The internal affairs department of the São Paulo City Council approved the opening of disciplinary proceedings against councilor Camilo Cristófaro (Avante) for a racist phrase he said in a session of the House. The procedure still needs to be approved by the absolute majority of the plenary, that is, 28 of the 55 councilors.
The decision was published today (20) in the official diary from the capital of São Paulo. After going through the plenary, the process enters the instruction phase, when Cristófaro will have space to present his defense. In the end, the procedure can lead to the suspension or revocation of the councilor’s mandate.
On May 3, Camilo Cristófaro participated remotely in a session of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) on Applications, at the São Paulo City Council. As the councilman’s microphone was open, the audio of his speech with another person ended up leaking to the meeting: “They didn’t wash the sidewalk, it’s black, right?”, was the phrase heard during the session.
Representatives against Cristófaro for the episode were councilors Luana Alves (Psol) and Sonaira Fernandes (Republicans), in addition to federal deputy Alexandre Leite (União Brazil), son of the mayor, Milton Leite, and another resident of São Paulo.
In the opinion approved by the internal affairs department, prepared by councilor Elaine Mineiro of the collective mandate Quilombo Periférico (Psol), the rapporteur emphasizes that the speech is clearly racist, “feeding structures that keep the black population in a position of incompetence and inferiority, being offensive to a indeterminate set of people, violating all black people”.
Councilor denies racism
Cristófaro denied that he was racist and referred to the episode as a “joke”. “I’m not racist. Seventy percent of those who accompany me are Afros. It was an unfortunate joke with one of them, my brother at heart and that, even though he has been my friend for decades, I recognize: I was unhappy, but never racist,” he said, in response to the Brazil Agency, In this ocasion.
The argument that classifies the speech as a “regrettable joke”, was also used in a video posted on social media by the councilor, in which he appears with four black officials in office. The officials defend Cristófaro in the recording.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News