Eliza Samudio was one of the 4,465 women killed in 2010 in Brazil. In October 2009, the 25-year-old had gone to police to report that her former partner had hit her, threatened to kill her if she did not have an abortion—which is illegal in Brazil—and forced her to take abortive substances.

A test of her urine from the time confirmed the presence of abortive chemicals. The problem is that it took police more than eight months after she filed the complaint to test it. By that time, Samudio was dead.

The police had requested a protective order for Samudio when she reported the incident, but it was denied by a judge from a domestic violence court. The judge contended that the law governing protective orders did not apply, because Samudio did not maintain “a stable affective relationship” with her aggressor, with whom she had only one sexual encounter.

The abortive substances, meanwhile, failed to work, and after delivering the baby in February 2010, Samudio filed a paternity lawsuit. In June, relatives and associates of her former partner kidnapped her. One of them strangled her, dismembered her, and fed parts of her body to dogs, according to testimony during a 2013 trial that resulted in the conviction of the former partner—and a sentence of more than 22 years in prison—for ordering the crime.

As gruesome as it was, Samudio’s murder might have gone unnoticed in a country where partners, former partners, or relatives kill more than 2,000 women each year. But in Samudio’s case, the man involved is Bruno Fernandes de Souza, at the time the goalkeeper and captain of Flamengo, one of the richest clubs in Brazil and the one with the largest fan base.


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