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Who was Miguel?

Miguel was a healthy, studious, generous, dreamy 5-year-old boy. Miguel Otávio Santana da Silva was the only son of Mirtes Renata Santana de Souza.

What happened to Miguel?

Miguel Otávio Santana da Silva died on June 2nd, 2020, after falling from the 9th floor of a luxurious residential building at the condominium Píer Maurício de Nassau, known as "Twin Towers" in Recife, Brazil. His mother worked as a domestic worker on the fifth floor of that building. 

On that day, at the height of the quarantine caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Mirtes was ordered to go to her employer's house and, given the closure of schools and daycare centers, she had to take Miguel with her. Unfortunately, while the mother was carrying out the order to walk the dog, Miguel was in the care of Sarí Gaspar Corte Real, Mirtes' employer. The child started crying for his mother and was abandoned by Sarí - with extreme insensitivity, negligence, and cruelty- alone in one of the service lifts after she pressed the 9th-floor button. 

Miguel ended up getting lost and got out of the lift on the 9th floor. The little boy climbed a railing, looking for his mother, and fell from a height of approximately 115 feet. He was taken to hospital still alive, with several fractures and bleeding; however, he did not survive.

What is the status of the case?

The Civil Police investigation concluded that Sarí Corte Real was indicted for the crime of abandonment of an incapacitated person resulting in death.

The Public Ministry of Pernambuco denounced Sari Corte for the crime of abandonment. Finally, after some unjustifiable months of delays, an evidentiary hearing was scheduled for 12/03/20, after popular pressure.

Mirtes’s words

“For me, the worst pain was to become aware of the line of the defense that Sarí's lawyers are operating: their discourse seeks to adultize Miguel and infantilize Sari.  Of immense cruelty, it is barbarity to portray my son as an uncontrollable, ill-mannered, and rude child, presenting Miguel as guilty of his death. Miguel was a healthy, studious, generous, dreamy 5-year-old, and regardless of any aspect of his personality, every child has the right to be protected from possible risks to his physical integrity. Unfortunately, like any child of that age, my son was unaware of the various dangers he was exposed to when he entered that lift. It was up to Sari, the adult who was with him, to prevent him from exposing himself to these risks.”

- Mirtes Renata de Souza

What do we want with this campaign?

We want justice for the life of little Miguel and his entire family, victims of a deliberate act of abandonment, motivated by feelings of racism and classism. 

Miguel’s life matters and is worth much more than $20,000 reais (around $4,000 USD dollars), the amount paid for Sari Corte Real’s bail to respond to the process in freedom. We demand justice for Miguel and that the person responsible for his death is convicted of the crime according to Brazilian legislation. According to international law, the Brazilian State should not fail to hold those involved in the crime against Miguel Otávio Santana accountable. Therefore, we are here to say #JusticeforMiguel and for all Black child victims of violence around the world. 

What is Miguel Week of Action about?

Miguel Week is about bringing to light issues around Race and the disregard for Black lives.

 

This is about Domestic Workers that are rarely considered professionals and many times exploited and forced to work under precarious conditions. 

For Mirtes and many other Black domestic workers that are also mothers, aunts or grandmothers, that during Covid were forced to make the decision to either take the children that they care for to work with them or go without minimum wage income. 

This is about Economic Inequality

Domestic workers for the most part live in poverty or a little above the poverty line and do not have sufficient income many times to take care of the basic needs of their families.  Many domestic workers in the Americas, regardless of country, are working without receiving any benefits such as access to pensions/retirement or private health plans, for example, live hours from their places of employment, and work extended hours. 

This is about Gender and Labor Exploitation

According to the International Labor Organization (ILO) currently, there are at least 67 million domestic workers worldwide, not including child domestic workers and this number is increasing steadily in developed and developing countries. At present, domestic workers often face very low wages, excessively long hours, have no guaranteed weekly day of rest and at times are vulnerable to physical, mental, and sexual abuse or restrictions on freedom of movement. The exploitation of domestic workers can partly be attributed to gaps in national labor and employment legislation, and often reflects discrimination along the lines of sex, race, and caste. (https://www.ilo.org/global/topics/domestic-workers/who/lang--en/index.htm) 

Read and share our Press Release.

Why this week?

We want justice for the life of little Miguel and his entire family, victims of a deliberate act of abandonment, motivated by feelings of racism and classism. 

Miguel’s life matters and is worth much more than $ 20,000 reais (around 5,000 dollars), the amount paid by Sari Gaspar bail to respond to the process in freedom. We demand justice for Miguel and that the person responsible for his death is convicted of the crime according to Brazilian legislation. According to international law, the Brazilian State does not fail to hold those involved in the crime against Miguel Otávio Santana accountable. Therefore, we are here to say #JusticeforMiguel and for all Black children victims of violence around the world. 

Agenda

Antirracistas pelo Mundo, Frente Preta UK, Encrespa Geral Londres
Lançamento do vídeo  de denúncia do caso Miguel em inglês
30/5
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Fórum de Mulheres de 
Pernambuco
Implicações da Branquitude na Morte de MiguelMirtes, uma âncora e mais dois nomes em aberto
31/5
20h (BRT)
GAJOP
Direitos da Criança e do Adolescente e o Caso Miguel
1/6
19h (BRT)
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Caminhada por Miguel
em Recife
2/6
-
Mahura e ALMAA (Paris) 
Direitos Humanos Internacionais
3/6
18h (BRT)
QuilomboAllee
Relações coloniais e as mortes de gente preta -Programa na Rádio Born Free Berlim
4/6
13h (BRT)
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4/6
13h (BRT)
Rede de Mulheres Negras de Pernambuco e ANEPE
A Luta das Mulheres Negras e o Caso Miguel
4/6
17h (BRT)
5/6
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Live de Encerramento da Semana Miguel
Instituto Menino Miguel
Miguel vive na Luta: desafios das universidades em defesa da justiça antirracista
4/6
19h (BRT)
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Organizations

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