That's all they talk about in Lagoa da Prata, a little town in the interior of Minas Gerais state, in southeastern Brazil: a list naming the cuckolds in Lagoa da Prata that was created in Google's social networking site Orkut. Since the publishing of the names there's a sense of insecurity and fear among the population of 45,000, especially the men.
People started to get really worried after a printed version of the list was distributed around the city. Started with a few names the roll has been tinkered with and new lists bigger and improved began popping up on Orkut and around town. Some of the culprits are presented only by their first name and their job or place of work. For others only a nickname identify them.
Who made the list? There are many interested in finding out including the police but this has been a well-kept secret until now. By Wednesday six people who were mentioned in the infamous list had filed a complaint at the police station for defamation.Â
Authorities arrested a man caught pasting a copy of the list in a bank, but after testifying at the police station he was let go. Police say they have other leads and are investigating them, but they are keeping mum on names of suspects.
The State Public Prosecutor's Office has also shown interest in the case and sent Google an order to take off the air in 48 hours the offending page.
Since the list appeared Lagoa da Prata has also been a factory of rumors. A woman is being said to have been beaten by her husband. A housewife, who asked not be identified because her husband of 28 years was in the list. told a local publication that she and the husband had to meet the alleged lover and talk for a long time before things would go back to normal. "This is someone who wants to do us harm. The reason why I don't know," she said.
The wife of a businessman, in a 24-year marriage, believes that's all a joke in bad taste. She told a reporter that she suffered a lot when she found out her husband was pointed out as a cuckold. She was the one who told him about the list and it was a very tough conversation. "It was a very embarrassing situation. But our relationship is solid and he trusts me," she said.
The cuckold story is not an isolated case. According to Minas Gerais state's Public Prosecutor's Office, Internet assaults against the honor come in second in number of complaints losing only to fraud. Since the start of the year the state's Prosecuting Office to Fight Cybernetic Crimes in Minas Gerais has received and is investigating 37 formal complaints, 22% of all the cases.
Valdeci Donizeti of Mattos, commander of the local military police says that 4 of 5 communities were created in Orkut containing names of cheated men. They were removed by their own creators after the repercussion. One of them contained more than 300 names
According to Mattos, if caught those responsible for the lists will be charged with crime against honor and also defamation.
The only community still showing up on Orkut on Thursday night listed 17 names. The author of the page asks people to check if their name is included and ends with a threat: "If you are not is because we haven't found yet. Becoming a cuckold is like playing secret Santa, at the end everybody gets its gift."
The boyfriend of Juliana Oliveira, a businesswoman, appeared in one of the lists. Talking to MGTV, a local TV station, the woman told about her frustration and embarrassment: "People comment when I walk by and I end up feeling uncomfortable. This is not a funny joke and I don't know what to say."
Another one to give an interview to MGTV was a man who didn't want to tell his name. He told that he was very surprised to see his name in the list: "I immediately asked my employees not to bring the list to my store and I didn't want anything to do with it. There's nothing to win and all to lose with this list whose intention is to tarnish people's image. My wife is Catholic, and is busy with her things. I never had any reason to doubt her."
The city's official site has created a survey asking residents to express their opinion on the matter. Internet surfers are asked to tell what they thought about the list: a) I found it an absurdity, b) I found it amusing, c) I found my name, nooooo! and d) I found it bad because Lagoa can become the Cuckolds Town.
A recent study by Brazil's Health Ministry concluded that 16% of Brazilian Study cheat on their spouses. The number is 21% for men and 11% for women.
If still online, the Orkut community with the list of alleged cuckolds can be found atÂ http://www.orkut.com.br/Main#Community?cmm=95157047Â You need to be an Orkut member to enter the site.
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