Outrage as Brazilian football club signs convicted killer

Ross Houston
March 30, 2017

Brazil is one of the world's most violent countries.

Bruno, his lover and his ex-wife were among nine people charged with torturing and murdering Samudio, who had been trying to prove he had fathered her son.

Samudio had fallen pregnant with the married Bruno's child following a sexual encounter in 2009. "She was against abortion". Bruno claims to have "paid dearly" and undergone a "learning experience" in jail. "She went to the police about this". In June 2010, he kidnapped Samudio and her son after luring them into a auto with the promise of a settlement.

But it's not just campaigners for women's rights who are angry over this case.

Edson Moreira, a detective who investigated the case, said: 'His acts were nearly impossible to describe without breaking down - images from the worst nightmare you could imagine'. Samudio's body was never found.

In 2010, Brazilian soccer player Bruno Fernandes de Souza had his former girlfriend abducted, tortured, murdered, and fed to a pack of dogs.

At his trial, the footballer admitted to knowing that Ms Samudio had been strangled and her remains fed to dogs but denied ordering the killing.

Bruno was released after serving about four years of his sentence.

But when asked by a journalist at his unveiling if he set a good example to children watching, Bruno gave the question short shrift before swiftly moving on.

Three backers have dropped the club and the biggest sponsor, a holding company called Gois and Silva, warned that it would also pull out unless Bruno is barred.

And petitions against the deal are circulating with many fans declaring they will stop supporting the controversial club. De Souza, widely known as just Bruno, only served seven years out of a 22-year sentence, and reportedly other clubs also tried to sign him as soon as he was released. The club released a statement, trying to spin the signing as a benevolent move created to help the rehabilitation of a former inmate, yet they neglected to mention the victim or the fact that Bruno pleaded guilty.

"It seems baffling that while his appeal is in train Bruno should be out there playing football, apparently without resistance".

"This is a barbaric crime", former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff said in 2010, according to The Guardian, following Bruno's arrest.

The teams' fans are also anxious about the fact that their team might lose its television rights as Bruno still has two thirds of his sentence to serve.

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