18-year-old indigenous murdered during robbery in Manaus was returning home with panettone

Marcela Leiros – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS – Family and friends of Melquisedeque Santos de Vale, 18, brutally murdered with a shot to the head on the night of Thursday, 16, in Manaus (AM), outraged by the untimely death of the young indigenous Sateré-Mawé ethnic group, organized a demonstration to demand justice and more security. He was assassinated with a bullet during an assault on a bus of line 444 in the capital of Amazonas, while he was returning home after leaving work where he was working as a young apprentice. The young man was returning home with a panettone that he had just won at work.

The wake and the demonstration are scheduled to take place this Friday, 17, from 10:30 am, at the headquarters of the Association of Sateré Women, São Marçal street, number 822, Compensa neighborhood, West zone of Manaus.

“For us it touched a lot the fact of being indigenous and having a promising future. It is also a feeling of insecurity, of revolt, because he is a ‘relative’, a promising indigenous person in the job market, with many dreams that were interrupted by the barbarity of the crime”, said to CENARIUM the indigenous leader Fidelis Baniwa, who organized the demonstration.

“There is a mobilization going on, especially among the Sateré-Mawé people, who are our relatives. We need to mobilize society in relation to these cases, to demand justice and security for all of us”, said Baniwa.

Understanding the case

Melquisedeque worked in a department store, where he was wearing a badge at the time of the crime. He was from the town of Manaquiri, 165 kilometers from Manaus, and, according to information, had received a panettone as a gift for the holidays on the same day. “For us what had an impact was this, he came to the city with this perspective of working, with a promising future in focus. He was carrying the panettone that he had brought from the company and that shocked us a lot”, said Fidelis Baniwa.

According to information from the bus driver to the police, three armed men announced a robbery on Torquato Tapajós Avenue. The suspects ordered the bus to be diverted to Avenida Santos Dumont, in the Tarumã neighborhood in the West Zone. The worker did not want to have his name disclosed.

Witnesses reported that the young man had not reacted to the robbery, however, even so he ended up being shot in the head during the suspects’ escape. The victim’s cell phone was not taken by the bandits. The driver drove the bus to the door of Manaus International Airport, where he called the police authorities.

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