child was not crying while being beaten, so he kept beating more and more, thinking the “lesson” wasn’t being well learned.
The neighbors who named him “Bangu’s monster” stated that never heard anything.
In May 2013, when Alex moved to his father’s in Rio, he was enrolled in Coronel José Gomes Moreira public school, in Vila Kennedy.
The child was a good student, always getting good grades during the time he studied there. Early this year, the father went to the school to request documentation regarding Alex, according to him because he was returning to Mossoró, to his mother.
Soeiro was arrested on the night of February 18th by order of the judge Nathalia Magluta, and was detained in Gericinó Penitentiary on Bangu’s west zone, indicted for murder.
Relatives interviewed stated that Soeiro was homophobic (and transphobic obviously) and had already rejected his 12-year-old son who, for him, was “not masculine enough”. He had already beaten his oldest son and his own mother.
We are not sure if this child was, in effect, transgender, but evidence points to that. He was effeminate, at least. But this crime is so awful that even not being transgender, it deserves a worldwide public denunciation.
It is my personal belief that homophobia/transphobia can only start ending on a long term educational effort by governments, providing an inclusive education on these matters. This means teaching children that sexual orientation and gender identity issues are not deviations or demonic things and that diversity includes these items.
These kinds of violence against LGBT people must stop. Please help denounce the violence worldwide by signing our petition Brazil Stop The Slaughter of Trans People Then spread the petition everywhere, to friends, relatives, on FB, twitter, and help stop these violence/murders. Be a part of this fight, and we will win, sooner or later.