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Five homeless people murdered in Salvador

 Aurora da Rua (Brazil) 15 March 2019

Francisca Abreu (not real name) is an elderly lady who lives alone. Every day she would bring food and water to four homeless people who sought shelter in her building and in return they would help her with daily chores. However, Francisca will no longer enjoy the company of her helpers, as they were all brutally shot at close range at 7am on 16th January in the residential neighbourhood of Cabula VI in Salvador. The shots were reportedly fired by four men from inside a vehicle, who fled the scene immediately. Brazilian street paper Aurora da Rua reports. (328 Words) - By Staff writer


Aurora da Rua

 Courtesy of Aurora da Rua

The atmosphere in Cabula VI is one of fear and outrage as neighbours condemn the injustice done to innocent people.  Francisca Abreu said, "I miss them, they were like family to me.  I pray for them every day, but I just feel a great sadness and emptiness".  This bond between the homeless people and the residents reveals details of a coexistence that humanises the lives of the victims:  at Christmas, Francisca gave each of them a pair of jeans and even shared her dinner with them.

For Father Edilson, the parish priest, the main question is that of a motive, as the victims posed no threat to the community.  Police say that investigations are underway but admit there are no clues or apparent motive.  Residents suspect a form of 'social cleansing' to smarten up the area.  What is crucial now, however, is that investigations are followed through and that these murders do not become yet another forgotten tragedy.

Ten days after the murders in Cabula VI, a homeless man was shot at close range whilst begging at a junction in Campo Grande, Salvador.  Police suspect the involvement of drug trafficking but have not ruled out the possibility of a homophobic crime, as the victim was homosexual.  However, a friend of the victim maintains that drugs had no part to play, stating, "He begged for money in order to buy food; nobody would give him a job as he had AIDS."

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