Cartoons Oct 04, 2019

“Rio de Janeiro is still beautiful,” say the famous lyrics of Brazilian singer Gilberto Gil. The quote is catchy and widely repeated by people around the country. The word “still,” however, is the kicker.

It feels as if Brazil’s postcard city is

always trying to maintain its beauty. Damaged by corruption, but still beautiful. Taken over by paramilitary militias, but still beautiful. Seventeen kids shot by stray bullets so far this year, five of them killed, but still&#8230; beautiful?. The violence of the war between Rio’s drug gangs and security forces didn’t start yesterday. But things changed since far-right Governor Wilson Witzel took office. Mr. Witzel has shocked observers by literally giving cops a right to kill. But not only criminals are dying, as Mr. Witzel wishes.</p> <p>After the death of 8-year-old Ágatha Félix, neither Witzel or president Bolsonaro commented on the case for days. But that’s OK, Rio is still beautiful, right?</p> <p>After the silence of high-ranking authorities, NGOs filed a complaint to the United Nations against Rio Governor Wilson Witzel. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights also demanded punishment for those responsible for her murder. Nothing happened. Her death is yet to have been explained.</p> <p>But there’s more to Ágatha’s case. Veja magazine reported that police officers visited the hospital where the young girl was, and attempted to steal the bullet that eventually killed her.</p> <p>But no worries, Rio de Janeiro is still beautiful.

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