Brazil: Update on Murder Conviction

SUMMARY

Jorge da Conceiçao Soler (20) was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison for attempted murder in the case of Edson Neris da Silva (see IGLHRC alert "Gay Man Beaten to Death By Skinheads in Sao Paulo. Brazilian Criminal Justice Must Respond," and an August 2000 update. Soler was part of the extremist group which attacked da Silva and his partner, Dario Pereira, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, downtown on February 2000. Neris da Silva died as a result of the attack.

Soler claimed to have witnessed the attacked but not participated in it. He stated that about 30 skinheads were present at the time, but only 5 of them attacked da Silva.

According to statements made by other defendants, Neris da Silva and Pereira were chosen as targets because they were holding hands.

In the verdict, the judges described skinheads as a neo-Nazi group motivated by intolerance.

Nine skinheads have been accused of the crime. José Nilson Pereira da Silva and Juliano Filipini Sabino have been already sentenced to 21 years in prison, while Marcelo Martins Pereira was acquitted of the murder but convicted of assault. On September 20, two other defendants - Roberto Fernando Gros Dias and Davi Alves dos Santos- will appear for trial before the same Sao Paulo court.