UPDATED — Police transphobia in Brazil: One picture is worth a thousand words

veronica bolina brazilLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — Update March 22, 2015– This is from CNN:

A Brazilian transgender woman has accused police of brutally beating her, shaving her head and stripping her of her clothes.

Veronica Bolina was arrested on April 12, accused of assaulting an elderly neighbor and attempted murder.

When photos of Bolina with her face disfigured appeared on social media in subsequent days, officials opened an investigation.

There are pictures of Bolina, allegedly during her arrest, with her shirt ripped off, her hands handcuffed behind her back and her feet chained together. There are also closeups of her face, allegedly taken at a later date, with both eyes swollen shut and her mouth swollen.

Sao Paulo city authorities responsible for gender issues interviewed Bolina on Friday. She told them she was assaulted by police on three different occasions. She also admitted to biting one of her jailers in the male detention center.

In initial interviews with police and other authorities, Bolina denied she was tortured by police, saying she attacked them. But she later said she had been coerced into making those statements with the promise of a lightened jail sentence.

The photos have outraged activists and prompted supporters to declare #SomosTodasVeronica or “We are all Veronica”.

Sao Paulo authorities say the public defender’s office is investigating the matter and working to ensure Bolina is permanently transferred to a detention center where she can have an individual cell and use women’s clothing.


(Original article:)The details of what exactly led to the arrest of Brazilian trans woman Veronica Bolina in Sao Paulo earlier this week is rather secondary when you look at the photo. Everything you see — the shaved head, the brutally disfigured face and stripped clothing, all happened to her while she was in police custody.

The police made a rather ridiculous attempt to get her to admit on tape that “nothing happened.” Officials were heard on the tape in the background coaching her.

An advocate for trans/LGBT in Sao Paulo, Alessandro Melchior, says Bolina was also beaten again at a hospital where she was taken to be treated for the injuries she suffered at the hand of the police.

There is no word on what happens to Bolina now or whether any of the officers face assault charges.


The photo pretty much says it all.

t/h Helene Hazera


[Portuguese] Trigger warning:  http://acapa.virgula.uol.com.br/politica/em-audio-travesti-presa-que-aparece-com-rosto-desfigurado-diz-que-so-foi-contida/2/32/26308?hc_location=ufi

CNN update: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/22/americas/brazil-jail-transgender-beating/index.html

veronica bolina brazil

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34 replies

  1. Holy [deleted]!!! Great [deleted] cops of Brazil trying and exceeding the beatings that the Nashville murderous cops did. I hope all the [deleted] involved get fired and the city gets sued for several million dollars for this horrendous deed.

  2. I hope she can recover, and escape that hell-hole of a Country.

  3. There are no words. My thoughts are with her and I wish her a speedy recovery

    • This is the true version of what happened according to the “police Officer’s Letter #! NãoSomosVerônica the truth needs to be said!
      “On 10/04 Mr. Charleston, known as Veronica, tried to kill the old lady Laura Repiro 73 years old with a baseball bat. On the same occasion, he also attacked the police officers who arrested and even assaulted two other gay , one being a transsexual known as BEATRIZ. For this reason, Charleston (or Veronica) was caught red-handed by attempted assassination. Two days later, on 12/04, the jailer, to open the cell where it was mr. Charleston .., was attacked and had to rush to the ear by this toothed There was wrestling and had to use physical force to stop the conduct of Charleston All this tune, resulted in the following scenario:
      a) The old Laura, 73, was hospitalized to treat trauma to the skull.
      b) The jailer, had to be hospitalized and underwent surgery to reconstruct his ear (unsuccessfully) and;
      c) You Charleston, known as Veronica, had his face bruised by the intervention of police officers who restrained him. She did not catch or was tortured, the bruises were caused by REQUIRED violence, to tell her, she took it. According to her, she was possessed and needed to be contained. The head was not shaved, she has short hair and wore wigs. “

  4. TDOR – yikes, the number of raw tortures and murder in Brazil – not a good place to be if you are gender dysphoric! I wonder why they are so transphobic?

  5. Excuse me, I’m Brazilian and I know the whole history. The media has been confusing people, and blaming the police. Veronica actually invaded an elderly’s house while she on crack, and almost beated her to death. Another transexual called Beatriz tried to help the elderly, but she was aldo injured by Veronica. When Veronica was finally arrested, she started masturbating in front of the other inmates. They got mad at her and beated her. When the jailer notice the fight, we tried to step in, but got bitten by Veronica. While he was trying to defend himself, he punched her to make her let him go. That’s the real history.

  6. Hi the above poster is correct, we know Veronica and have first hand information. I’m the first to post on transphobia – but I think calling something transphobia when it isn’t is wrong. If you don’t know me – this is one of my sites http://grooby.com

    She was on crack (sadly, and that’s new), and attacked an old woman in her apartment building – you can see the injuries on that poor woman (who nearly died) here from the link at the bottom. When the police came to arrest her, she bit the ear OFF one police or prison guard) and held it in her mouth. She’s tall, she’s a bodybuilder and she’s on crack – she’s lucky she wasn’t shot (and may have been in the US). It’s sad what has happened to her but let’s not make this a story about transphobia as it devalues that, the victims here are the old lady – and the guy who had his ear bitten off.

    Here’s a link to the old ladies injuries. She’s the victim – so know the facts before you call it transphobia please: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fnoticias.r7.com%2Fsao-paulo%2Ffotos%2Fimagens-idosa-agredida-por-travesti-teve-traumatismo-craniano-e-ferimentos-em-todo-o-corpo-19042015%23!%2Ffoto%2F5&h=4AQEm7oFS

    • Thanks for your comments.

      One of your links is to a porn site, the other pulls up a FB warning. Readers, please take care before clicking on these links.

      My question to you Grooby, whatever it was she did prior to her arrest, does it justify this beating? Does the police in Sao Paulo beat cispeople in the same manner if they, too, commit similar crimes?

      Anyone with a link to an actual police report, please post it. Thank you.

      • Grooby.com IS a porn site, we run worldwide adult sites but also work a lot in the community, Veronica is well known to us. I don’t know why the other pulls up a warning. Here is the correct news report link:

        If someone has my ear in their mouth, then YES they’re going to get their face beaten to get them off my ear – or when a crack addicted, body builder refuses to get arrested and tries to fight, then yes it’s likely that they’re going to suffer some physical affects when they’re restrained. Don’t make this about transphobia thing, or a hate crime. There is enough of them going on in Brasil which don’t get the same press unfortunately.
        This was not a case of the police simply “beating” a trans women based on her gender.

        • You are being emotional. If someone attacks you, you can do whatever you want to defend yourself. Police, on the other hand, are paid by society to limit themselves to subduing suspects, ESPECIALLY when they are already in police custody. Police cannot mete out revenge. Only the court system can do this. If they can’t control their emotions or feel they must seek revenge, they’re not fit for police duty.

          • Incorrect. It’s you that’s being emotional and you would not be like this other than that it’s a trans person. WHERE did you you read that it was any form of “revenge” or did you just make that hope.
            Anyway, how was this possibly a transphobic attack? That’s the issue at hand, not police brutality which as we know, can happen to all genders. Reporting this as transphobic when it’s not, doesn’t serve anyone well and devalues the true meaning of the word and those that are hate attacked.

            • “Where did I read?” You asked? I already answered — look at the photo. This kind of beating is never, ever, supposed to occur to someone in police custody. Unless the Sao Paulo police routinely beat cis-suspects in the same manner, we’re pretty much left with transphobia. We’ll just agree to disagree and move on.

              • Oh Lexie, he actually does know what he’s talking about. Veronica beat an elderly woman so bad she had to be hospitalized, (Have you seen the pictures of Veronica ? She’s over 6 feet tall and seriously works out, she’s practically a MMA fighter!) Why Veronica got beat like that, well, imagine someone was biting your ear that hard, how many times would you punch them in the face to get them off you ? Also, ears are really sensitive, that kind of pain is excruciating !
                And yes, if any prisoner, cis or trans was 6’2″ and a body builder, and attacked a police officer, they would get beat like that, especially if they could not be stopped.

                And, and, she wears wigs and extensions in her hair. Just look at her pictures, long, silky straight hair before, and nappy curls after.
                The people who live in Brazil and work with her and know her say she was an ass hole sometimes, and she was into drugs.

                What Veronica did to that woman justifies an arrest, when the police arrive to find an amazon who has already beaten an elderly woman almost to death, then Veronica tries to fight with the police ?

  7. He’s not a saint at all…he was arrested because he tried to kill a 73 years old lady and completely destroyed her house. He was masturbading in his cell in front of other prisoners when these prisoners agressed him then he tried to kill the jailman who tried to stop the fight.

    • [transphobic comment deleted.]

    • Even if what your saying is true, does that justify the beatings? Are you suggesting that cops ought to beat criminals for being criminals? This is what you’re saying here.

      • Nobody talks about the INNOCENT old lady who was beaten almost to death… her life is less important than the transgender life??? Human Rights talked about her??? GAY AGENDA message is the answer, lady and your article is just one of them!

        • You’re dodging the question. Should the police beat suspects — yes or no?

          If some old lady was beat up as you say, the court will render a verdict and send the suspect to jail. Additional media coverage will make no difference in that outcome. Guilty? Jail. It’s that simple.

          Police beating suspects is another matter entirely.

  8. More Info with pics of the old woman she beat into a coma and the guards ear she bit off


  9. I’m an Australian transsexual and I have a close Brazilian male friend , he had told me all about Brazil , it’s a fact the Brazil has one of the worlds biggest transsexual girls in the world along with Thailand , and it’s a fact that Brazil has a very high number of transsexual girls being murdered and beaten and some just disappear never to been seen again it’s a sad fact that it happens and it’s just like another day in Brazil if you went to the police and told them you having a missing friend they will help but if your missing friend is transsexual don’t even bother as they will tell you to leave or be arrested and that is a sad fact from a country that has one of the highest populations of transsexual girls in the world

  10. What ever that innocent lady was beaten really bad. I am pretty sure Police was involved there. The question is why did the police put her in to the Male’s cell then if she was masturbating then inmates beat her, then police came and punched her in the face ..What the [deleted].


  1. Brazilian police beat a trans woman so badly she's no longer recognizable | Planet Transgender

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