A professor at the Department of International Law at Brazil’s University of BrasÀlia, Cristiano Paixão, says that the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year old Brazilian, who was shot by London police who thought he was a terrorist, should not cause diplomatic problems between Brazil and England.
“Today’s world is united around a series of global issues and one of them is the fight against terrorism,” said Paixão. However, he added, that does not mean that incident did not anger many Brazilians.
Menezes had lived in England for five years where he worked as an electrician. On Friday, July 22, a day after terrorists had attempted to explode bombs on London subways and buses for the second time, he was shot in a subway station when the police thought he was another suicide bomber.
“This was a disastrous police action. We can only deplore and lament it,” said professor Paixão, adding that it does not alleviate the pain for Brazilians to know that the terrible mistake was the result of racial profiling that is used in most of Europe.
“They identify suspects by physical features. Someone with blonde hair and blue eyes is much less likely to be a suspect.”
Jean Charles de Menezes will be buried in his hometown of Gonzaga, Minas Gerais, this afternoon.