Category Archives: Joanna Woodhouse

“The Strange Saga of Sueli Guerros” by Joanna Woodhouse

Joanna Woodhouse is our latest guest author. She is a White woman who spent many years living in Brazil and now lives in Canada. She speaks fluent Portuguese and English. I believe she may have originally come from Britain. Since we have been writing on here lately about the silliness, immorality and extremism of Mesoamerican machismo in the US from a US White POV, it would be interesting to see that’s it’s as common in Brazil as it is in Mexico.

It’s a well recognized thing in Brazil – it’s called a “crime of passion” where a man or a woman catches their husband/lover in bed with a person of the opposite sex, and in a fit of rage, grabs a knife and kills them both.

There were a couple of families in Rio de Janeiro a while back that absolutely hated each other, a la Hatfields and McCoys. They were the Guerros and Ferreiros families. Well, a Ferreira son fell in love with and became engaged to a Guerros daughter. Her name was Sueli. His family were absolutely aghast and put all kinds of pressure on him to break the engagement.

Finally he did, and Sueli, in typical Guerros rage, publicly swore vengeance and said she’d kill him. Very concerned, the young man, his father and uncle went to the local sheriff’s office to lodge a complaint against her. She turned up at the Police Station in a rage – and a huge argument ensued, during which she hauled out a gun and pointed it at her ex fiance.

The sheriff decided to be a hero, and he grabbed her hand that had the gun in it and there was a struggle. During the struggle, three shots were fired: one hit Dad, one hit Uncle, and one hit ex fiance. Dad and Uncle were killed, ex fiance wounded but survived.

Well, I attended her trial because I was very curious about what possible defense could be provided for her heinous act. When Sueli came into court, I and everyone else gasped. She was absolutely gorgeous – stunningly beautiful in fact. Long black hair down to her waist, slim, very busty, big liquid brown eyes, perfectly complexion, pouty mouth – well you get the picture! She was dressed in black, very demurely clad showing just a bit of cleavage but not too much, and she looked woebegone and very sad – she had been well coached.

Her Defense Attorney wasn’t stupid. He saw to it that she got an all male jury, whose eyes nearly fell out of their heads as they ogled at her. You could see lust pouring out of their eyes.

So what defense did her attorney put up? First of all, he told the jury that her ex fiance had “deflowered” her and had had a moral obligation to marry her. Back in those days, a virgin was considered untouchable unless a man had previously married her – because any man who deflowered her could expect a knife in his gut from her irate father and brothers.

Mind you, a widow was fair game. Every man would think that, having gotten “it” on a regular basis, a widow was a mass of quivering lust and unbridled passion which any red blooded Brazilian male would feel it was his duty, nay his moral obligation to fulfill to the best of his ability, and he’d tell himself that his “ability” to do so was considerable (macho males in Brazil usually think they’re the best and hottest lovers in the world, if not the universe)!

However, I digress. Sueli’s defense attorney also put up the defense that since the sheriff had grabbed her hand and struggled with her, no one could determine who’d actually pulled the trigger! He said it wasn’t “pre-meditated murder” she was simply avenging her lost “honour!”

Well, that all male jury deliberated for around an hour and came back with a “Not Guilty” judgment!

Brazilians understand crimes of passion, although of course, I don’t. There is no justification for taking a human life unless it’s in defense of one’s own life.

So Sueli got away with a double murder – but she didn’t get away with it in the end. The Ferreiros family had Sueli’s favourite brother murdered. Notice, they didn’t murder her, but someone she dearly loved, and would therefore spend the rest of her life suffering for what she’d done to them!

Of course, while everyone knew (including Sueli) that the Ferreiros family had orchestrated the murder, there was no way on Earth the justice system could prove it. As far as the Brazilian mindset was concerned, justice had been served.

I think this possessive jealousy displayed by Mexicans and Brazilians isn’t a sign of how much they love their woman, it’s a deep rooted insecurity and macho stupidity. But it’s just as common in Brazil as it is down your way!

C 2009 Joanna Woodhouse


Filed under Americas, Brazil, Crime, Gender Studies, Guest Posts, Joanna Woodhouse, Latin America, Regional, South America, Women