(Brasilia) The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to invoke “honor killings” as a mitigating circumstance in femicide cases.
“La thèse de la légitime défense de l’honneur est inconstitutionnelle, car elle est contraire aux principes constitutionnels de dignité de la personne humaine, de la protection de la vie et de l’égalité des genres», indique la Cour dans une décision rendue Friday evening.
Brazil recorded 1,326 femicide cases in 2019, a 7.8% increase over the previous year, according to the latest figures from the Brazilian Forum for Public Security, a non-governmental organization.
In 2017, a popular jury acquitting a man, Wagner Rosario Modesto, of attempting to murder his ex-wife, whom he had stabbed three times a year earlier in the city of Nova Era (Minas Gerais, southeast) sparked indignation.
His defense had called for “self-defense as an honor,” and the accused indicated that jealousy had blinded him when he saw a message on his ex-wife’s cell phone.
Another murder shocked the country in 1976 when Angela Deniz, a character in the Rio aircraft group, was shot by a businessman. The latter had been sentenced to two years in prison after claiming that he had “murdered for the sake of love”.
After a rally under the slogan “He who loves does not kill,” the man was retried and was eventually sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.