Women's Rights

Soccer player gets new contract after murdering his girlfriend

The violence and misogyny of Brazilian society was highlighted on Monday when a second-division club signed up a goalkeeper who was convicted of murdering his girlfriend and having her body fed to his dogs.

As reported by Jonathan Watts of the Guardian, Bruno Fernandez de Souza was released from jail last month having served seven years of what was initially a 22-year sentence for assault, torture and murder. The 32-year-old has since agreed a two-year contract with his new club.

Amid smiles and handshakes, Boa Esporte unveiled a two-year contract for Bruno, who was released from jail last month pending an appeal.

Three sponsors withdrew their support from the team in protest against the decision. Hackers also posted denunciations on the homepage of the team.

But many football fans applauded the return of one of the country’s most popular players, despite the gruesome crimes he committed.

The signing of Bruno comes amid growing concern about femicide and rape in Brazil. To mark International Women’s Day last week, the Cruzeiro football team – which is famed for being socially progressive – wore shirts that highlighted the problems with relevant data for each number, for example: “A rape every 11 minutes”.

As noted in the report, the victim Eliza Samudio disappeared in 2010 having sued Bruno over support for their child; the goalkeeper was said to be close to moving to AC Milan at the time and was concerned the suit could hinder a transfer.

“The court heard how he conspired with friends who tortured and strangled the model, then disposed of the body by feeding it to the footballer’s Rottweilers,” noted Watts. Bruno has admitted his role in the plot.

Having been charged in July 2010, Bruno was eventually sentenced to the 22-year term in March 2013. He was released from his imprisonment in February having secured a habeas corpus.

Bruno was a highly rated goalkeeper before his arrest in 2010, captaining Brazilian giants Flamengo at the time.

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