Rumor – Children have their teeth pulled out and eat only mushy food to abuse, on Ilha do Marajó, in Pará. There are images that prove the action.
It is not today that Damares Alves gets involved in situations involving sensitive issues. In 2020, reports and interviews revealed that the former Bolsonaro government minister of Women, Family and Human Rights allegedly tried to prevent the abortion of a raped 10-year-old girl who had already been cleared by the court.
In recent days, a new controversy has concerned the name of the senator elected by the Federal District. A video claiming that children have pulled their teeth and eat soft foods to be raped by molesters on Marajó Island, Pará, has spread on the Internet and has been bought by many as “absolute truth”. Here’s what the messages accompanying the files say:
Version 1: “President Bolsonaro is fighting face to face on the island of Marajó. Children from 3 to 4 years old have their teeth extracted so as not to bite when they are forced to do s … o … These same children are forced to eat soft foods so as not to defecate when they are forced to do s … a … These children they are abducted from Brazil to other countries via the island of Marajó. While Bolsonaro has embraced our children’s cause, he has moved a serpentarium that gives a lot of money to criminals who are part of this type of mafia. Brazilian people, let’s wake up and save our children. What future do we want to leave to our children? God protect President Bolsonaro, his wife and all his family and Senator Damares Alves from the retaliation of these criminals. Let’s spread the word “. Version 2: “Raped children, raped children, oh my God how sad, torn teeth.” Version 3: “Children’s teeth are pulled out, pasty foods, you see why every time I hear about Damares it breaks my heart.”
Do the children tear their teeth and eat soft food to serve the abusers on the island of Marajó?
The information went viral on social networks, particularly on Facebook and Twitter, and left several people angry about the situation (not least, by the way). Despite all the strength of the accounts in question, there is no evidence to support the allegations in question.
Reading the messages and watching the video, we can come to two conclusions. The first is that there is a charged political discourse that sells Bolsonaro as the “protector of abused children” and the “enemy of abusers”. The second is that the accusations are very heavy.
These elements show us that, since the video started circulating on social media, it seemed that something was not going very far to probe this story. Damares Alves’ report is very similar to the fictional stories of human dolls being sold as slaves in Europe and denied by the Boatos.org team. At the time, a publication indicated that children had been bought and mutilated to satisfy criminals in Europe.
To verify, we decided to do the basics: wait for elements that, in fact, prove the accusations (after all, the burden of proof is on the accuser). And even if time has passed (which helped us reflect on the story), we feel it is important to point out that there is no evidence for the tale in question and that, at least for now (until there is no evidence), it can be classified like a voice.
It is important to point out this for a few reasons. The first is that bizarre and unproven cases only throw a smoke screen in the fight against sexual exploitation. In addition to desensitizing people (with such a hideous, absurd and fictitious tale), the story hides a very serious problem that involves many other points besides “pure perversity” (which, in fact, is one of the elements). One of these is the extreme poverty in the region, which, for example, forces family members into prostitution. Here is a parenthesis.
Let’s go back to the case. Despite the fact that the island of Marajó has very serious problems of sexual exploitation of children, there are no cases of children with extracted teeth and who have to eat soft foods. When Damares gave the account of something that was not documented in any media vehicle or was even the subject of an investigation, suspicions began to arise.
And from the moment he said he had the pictures of those children, both the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) wanted to know why Damares Alves hadn’t done anything about it, as he was Minister. of Women, Family and Human Rights. Both federal agencies asked the former minister about the speech.
The group of lawyers called Prerogatives even asked the Federal Court (STF) to investigate Damares Alves’ statements on the case. According to the group, there was a possibility that the story was false and used to fuel hate speech and damage the electoral process. That is, if the story is true, it could be complicated by omissions or wrongdoing. If it were false, it can be complicated by lying.
The deadline set by MPF and PGR for Damares to comment on the affair was three days. It ended on October 13, 2022. On the same date, Damares Alves gave an interview to the newspaper O Globo, where he claims to have “heard on the street” the complaints he shared in the video. She also came to deliver reports that would prove what she had said, but after the analysis of the daily Estadão nothing relevant to the matter was found.
Furthermore, it is also important to point out that the MPF itself pointed out that there has never been any type of reporting similar to that of Damares Alves. The MPF said that, in 30 years of work, it has never received a torture report similar to those quoted by Damares.
In short: the story that children have their teeth pulled out and are fed only soft foods to serve the abusers on the island of Marajó is nothing but a rumor (at least until proven otherwise). After a more detailed analysis on the subject, we realized that there is no previous historical record in reliable sources. After days without an answer, the MPF and PGR asked the former minister of Bolsonaro for an explanation. At the end of the response period, Damares confirmed that he had “only heard the complaints on the street”. He also delivered reports that would prove his version of him, but the newspapers that analyzed the document found nothing on the matter. Finally, the MPF itself stated that it had never received a complaint similar to the one reported by Damares.
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