Brazil Soccer Player Jailed, Killed Woman Refusing Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 7, 2010   |   2:15PM   |   Washington, DC

Bruno Fernandes das Dores de Souza, the former captain and goal-keeper of the very popular Rio de Janeiro soccer team Flamengo, has been jailed for his alleged role in an abortion-murder.

Brazilian police have charged one of the country’s biggest soccer stars with planning the October 2009 murder of 25-year-old student Eliza Samudio, his pregnant girlfriend who refused an abortion.

Married with children, Bruno reportedly had an affair with Samudio and is believed to have gotten her pregnant. She attempted to prove Bruno’s paternity of her unborn son, who she called Bruninho (Little Bruno).

Bruno, who was not on the Brazilian World Cup squad, reportedly coaxed Samudio into his car and three of his friends forced her to take the ulcer drug Cytotec that is misused to cause a miscarriage.

Bruno was found guilty and sentenced to four years and six months in prison after a trial found the facts bore out the allegations of his involvement. O Dia, the judge who sentenced De Souza to jail, said evidence shows he attacked Samudio.

However, he still awaits a further trial next year in Belo Horizonte, according to the London Telegraph, related to Samudio’s disappearance.

Eight other suspects, including Bruno’s wife, are accused of involvement in the crime. Luiz Henrique Ferreira Romao, the footballer’s best friend, was sentenced to prison for three years for his role.

In August, after a court appearance on the charges, Bruno told reporters that he had a “clear conscience.”

“In the future, I’ll be able to laugh at this,” Bruno said.

Police say Bruno hired Marcos Aparecido dos Santos, a former police officer, to lure Samudio from her home in Rio to the city of Belo Horizonte. There, he allegedly imprisoned her in a shed behind his home and was reportedly on hand while she was beaten. Police say her body was fed to a dog after she was killed and she has not been found.

Samudio, in an interview with Rio tabloid Extra in October 2009 while four months pregnant, says Bruno told her, “If I kill you and throw you somewhere, you’re not going to be found.”

She claims Bruno then persuaded her to meet him the next day at an illegal abortion business, but she went to the police instead.

The police officer who registered the complaint requested that Bruno be legally prohibited from coming near Eliza. This request was never fulfilled. And Eliza gave birth to her baby.

Eliza’s friend Milena Baroni, a 25-year-old law student from Rio, told The Daily Beast “He wanted her to get rid of the baby, abort it. She didn’t want to. She was against abortion.”

She says Eliza told her that Bruno “kidnapped her and tried to force her to abort. Including he put a gun in her face. She went to the police about this.” Baroni adds: “In my opinion, something has happened to her, I wish it wasn’t so.”

Police have found diapers and plane tickets in Eliza’s name—that were supposedly found at Bruno’s ranch and other connections have been made that are circumstantial and offer little proof but point to Bruno.

During the time before Bruno was arrested, he posed as an innocent bystander in his comments to the press.

“I leave it in the hands of God,” he said serenely. “I am hoping that she will appear, that this situation will soon end, because it is annoying. I’m sad about it. I saw her father’s interview, I’m hoping she appears.”

The incident is another example of how abortion, whether legal or illegal, puts women in difficult situations where men can and do force them to have one when they are not interested in fulfilling their parental duties.