Brazil sets tough new prison sentences for killing of women

Brazil sets tough new prison sentences for killing of women
By Everton Gayle
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Brazil has ratified a new bill that raises the jail terms for the killing of women and girls.

President Dilma Roussef said the country would no longer tolerate a state of affairs where some 15 women were killed daily in the country.

Under the new law, femicide will be any crime that involves domestic violence, contempt or discrimination against women.

“Stiffer penalties will be applied to this heinous crime. This measure is part of a zero tolerance policy towards violence against Brazilian women,” Rousseff said.

Crimes described as “aggravated murder” will have increased penalties from 12 to 30 years.

Nadine Gasman, the representative of UN Women in Brazil said the law identifies femicide as specific phenomena. “This kind of law is preventative in nature,” she added.

In recent years there has been a spate of high-profile murders in the country, such as the killing of Eliza Samudio, the former girlfriend of ex-Flamengo goalkeeper, Bruno Fernandes de Souza.

The footballer, who was tipped to play in the 2014 Fifa World Cup finals, killed his former lover after she demanded he pay child maintenance for their son. After strangling her, he fed her remains to his dogs.

The new bill is known as the Maria da Penha law in tribute to a woman who was left a paraplegic after her husband beat her for 14 years and made two attempts to kill her.

A 2010 Map of Violence study puts Brazil 12th among nations registering the most violent deaths of women.

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