Handing out lenient punishments to athletes for committing violence against women is a fairly common practice, not just in American sports, but across the world.
However, the most disgusting case in this regard, in recent history, emerged in Brazil when a soccer player, a convicted murder who confessed to killing his ex-girlfriend and feeding her to his dogs, was signed by a club within a month of his release from jail.
Bruno Fernandes de Souza had confessed to conspiring with friends to kidnap, torture and murder his ex-girlfriend, Eliza Samudio, who was suing him for the custody of their son. He then disposed of the woman’s body by feeding it to his Rottweilers.
He had been serving time in Apac de Santa Luzia prison, near Rio de Janiero, since 2010, the year the murder was committed. Initially, he was handed a 22-year sentence, in 2013. But last month, the killer was released unexpectedly on a “legal technicality.”
While the short sentence of the killer, despite the heinousness of his crime, is shocking, even more appalling is the way Brazil is rewarding him post-release.
Within weeks the murder was given a two-year contract by Boa Esporte, a second-division club. In fact, his agent told Goal.com that he had received “nine offers in total.”
Moreover, Souza reportedly is seeking custody of his son, whose mother he ruthlessly murdered. He is being raised by Samudio’s mother.
Souza’s rewards post-release are an upsetting reminder of the prevalent misogyny in Brazil, which is one of the worst Latin American countries to be a girl or woman.
“Lethal violence against women had increased by 24% over the previous decade,” Amnesty International stated in its latest country report. “The gang rapes of a girl on 21 May and a woman on 17 October in Rio de Janeiro state, drew nationwide attention, further confirming the state’s failure to respect, protect and fulfill women’s and girls’ human rights. Between January and November, there were 4,298 cases of rape reported in the state of Rio de Janeiro, 1,389 of those in the capital.”
“One in three women had suffered physical, verbal or psychological violence over the past year,” according to a recent survey by polling institute Datafolha.