Permanent Black Man
A few dozen residents of Cabula, the cinder-block favela, gathered to commemorate the murder of eight young black men and four black teenagers on Feb. 6, 2015.
Witnesses said they last saw the 12 Cabula residents at around 3 a.m. on Feb. 6 of last year being led by a military police officers down a hill toward an empty dirt field surrounded by trees. Gunshots were heard, and shortly after the police were seen putting bodies in a truck and leaving the neighborhood. All of them were young, black and lived in the community.
The media reaction was swift and unapologetically one-sided. Salvador television news programs glorified the killings and praised the police involved as “heroes.” The state of Bahia’s most widely circulated newspaper and most popular television stations, all owned by influential right-wing politicians, demonized the dead as criminals.
...The Brazilian police force is one of the deadliest in the world. Brazil’s population is 50 percent smaller than that of the United States, but the Brazilian police has killed more people in a recent five-year span than U.S. police killed in the last 30 years. According to Amnesty International, 80 percent of those killed by police in Brazil are young, black and poor. Salvador da Bahia, the state capitol of Bahia and the third-largest city in Brazil, has the largest concentration of black Brazilians in the country.