By Rodrigo Viga Gaier and Sergio Queiroz
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Hundreds of demonstrators on Saturday demanded justice and decried racism at the beachside kiosk in Rio de Janeiro where a Congolese immigrant was beaten to death last month.
Human rights activists, Black organizers and representatives of the Congolese community in Rio carried signs and blocked a main avenue in the Barra da Tijuca neighborhood where Moise Kabagambe, 24, worked until he was beaten to death on Jan. 24 in an alleged dispute over unpaid wages.
“Stop killing black people,” cried protesters carrying signs with the face of Moise, whose family attended the demonstration. “I ask for justice for my son and peace for everyone,” said his mother, Ivana Lay.
Some protesters with a bat re-enacted the murder of Moise, which was caught on security cameras. Others began vandalizing the beachside bar and threatened to set it on fire, before organizers convinced them to stand down.
“I am a citizen fed up of seeing people getting murdered for their skin color”, said Ana Cristina Arnaut, a veterinarian present at the protest. “It has happened since the days of slavery. It’s a national shame,” she said.
The city of Rio, which oversees the operation of the beachside bars, said it had revoked the license of the kiosk where Moise was murdered, which would be turned into a memorial and African culture center.
Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes tweeted on Saturday morning that Moise’s family would be invited to operate the kiosk.
(Reporting by Sergio Queiroz and Rodrigo Viga in Rio de Janeiro; Additional reporting by Leonardo Benassato in Sao Paulo; Editing by Andrea Ricci)