Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Indonesia Executes Convicted Brazilian National

Indonesian authorities today executed eight convicted drug smugglers including Rodrigo Gularte of Brazil despite an outcry from international governments and human rights groups.

The 42-year-old was shot by a firing squad at around midnight local time along with seven other convicts from Nigeria, Australia, Brazil and Indonesia. A Philippine woman was reportedly the only inmate spared from the execution that was scheduled last Saturday and confirmed by prison officials earlier today.

Gularte was one of three men detained in July 2004 at a Jakarta airport with approximately thirteen pounds of cocaine hidden inside of surfboards. He took the blame for the incident and was subsequently sentenced to death while his companions were let free.

Angelita Muxfeldt, Gularte’s cousin, believe that his mental state has been hammered by drug addiction and depression. She feels criminals exploited this and led him to commit what she called “his biggest mistake.”

Gularte was in a weakened state of health in the days leading to his execution while a last-minute appeal from Gularte’s lawyers was rebuffed. Attorneys argued in 2014 that their client suffered from schizophrenia and were hoping that his sentence would be commuted since its illegal to apply the depth penalty to prisoners with mental disorders in Indonesia. Meanwhile, an evaluation in March requested by Indonesia's prosecutor-general has purportedly not been released.

“The Brazilian is in a very deteriorated psychiatric state. He keeps affirming that it will not happen. At the same time he asks for the procedures to be sped up, that everything happens quickly,” said an anonymous Brazilian diplomatic official.

The Gularte affair has led to a major diplomatic rift between Brazil and Indonesia. The Brazilian government reacted with “profound consternation to Gularte’s execution according to a statement issued today.

Sérgio Danese, Secretary General of Foreign Affairs, had called on a stay of execution while Gularte’s case gets reviewed. He blasted Indonesian authorities for ignoring their “humanitarian appeal.”

Brazil’s ambassador to Jakarta was recalled last January after another Brazilian convicted of transporting drugs into Indonesia was executed.

“Using the death penalty, which is increasingly rejected by the international community, seriously affects relations between our countries,” said a spokesman for Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff following the death of Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira.

The executions of Gularte and Archer could have major effects on economic ties between Brazil and Indonesia. Last February, Indonesia recalled its designated ambassador to Brasilia when the Rousseff administration refused to accept his credentials. As a result, Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla threatened with a review of the purchase of defense equipment from Embraer. Yet Indonesia may have more to lose since Brazil is the Asian country’s primary trading partner in South America. According to Rousseff, Brazilian trade with Indonesia was only $4 billion in 2014, which equals less than 1 percent of its total foreign trade amounting to $454 billion.

YouTube Source – user afpbr

Online Sources (English) – The Jakarta Post, The Telegraph, NBC News, BBC News, The Washington Post

Online Sources (Portuguese) – Agencia Brasil, Folha.com, Globo.com

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