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A Gentleman’s Approach to Feminism: Why The Bruno Fernandes de Souza Case Matters

Eliza Samudio’s Life Mattered More Than Sports

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A Gentleman’s Approach to Feminism is a weekly column from Journalist Walter Yeates. This column will mostly focus on women’s rights and other news which affect women around the world.

The 2010 kidnapping and subsequent brutal murder of Eliza Samudio was a dastardly gruesome crime which parallels the focus of a James Patterson murder mystery. The crime came at the height of Bruno Fernandes de Souza’s fame; the Goalkeeper who is known as “Bruno” in Brazil was the Captain of club Flamengo. In 2009 Bruno led the team to Campeonato Brasileiro Série A and Campeonato Carioca competition victories.

Eliza Samudio holding her son shortly before her murder. Via The Sun

However, none of that matters as the following year he was the mastermind of a heinous crime which took the life of a young mother who was looking out for the best interests of her child.

Before getting into why I want to speak in detail about this disgusting murder, I’ll give the background of how we got to this tragic point in the story.

The Crime

While pregnant Eliza filed a police report against Fernandes’s associates. In the report, she claimed that Bruno had her kidnapped and those associates and attempted to force her to have an abortion.

Shortly after the birth of her child in 2010, Fernandes had Samudio kidnapped, tortured, and strangled to death. He would also order his associates to dismember Eliza Samudio and to have her remains fed to dogs.

Yes, this murder was THAT grotesque.

After an extremely public trial where “Bruno” admitted to his role in the murder and was sentenced to 22 years in 2013.

The Injustice

He was recently released after only six years in jail on a legal technicality while he was awaiting an appeal. While a perfectly legal situation, it remains infuriating. There have even been rumors that Fernandes was captured on video celebrating his release with friends and drinking champagne.

Adding to the outrage Fernandes de Souza signed to Boa Esporte, a second-division club, for two years. Owner Rafael Gois Silva Xavier stated, “[Fernandes] was found guilty, he served his time and he was released by the courts. He deserves another opportunity.”

I guess having your girlfriend murdered and fed to dogs because you don’t want to pay child support is a forgivable offense.

How Women Are Treated In Brazil

This excerpt from the 2016/2017 Amnesty International annual report perfectly explains the issues women face in Brazil:

In May the interim federal government dissolved the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Racial Equality and Human Rights and reduced it to a department within the Ministry of Justice, causing a significant reduction of resources and programmes dedicated to safeguarding women’s and girls’ rights.

A number of studies during the year showed that lethal violence against women had increased by 24% over the previous decade and confirmed that Brazil was one of the worst Latin American countries in which to be a girl – especially due to extremely high levels of gender-based violence and teenage pregnancy, and low completion rates of secondary education.

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.

The year also marked one decade since legislation against domestic violence came into force. The government failed to rigorously implement the law, however, with domestic violence and impunity for it remaining widespread.


Eliza Samudio holding a 2009 police report filed against Fernandes. via Marcelo Theobald


A recent United Nations report details that woman is assaulted in São Paulo, Brazil every 15 seconds. Brazilian President Michel Temer has shown a complete lack of empathy and complete disdain for feminist issues, proving women are neglected at the federal level in Brazil. On International Women’s Day; Temer congratulated women on their housekeeping skills and being able to notice fluctuating price changes at grocery stores.


Gentleman’s Take

This would be a stomach-churning story no matter where it took place. While a number of women’s rights organization, the general public, and the international community have let their voices be heard, there is a systemic problem with how Brazil treats women.

Even with a number of sponsors pulling their support from Boa Esporte, Bruno Fernandes de Souza contract remains intact. Fernandes hasn’t feigned or done anything to show he has evolved into a new man.

There are no pictures of him in this article for a specific reason, the real story is about Eliza Samudio and her son. Fernandes de Souza was proven to be the father of the child after paternity testing, but is he really someone who deserves the label of “father?”

When women are assaulted their loved ones are also victimized, while to a lesser extent it’s an event which affects numerous individuals. Eliza Samudio’s family will never be the same, her son will never get to know his mother, and Brazilian women and their allies remain fighting for equal protection under governing law of Brazil.

Young boys whose mothers, sisters, and friends are assaulted either find the acts acceptable, become traumatized, or become a fierce advocate to make sure these actions never happen again.

We should work domestically and internationally to make sure every male sees sexual assault as reprehensible, unacceptable, and the act of a monster. Sadly, Bruno Fernandes de Sousa still has a large fanbase in Brazil.

This is after he had his girlfriend assaulted, tortured, murdered, and fed to dogs. There is no way this should be allowed to stand, hopefully, the international outcry against Boa Esporte eventually convinces them to terminate the contract of a vicious killer.

Written by Walter Yeates

Walter Yeates is a journalist who has been known as the Smooth Gentleman throughout his career. He has covered Anonymous and was embedded with Veterans Stand For when they traveled to Standing Rock. His work has been feautured on Elite Daily, Huffington Post, and GirlTalkHQ. Throughout his young career he has published hundreds of articles in the realms of entertainment, news, and sports. He graduated from East Carolina University with a double major in Political Science and Philosophy. Walter has been known as the Smooth Gentleman for over a decade.

Follow Walter on Twitter @GentlemansHall or check out his Facebook.

Walter is a Guest Contributor to Progressive Army.

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SPLASH! News for March 20, 2017

A Gentleman’s Approach to Feminism: Why The Bruno Fernandes de Souza Case Matters