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Accused of lighting a firecracker that killed a photographer, he claims he was not aware of what it could cause  Rio de Janeiro

Accused of lighting a firecracker that killed a photographer, he claims he was not aware of what it could cause Rio de Janeiro

Caio Silva de Souza (white shirt) and Fabio Raposo (black suit) testifiedMarcos Porto / Agência O Dia

Published 12/12/2023 at 19:55 | Updated on 12/12/2023 at 22:01


RIO – Caio Silva de Souza, charged with first-degree murder, claimed he was not aware that the firecrackers he lit could injure and kill photographer Santiago Andrade. The accused said during the trial on Tuesday (12), “I bear the weight of my work, the weight of my bag, and the weight of killing a worker.”

Santiago died after being hit in the head with explosives during a demonstration in central Rio, in February 2014. In addition to Cayo, Fabio Raboso Barbosa, who delivered the material to the accused, is also accused of killing the photographer. .

At trial, Cayo admitted that he lit and set off the firecrackers, but claimed he had no idea what his action could have caused. “At that moment, there were several people lighting fireworks there. I didn’t know that was the case, that’s a fact. If I had known that it would cause what happened, I would never have allowed it. Go,” he said.

The accused said that he did not intend to participate in the demonstration, but he had to pass through the square because he was unable to take the train to return home. Cayo reported that at that moment, Fabio asked if he had a lighter to use to light the device. This account contradicts the testimony of Fabio, who said Caio showed up and asked for firecrackers.

“I lit it and put it on the ground. I can’t stay there because of the gas. In front of us is a bus carrying a sweet seller. There was an accident. I stayed with the sweet seller, which I ran over and someone arrived. She asks if it was me who lit it.” [o rojão] He says he hit someone. “I’m saying I don’t know if it was me,” the accused said.

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During the final speech, Cayo apologized to Santiago’s family, causing the family to become upset and confused. With this, Judge Toula Correa interrupted to understand what happened.

“It’s hard to bear the pain of being in an accident and being charged with the murder of a worker. I wanted to apologize to Mr. Santiago’s family. I can’t understand his feelings, but I never intended to kill anyone. Anyone who was there.” “They can say what they want, but they will never prove that I intended to kill someone. I lit something that I thought would explode with color,” he said.

court session

In front of Caio and Fabio, five witnesses testified on Tuesday, the first three for the prosecution and the other two for the defence. Police Chief Mauricio Luciano, who was in charge of the initial investigation into the case, was the first to speak at the trial. He stated that during the investigations, symbols were found in Cayo’s house indicating his alleged connection to the “Black Bloks.”

The defendant’s defense attempted to disqualify the testimony, pointing out that the civilian police officer presented several contradictions in his statements. At one point, lawyer Antonio Pedro Melchior accused Mauricio of giving false testimony.

Next, it was the turn of Eduardo Fazzolo, the bomb squad agent who conducted the crime scene investigation. The defendants’ defense claimed that the two could not have known about the artifact’s path, an account corroborated by the police officer’s response.

The third witness is photographer Domingos Peixoto, who covered the demonstration and took a picture of the incident. He stated that the person who lit the device did not provide assistance to the victim.

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“When I raised the camera to take pictures, he was already running with his back to the artifact. When I did the sequence, the missile came out and hit my comrade Santiago,” Domingos said.

Next, two people associated with the Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) were interviewed. Member Luiz Rodolfo spoke about the development of the demonstrations and the work of the committee. He was asked if the organization had contacted Santiago’s family, but was unable to answer. The photographer’s relatives who attended the session denied it: “We were not wanted at all,” said Vanessa Andrade, the victim’s daughter.

Marcelo Challel, who chaired the committee at the time of the case, testified and questioned the fact that the journalists did not use personal protective equipment.

“I asked him if he was using personal protective equipment, because many were following him without any equipment and even without identification. This was mentioned in one of the meetings we had with the Prime Minister. I asked, and the person said no. I even later commented on the journalists who were There: “Look, the demonstration is happening and you are here without protective equipment.”

The judge then asked whether he had also used personal protective equipment while continuing the acts.

The former head of the committee explained: “Our uniform is the suit. We were also in a further position.”

Remember the case

Photographer Santiago Andrade, 49, died after being hit in the head by a firecracker while covering a demonstration in central Rio, in February 2014. Caio Silva de Souza and Fabio Raposo were charged with launching the explosive device, and were convicted three times by Parliament. – Conditional premeditated murder (bad motive, impossibility of defending the victim, and use of an explosive substance). The judge removed two conditions, retaining only the use of explosives.

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After being hit by firecrackers, Santiago was hospitalized in Souza Aguiar Hospital for four days and died from his injuries. The explosion caused his skull to sink.

According to the deputy’s complaint, Fabio handed the firecrackers to Cayo “with the intention of previously directing him to the place where a crowd of people, including military police officers, was present.” At the time, the two stated that they already knew each other from other demonstrations and were acting together.