“He’s an human being. He has feelings. Who of you, who is married, never quarrelled with a woman? Who never argued, never even fist fought with a woman?”
That’s how Bruno defended his Flamengo teammate Adriano in an interview back in March 2010.
At the time, Adriano was being accused of assaulting his girlfriend. Bruno’s quotes, of course, were taken with surprise due to the ease with which he spoke about domestic violence.
As they both had been Brazilian champions in 2009, the fact they were two of the best players in the country at the time meant this controversy was left behind quickly.
But it didn’t take much time until Bruno himself became the accused. In June 2010, the State of Minas Gerais Police declared him a suspect in the disappearance of Eliza Samúdio.
Samúdio was the mother of Bruno’s child, who was four months old at the time. Back in 2009, she had already made complaints to the police saying the goalkeeper had not only assaulted her, but also kidnapped and told her, at gunpoint, to take drugs to force an abortion.
Bruno didn’t want to pay for the child support. Actually, he never wanted to have a child with Samudio. She was just a woman who he got to know at a party and had sex with a few times. He described their first meeting as an ‘orgy’, and as she also took part in porn movies, she was not someone he wanted to be associated with.
After her disappearance in 2010, she was never seen again. The police’s theory is that Bruno and some friends took her to a farm, killed her, and gave her body to dogs to eat.
Bruno was sentenced to spend over 17 years in jail but was only held in custody for a short period of time, as due to an habeas corpus, he ended up being released earlier this month.
Sport Witness have contacted Brazilian lawyer Allan Matos to explain a little of such an unbelievable case: “He was arrested before being tried, back in 2010,” Matos says. “It’s what they call pre-trial detention. In 2013 he was convicted, appealed, and awaits judgment of his appeal to this day.
“As he was remanded in custody, the Supreme Court acknowledged that this preventive detention has an excessively long term of seven years. And then he must be let loose, until it is judged on for the second time. As a rule, every person has the right to await trial in freedom.”
Soon after his release, his lawyer revealed that several clubs had made offers to him. Bruno ended up signing for the second division side Boa Esporte last week.
The theory is that Boa made the signing to attract attention from the media and sponsors. Of course, it backfired. After countless attacks on social media, the club lost their shirt sponsor, three other partners and the kit manufacturer.
There are so many wrong things with such cases in Brazil that it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s begin with justice. Even after all of Samúdio’s calls for help, she was never heard. Reading her initial statement it’s easy to believe that something even more serious was on the way. But negligence is always present when the case is about domestic violence, especially if the accused is a celebrity.
Another point where the law drastically failed is that Bruno filed his appeal back in 2013, and four years have not been enough to judge him again.
Now a small (but surprisingly considerable) amount of people on social media keep saying: Isn’t this what people wanted? To have criminals reintegrated into society?
Well, no, it’s not. Not like this. Society can take back a poor man accused of robbery, or even a drug dealer looking for a second chance. But not a man who killed a woman and didn’t even spend ten years in jail.
Even if released, Bruno shouldn’t be near football. Brazil are allowing a convicted murderer to be live on TV week after week – and even worse than that – showing that in this country you can be accepted after doing such things.
Bruno’s first training sessions at Boa have been a success, if the sponsor issues are ignored. Besides great coverage from the local media, he’s seen as a star, complying with selfie requests continually.
This photograph published on the front page of O Estado de São Paulo newspaper says it all.
What an example he is for our kids.