Statement

On the occasion of the murder of Elitânia de Souza Hora, the United Nations Population Fund and the UN Women in Brazil call to end violence against women and respect the lives of Black youth

3 Dezembro 2019

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Women in Brazil express solidarity with friends and family of the young student Elitânia de Souza Hora, murdered on last Wednesday, November 27th, in the city of Cachoeira da Bahia, in the State of Bahia, and with the organizations, movements and people fighting to end violence against women and in defense of human rights in Brazil. 

 

Elitânia de Souza Hora, 25 years old, was a human rights activist and promising young leader of the quilombola community Tabuleiro da Vitória, in the city of Cachoeira. She was studying to be a social worker at the Federal University of Recôncavo da Bahia, and her final paper, tellingly, was about violence against women. Elitânia was violently killed by gunfire, in spite of a restraining order, in a suspected case of femicide. Her death came only two days after the opening of the annual campaign of “16 days of activism for ending violence against women”, organized by the UN, Government partners and Civil Society together.

 

The family, friends, members of the quilombola community, the university community and all the institutions and people that contributed to the development of this young leader are mourning the tragic death of Elitânia. This irretrievable loss demonstrates how much still has to be done to guarantee that the investment made in our youth will not be lost. 

 

This crime, and the many femicides that robbed women of ther lives that came before, show us how urgent is to intensify efforts and invest in prevention of violence against women. In 2018, 1.206 women were femicide victims -- about 61% of them were black women and 52,3% of the total murders were by gunfire. 

 

Resources designated to social protection, prevention, shelter, justice, reparation and public campaigns, as recommended by the National Guidelines of Feminice, should be provided. The national rates of femicide and violence against women demand the strengthening of the public policies, through the full operation of the specialized network across the country. 

 

No young person should have their life shortened by any kind of violence. For Elitânia de Souza Hora, and the many women and girls like her who run the risk of suffering violence on the basis of their gender, UNFPA makes a public appeal for the investigation and solution of the case, and we call on all of Brazilian society, especially those in decision-making positions, to guarantee that justice will be done and seek solutions to turn the tide of the wave of violence against women and promote the well-being of all people. 

 

Astrid Bant

Representative of the United Nations Population Fund in Brazil

 

Ana Carolina Querino

Representative a.i of the UN Women in Brazil