French Musician Murdered in Brazil While on Tour with His Band

French Musician Emmanuel Joremi Gressez The same day three Brazilian men accused of knifing to death three French nationals working for an NGO with refinements of barbarism were brought to court in Rio for interrogation, another French was murdered after resisting a robbery attempt in the Dutra highway, which links Rio to São Paulo. 

Musician Sebastien Emmanuel Joremi Gressez, 28, was on a tour of Brazil with the South Side band. The crime happened close to Rio in the Japeri neighbordhood in the Baixada Fluminense, a little before 6 pm, after the bus they were riding had a flat tire.

Members of the band were changing the tire when two gunmen appearaed announced they were being assaulted. Gressez reacted and that's when he was shot. He was still taken to a close-by emergency room by the Federal Highway Patrol, but couldn't make it. The gunmen fled without robbing anything.

The 15-member multi-national group with French, English and Argentinean members were in Brazil for six months and had already presented their show in seven capitals in the North and the South of the country. After a one-week stay in Rio they were leaving for São Paulo where they also had a show scheduled.

The French consulate in Rio should release an official note about the tragedy today, March 20. For the adjunct French consul in Rio, Cedric Pietro, the death of Gressez is another blow against Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. "It's unfortunate," he said, "to see the death of still another French national and this time in a robbery. This works against the image of the city."

In his testimony to a Rio juri, Társio Ramires, one of the Brazilians charged with the killing of  Christian Doupes, his wife Delphine Douyère and Jérôme Faure, all workers at the NGO Terr'Ativa, in Copacabana, pleaded innocence. Ramires worked for the charitable organization since its creation a few years ago.

He denied any participation in the deaths, last February 27,  and accused Luiz Oliveira Gonzaga of being responsible for the crimes. Társio also challenged reports that he was a street kid before becoming a trusted employee of the NGO.

According to his story, the day of the crime he had gone to the Terr'Ativa's office to present his resignation to the French couple who headed the organization and he had decided to take the company's safe because they owed him 700 reais (a little over US$ 350).

He took the two other men José Miguel Gonçalves and Luiz Gonzaga, he told the court so that they would  act as witnesses.

In the reports prepared by the police, Ramires was the one who hired Luiz and José for 2,000 reais (US$ 945) to help him "give the French a scare". The reason of the crime, say the Brazilian authorities, was to conceal US$ 38,000 (80,000 reais) Ramires had embezzled from Terr'Ativa.

Friends of the French couple told journalists that Ramires was like a son for them and that they trusted him entirely.

Born in Quintino in Rio's north side, the youngest of five siblings, Ramires never knew his father. He met Delphine in mid 1997 before the creation of the NGO, which didn't start before April 2000.

He was one of the first youngsters to be benefited by the French couple's work. He grew with the organization and was in charge of the Brilho da Lua (Moon Shine) project, which helped 40 children (40 more should be helped this year according to plans) from Morro do Fubá favela (shantytown) in the neighborhood of Cascadura, in the north side of Rio.

Ramires, who took care of the NGO's finances, wrote in the organization's site: "What motivates me is to see people happy. I know that I won't be able to change the world by myself, but at least I will change the life of some people."

The police have concluded that Jérôme Faure was tortured before being killed. He was found almost decapitated and there was blood smeared in the walls of every room in the office.

According to the criminals testimony, Faure was tied to a chair and all bloodied, when the French couple arrived and a fight then ensued. Ramires told authorities that the French used drugs and were embezzling thousands of reais that were donated to the NGO.

"They wanted to cut the project's budget and I didn't accept that," he said unconvincingly. "That's when Delphine contacted me and made me part of the scheme."

The dialogue between the murderers at Copacabana's Police District, at the end of last month, showed how cold and insensitive were Ramires and his accomplices, who, on Monday 26, bought surgical gloves, Carnaval masks and knives in preparation for the crime.

"All I wanted was to give them a good scare. But suddenly the fight broke out and then… All I did was to stab Christian once. The rest was all done by Luiz," said Ramires in the presence of reporters. He was dressed in a black social shirt, a brand new jeans and a fashionable Puma tennis.

Luiz Oliveira Gonzaga responded with an ironic smile: "He was the one who killed. Now you are going to say that I've done it all by myself. Then, I'm superman." Gonzaga also knew the French couple for whom he had worked in a dance project. "They were two wonderful people," he said.


  • Show Comments (24)

  • Brian Hardwick

    My response to these comments.
    No matter where you go; if people know you have money you’re an easy target. I’ve travelled in Brazil twice and even stayed a week in Rio. The trik to travelling in any major city is to make contacts before you go. I use a wheelchair, and in 1998 I learned Esperanto (An International Auxilary Language) to cure boredom the summer after graduating high school. Whenever I go Brazil I contact Esperanto groups in the Brazilian states in which I will travel. I’ve stayed in the homes of average Brazilians, and met some of the finest people I’ve ever met. Crimes like that could happen in any major city worldwide. When you travel to a Third World country get to know as many of the locals as you can. You might want to sign up for pen pal services over the net before you travel.(I don’t mean online dating services or marriage agencies) There are many free pen pal networks on the internet full of people who only wish to make friends with people in other countries. In Brazil if you make friends with one person, you’ll have many more friends before the week is through! Brazilians are known for hospitality! My advice to people in general is: Travel wherever you like but don’t be just another dumb impatient foreign tourist! Make as many friends as you can, and don’t wave around lots of cash!
    All the best,
    Brian Hardwick (A citizen of the USA)

  • Cunaima

    Porque nÀƒ£o fica vontade de mudar as coisas?
    Argentina or Australia, yes, unless Argentina decides to attack the Falklands, in which case, Australia or US.

    What I don’t understand is this: Brazil has extraordinary resources, and is increasingly rich in terms of GDP. WHY on earth won’t the government do more to create jobs and share this wealth with the masses of impoverished people? There was an article in a recent Vanity Fair on the gangs in SÀƒ£o Paulo, and how one prison gang, now spread throughout the country, has basically more power (and like Hamas and Hezbollah, is actually using it to help the poor) than the SÀƒ£o Paulo city and state govenrments. In fact, the state police were scared of these gangs. Why not address the problems from a governmental point of view rather than let them fester and erupt as they continue to do? Isn’t there enough will in SÀƒ£o Paulo and Rio State, the two worst it seems by far, to do this?

  • FIFA

    No World Cup for Brazil
    Brazil is the frontrunner, many would say it’s definite, to host the World Cup in 2014. FIFA should make it clear that Brazil will not be considered until it takes care of its violent crime problem.

    Give 2014 to Argentina, Australia or the U.S. instead.

  • João da Silva

    A sane advice. I wonder how many people would appreciate and accept your suggestion. It happened to me a a year or so ago. I was strongly advised not to travel to S.Africa,because of the violence there. I did go and found the people to be charming and helpful. Of course, still I think that traveling in U.S and Canada is much more fun and safe.

    Thanks Brian and I think you gave a good advice to the participants of this forum and it is up to them to take it or not.

  • JGZ

    Help-out there
    À¢€¦YeaÀ¢€¦. Mon Maion, donÀ¢€™t come over here (USA) to be an illegal immigrant, we have plenty of youÀ¢€¦. and because of that we have all kinds of problems too, but we are working on solving them. Sorry, for the crime situation in Brazil, it can happen in any city it just happens in Brazilians cities more often. Stay in your country and do your part so that it will improve the life of manyÀ¢€¦. DonÀ¢€™t become a problemÀ¢€¦ instead be part of the solution.

  • Mon Maion

    But that is exactly one of the primary reason that 2 milllions or so Brazilians are paying around US$ 10’000.- to be smuggled and reside illegally to the USA !!!!!!!
    I would never go to USA illegally. I can’t stand Bush and to be illegal is not a concept of mine. By the way…. Banana Republic is owned by GAP.

  • ch.c.

    I just want to get out of this country, even though I was born here
    But that is exactly one of the primary reason that 2 milllions or so Brazilians are paying around US$ 10’000.- to be smuggled and reside illegally to the USA !!!!!!! Plus all those who emigrated in the USA legally or elsewhere legally or illegally !

    Funny that people are ready to pay large amounts even if they have to borrow and thus will need years to repay…..


  • bo

    [quote]Hey Bo
    written by Ric, 2007-03-20 19:22:09

    I’m staying in a very nice hotel in Beach Park, missed this latest story, wasn’t there an American shot a couple of years ago in your area?[/quote]

    Yep, he was my best friend my first two years here. Norwood Warwick, from Detroit Michigan. Was a great guy. Lived in brazil for 25 years, english teacher. One of his students cancelled class, was actually the ex-mayor, so he went home since he had a couple hours until his next class and arrived at home with 5 thieves in his house. They had his son tied up and had found two guns he had hidden in his bedroom. Killed him with his own guns. The police caught the guys by accident, believe it or not. The “leader” of the group turned out to be one of his sons best friends. They went to jail and within 2 months every single prisoner in the jail here escaped. The recaptured all of them except the one that actually pulled the trigger. Was big news here for quite a while.

  • forrest allen brown

    why not have a murder section in the news papers here
    Torture and Impunity Are Still the Norm Throughout Brazil
    Indian Assassination Has Doubled in Brazil from 20 to 40 a Year
    Torture, death squad, 9,000 Killed in 5 years: a Portrayal of Brazil’s Police
    More Civilians Murdered in Brazil in One Year than in Iraq After 3 Years of War
    Rio, Brazil, Gets Its Own Body Count Site: 44 Dead in 4 Days

  • Mark

    It is sad to see Brasilian culture and society falling apart … the Brasilian infrastructure is failing … many of the older buildings in Rio and Sao Paulo are literally falling apart, and the crumbling concrete has dropped down to street level and injured people below … the power, water, air traffic and sewage systems throughout Brasil are overburdened and outdated, to say the least, and of course the lower and middle class (what little exists of a “middle class”) suffer the most … crime is uncontrolled – if you haven’t been robbed, you will be – it’s just a matter of WHEN … corruption is rampant and insidious throughout Brasilian society (see “jeito” which loosely translates to “bribe” and is as common in Brasil as coffee, coixinha and pastels) and is accepted as a part of doing business with governmental and private organizations and businesses … honest Brasilians are the first ones to acknowledge the deep-rooted corruption in Brasilian society … I love the Brasilian people and I wish them and their troubled culture and society well … educating the masses would help, but the upper class has too much to lose by educating the lower classes, so the situation remains hopeless for all but the most wealthy of Brasilians …

  • Ric

    Hey Bo
    I’m staying in a very nice hotel in Beach Park, missed this latest story, wasn’t there an American shot a couple of years ago in your area?

  • Mon Maion

    and just for the record….
    Lula is an asshole

  • Mon Maion

    Ch C. You didn’t get my point at all
    I said that’s it’s not against Rio’s image. It IS TODAY’S IMAGE. That IS the real image ’cause it happens all the time. The French consulate was euphemistic trying to hide the real and cruel reality.

  • ch.c.

    The French consulate in Brazil says it’s against Rio’s image, but I disagree.It happens all the time.
    It is against the image of THE COUNTRY…..not Rio ONLY !!!!
    And as you just said : IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME !!!!! Great….isnt it ????? And do you believe because it happens all the time that your
    tourism sector wont be penalized ??????? You aint see nothing yet ! And probably your Master Cheater and Liar LULA will find some great
    populists rethorics that you will all swallow !!!!!!

    Where is your common sense of analysis ?????

    It is very sad that your country is in such anarchy, a rotten country from wherever you look at !!!!!!!

    I also remind you that not so long ago an American was….CUT IN PIECES !!!!! A Brazilian child was miserably dragged along a car for several
    kilometers, his stomach open and his guts all over the streets !!!!!

    Yesssss your society is in a very sad state WHEN life of citizens are not even worth a barrel of….ETHANOL !!!!
    Elsewhere even animals are better treated !!!!

  • Mark

    I lived in Brasil for a year, from ’04 – ’05 … yes, we do have crime in the U.S., but our criminals know that justice will be done when they are caught … I love the Brasilian people, but Brasilian criminals get away with murder (literally) and if their families are rich, their freedom can be bought … when will Brasilians empower themselves, insist that their government “STOP THE VIOLENCE”, and punish criminals based on their crimes and not on their family’s wealth or social status? Brasil can be so much more …

  • Sunny Cal

    Bailing out!!!
    Not to go to Baghdad I decided to go to Rio instead. Bought a ticket and all…
    but now… please someone exchange my ticket back to least there I can carry a
    M-16 to defend myself..

  • Brazilian

    I agree with Mon Maion

  • ch.c.

    Much worse than that……
    because then stupid Brazilians, such as Carlos da Oliveira who wrote an article here 10 days ago or so who says :
    “stop the prejudice to Brazil, starting from this site” because it is being nasty when a forum member (me) wrote something like :
    “to live longer, avoid Brazil”

    This type of idiot doesnt realize that the nasty is not me but those Brazilians who commit crimes and those who commit HORROR crimes !

    Even more nasty is the Brazilian Government who just 2 days ago said the Tourists arrivals are down 500’000 because of the…….
    DEMISE OF VARIG !!!!!!!

    And also when after the latest Rio chaos, one of the chief of Rio tourism said : Rio is as safe as any large city in the world !!!!!!

    Simple demonstration of how from Federal Government, to City officials and journalists, NO ONE CARES FOR THE INSECURITY AND VIOLENCE IN BRAZIL !!!!!

    Even less your Master Lula, who after the latest Rio chaos sent the army on the request of Rio Governor. BUT The army was there ONLY for the security during Carnival (due to tourists…of course) and then they are in training to be ready for the next Pan American games (due to tourists….again) !!!!!!!!

    The Brazilian tourism department has “generously” received a large increase in their budget, to advertise for the image if Brazil !!!!
    In my view that amount would have been far better allocated to the safety of the country.

    No doubt that despite the increase in your advertising budget for tourism, the number of tourists will definitely NOT GO UP….BUT DOWN……GUARANTEED !!!!!

    Thus when I have written that Brazil is a Tropical Mud, I am not wrong…..unfortunately, because yessssss Brazil is a Trashy Tropical Mud and your prove it…..DAILY in many ways !!!

  • Mon Maion

    I’m so ashamed
    I’m Brazilian and I feel so ashamed.
    I won’t say these crimes aren’t common, ’cause that’s a lie.
    The French consulate in Brazil says it’s against Rio’s image, but I disagree.It happens all the time.
    I can’t stand this behaviour anymore and I just want to get out of this country, even though I was born here.

  • tua mãe preta

    Yes, don’t came here to polute my coutry. It seems that there is no crime and poverty in the US. So stay there with your snipers shooting people in parking lots.

  • u.s.guest

    U.S. Citizens
    Don,t even think about going to Brazil…….

  • bienchido

    As much as I love Brazil, it deserves a bloody nose to its tourist industry.

  • Gringo DIngo

    But whatÀ¢€™s even more nauseating is that the majority of newscasts IÀ¢€™ve tuned into this morning are playing up the angle that he À¢€œresistedÀ¢€Â being assaulted, and that is what led to his death. The inference being that Sebastien is to blame for his own demise, and that the violent shitsheads were just your normal run of the mill gun-wielding thieves provoked by a dumb gringo into becoming murderers.

    IÀ¢€™d like to crack one or two of these pseudo-journalists across the side of the head for being so disrespectful, and trying to victimize the victim.

    Hack reporting like IÀ¢€™ve seen today only ignores the realities and allows the cachaÀƒ§a inebriated population to poke fun at some poor foreigner whom wasnÀ¢€™t fully briefed by Brazilian customs entering the country that À¢€œTHUGS HAVE CARTE BLANCHEÀ¢€Â.

    Does anyone have any stats on how many foreigners have been killed in Brazil over the years? I bet itˢ۪s a figure the MoT knows, but wonˢ۪t release without a fight.

  • bo

    [quote]The French consulate in Rio should release an official note about the tragedy today, March 20. For the adjunct French consul in Rio, Cedric Pietro, the death of Gressez is another blow against Brazil and Rio de Janeiro. “It’s unfortunate,” he said, “to see the death of still another French national and this time in a robbery. This works against the image of the city.”[/quote]

    Why don’t the French draw international attention to this?? Why don’t they protest in front of the Brazilian consulates and embassy throughout france, in paris? Why don’t they demand the brazilian gov’t. compensate the victims families?

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