X

Brazilian Gang Leader Tries to Escape Prison by Posing as His Teen Daughter

A convicted drug trafficker serving a 73-year prison sentence at Rio de Janeiro’s most notorious prison embarrassed himself trying to break out by wearing a cheap silicone mask and mask wig and trying to pass himself as his 19-year-old daughter.

42-year-old Claudino da Silva, aka Baixinho (Shorthy), fancied himself the Brazilian version of Joaqin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman, the Mexican kingpin who stunned the world with his daring prison breaks. Unfortunately, his plan didn’t yield the same results, instead making him the laughing stock of the entire planet. To be fair, trying to pass himself off as his 19-year-old daughter while leaving his actual daughter behind bars was probably not da Silva’s brightest idea ever.

Read More »

The Brazilian Couple Who Brought a Dead Subtropical Rainforest Back to Life

Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado is a world renowned social documentary photographer and photojournalist from Brazil, but few people know that he is also the mastermind behind one of the most amazing environment restoration projects in history. Together with his wife, Salgado has nearly completed the recovery of a single uninterrupted section of the Atlantic Forest, planting millions of saplings over the last two decades.

The story of Instituto Terra, the non-profit organization founded by Sebastião Salgado and his wife, Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado, began in 1998. The celebrated photographer had recently returned from Rwanda, where he had documented the tragedies of war. The horrors he witnessed during those troubled wars haunted him long after he left Africa, and at one point he completely lost both his faith in humanity and the desire to shoot photos. It was around this time that Sebastião’s parents offered him and Lélia the old farm he had grown up in, and he took the opportunity to return home thinking that the idyllic paradise he remembered would help him heal. However, he found that his home was nothing like he remembered it.

Salgado grew up on a 1,750-acre farm in the state of Minas Gerais 70 miles inland from Brazil’s Atlantic coast. He recalls that, when he was only a boy, the Atlantic Forest covered half his family’s farm and half the Rio Doce Valley, and that the fauna that called it home created a cacophony of sounds every day. But that wasn’t the sight he came home to in the mid 90’s.

Read More »

Identical Twins Ordered to Pay Child Support to Same Child Because They Won’t Say Which of Them Is the Real Father

A Brazilian judge ordered a pair of male identical twins to pay child support to a child whose paternity could not be determined after they both refused to assume responsibility and a DNA test proved inconclusive because of their genetic similarity.

Valeria, the mother of the child, originally filed a lawsuit for recognition of paternity against just one of the two twins, Fernando, with whom she believes she had a short romantic relationship with. He underwent a DNA test which showed that there was a 99.9% probability that he was the father of the child. However, after seeing the result, Fernando continued to deny that he had fathered the girl, claiming instead that it had been his identical twin brother, Fabricio. The man’s twin was also ordered to take the DNA test, which yielded the same result as Fernando’s, because the two have virtually the same genetic code. Left with no option, the judge ordered both of them to pay child support to the same child.

Read More »

Dead Humpback Whale Found in Amazon Jungle Baffles Scientists

Marine biologists in Brazil were stunned to discover the body of a young humpback whale on a remote island in the Amazon jungle, at a time of the year when it should have migrated 4,000 miles away, to Antarctica.

The whale’s body was found by members of the conservation group Bicho D’Água, after they spotted vultures circling a mangrove on Marajo Island, a large, forested island in northern Brazil. The marine mammal, approximately 26-feet-long, was lodged in thick shrubs and brush, about 50 feet from the shore. A team from the region’s Municipal Secretariat of Health, Sanitation, and Environment inspected the carcass and reported that it did not appear to have any visible injuries, so until officials conduct a necropsy, the cause of death remains a mystery. At this time, the two main theories are that a powerful tide launched the whale inland, or that it died at sea and was carried onto land by people.

Read More »

IT Professional Single-Handedly Builds Two-Storey House Using YouTube Tutorials

A young system analyst from Brazil managed to save about half the cost of building a two storey brick house, by doing all the work himself, instead of hiring a professional construction crew. With absolutely no construction experience behind him, he turned to YouTube tutorials and advice from family and friends.

33-year-old Evandro Klimpel Balmant and his wife Ane Caroline de Jesus Balmant, 34, live in a beautiful 200 square-meter house that they built themselves, in Almirante Tamandare municipality, a metropolitan area of Curitiba, in Brazil. It took three long years to raise the house from the ground up, and they still have the upstairs to plaster, but they say it was worth the wait, especially since they manage to save around 50% what a house this size would have cost to build with a construction company.

Read More »

Brazilian Soccer Fan Tattoos His Favorite Team’s Jersey on His Torso

Die-hard soccer fans have been known to do some crazy things to honor their favorite teams, but I don’t remember anyone actually covering their entire upper body in a permanent tattoo of their team’s official jersey. Well, a fan of Brazilian soccer club Flamengo spent an entire year doing just that.

José Maurício dos Anjos, a 33-year-old man from Rio de Janeiro, has been making headlines in his home country for having a life-size version of his favorite soccer team’s jersey tattooed on his upper body. It reportedly took a tattoo artist 90 hours of work split in 32 sessions, throughout an entire year. The striped black and red jersey tattoo comes complete with the club’s emblem on the left side of his chest, and the number 10 tattooed on his back.

Read More »

Brazilian Mayor Photoshopped in Photo Inspecting Construction Work Becomes Internet Meme

José Arno Appolo do Amaral, the mayor of Alvorada, a city in Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul state, recently became a popular meme in his country after a photoshopped picture of him and his subordinates seemingly inspecting a municipal construction site went viral online.

The photo showing mayor do Amaral, and his deputy Valter Slayfer at a dredging site in Alvorada was originally posted on the official Facebook page of the Alvorada Municipality, along with a long caption detailing the visit. The two officials had allegedly overseen part of the operation and had declared themselves satisfied with the work of the hydraulic dredger. Only people soon became suspicious of the photo, which showed Amaral and Slayfer in the distance, flanking the site supervisor. The two officials’ position in relation to the road they were supposed to be standing on, as well as their color compared to the rest of the photos just seemed odd, so Facebook users started sharing it and questioning its authenticity.

Read More »

Man Attacks Actor Playing Roman Soldier in ‘Passion of Christ’ Play to Save Jesus

A Brazilian man was recently arrested after jumping on stage during a Passion of the Christ theater play and hitting an actor playing a Roman soldier over the head with a motorcycle helmet, in a bid to save Jesus from getting crucified.

The bizarre incident took place last week, in the Brazilian town of Nova Hartz, during a staging of the Passion of the Christ organized by the municipality. Over 1,000 people had gathered in the town square to watch the play in celebration of Good Friday, but none of them anticipated the twist that was to come. During the crucifixion act, as one of the actors playing a Roman soldier pretended to stab Jesus with his spear to check if he was dead, a man from the audience climbed up on stage and hit him over the head with a metal motorcycle helmet.

Read More »

Loyal Dog Still Waits Outside Hospital Where His Owner Died Four Months Ago

The story of a nameless mongrel that has been patiently waiting outside a hospital in Sao Paolo Brazil four months after his owner was admitted there following a stabbing has been making headlines around the world.

The dog first showed up at the Santa Casa de Novo Horizonte hospital in Sao Paolo on the same night that the ambulance brought in his owner, a 59-year-old homeless person who had been stabbed during an altercation. Ambulance staff would later tell their colleagues that the dog ran after their car all the way to the hospital, stopping at the entrance and patiently waiting for his master to return.

Read More »

Brazilian Drug Dealer Kidnaps Medical Staff, Makes Them Vaccinate Community Against Yellow Fever

Thomaz Vieira Gomes, also known as 2N, is considered one of the most dangerous criminals in Rio de Janeiro, but recently he actually did something decent, albeit still illegal, for once. He and his gang kidnapped two male nurses and made them vaccinate the poor people of his favela against yellow fever.

For months, Brazil has been dealing with a yellow fever epidemic that has already left dozens dead. Despite the Health Ministry’s plans to vaccinate millions of people in the hopes of containing the outbreak, immunization centers struggle to keep up with the high number of patients, and, as always, the poorest communities are usually ignored. That was apparently the case of Salgueiro, one of the poorest regions of Rio de Janeiro, and the headquarters of 2N’s drug dealing operations. So he decided to speed up the process by using a very familiar technique, kidnapping.

Read More »

Gun Violence in Rio de Janeiro Is So Widespread That People Are Using a Smartphone App to Avoid Dangerous Areas

Gun violence is a very serious issue on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, so much so that people have begun using a smartphone app similar to the popular “Waze”, only instead of heavy traffic, they’re trying to avoid gun fire.

Rio de Janeiro is facing a crisis of gun violence, as police raids and shootouts between drug gangs echo daily through the streets of Brazil’s second largest city. Civilians are continuously caught and killed in the crossfires, with harrowing stories, such as that of a pregnant woman being shot in the stomach, continually emerging from the beleaguered city. The hardest hit area is the Maré complex of poor favela neighborhoods, the residents of which fear even walking down the street, both at night and during the day.

Read More »

Brazilian Boy Sues Absent Father for Emotional Abandonment

A Brazilian judge recently presided over one of the most difficult cases of her career – an 18-year-old boy who sued his absent father for emotional abandonment, seeking no financial compensation, only a favorable verdict that would allow him to move on with his life.

Gabriela Jardon, a judge at Brazil’s Federal District Court, recently recounted one of the most emotional experiences of her career, the hearing of an 18-year-old trying to hold his absent father responsible for being completely absent from his life. The experience of growing up without a father apparently had such a traumatizing effect on the young man that as soon as he legally became an adult, he felt he needed to take his father to court and hold him accountable.

Read More »

Brazilian Church “Hypnotizes” Pesky Pigeons with Colored Bullseyes

The Nossa Senhora da Consolação church, in downtown Sao Paolo, Brazil, used to have a serious pigeon problem. The pesky birds would fly through the place during sermons, poop on  the benches and leave feathers everywhere, but ever since they had these colored circle panels installed in the windows and doorways, no pigeon gets close anymore.

Regular parishioners at Nossa Senhora da Consolação describe the pigeon situation as a “real hell”. Dozens of birds had made the place of worship their home, flying in and out whenever they pleased, making a lot noise during mass and dropping stones and bits of plaster on people. Every morning, the floor and wooden benches had to be cleaned of bird droppings, and at one point it all became too much to bear. The church wanted to find a humane way of driving the pigeons away, but they never imagined hypnosis would be the answer.

Read More »

Brazilian “Traffic Waiter” Is Probably the World’s Most Elegant Street Vendor

Aílton Manuel da Silva is not your usual waiter. He dresses as one, carries himself as one and even sports a tray full of cold drinks and snacks, but instead of a restaurant or a cafe, he works in the streets, braving the hot sun and incoming traffic to provide for his family. He is the “traffic waiter” of Recife, and probably the world’s most elegant street vendor.

Every morning at 5 a.m., 43-year-old Aílton Manuel da Silva wakes up, puts on his creased pants, white shirt, bow tie and lacquered shoes and leaves for work. He arrives at the busy intersection of Avenida Almirante Dias Fernandes and Rua Emiliano Ribeiro at around 5:30 and gets ready for a long day of waiting through traffic. He prepares his bottles of cold water, cans of soda and snacks like popcorn and chips, sets them neatly on his metal tray, and at 7 in the morning he steps into traffic to offer motorists his assortment of refreshments.

 

Read More »

Brazilian Tattoo Artist Punishes Thief with Humiliating Forehead Tattoo

Maycon Wesley Carvalho dos Reis, a tattoo artist from the Brazilian state of Sao Paolo, was recently arrested and charged with torture, after punishing a young man who tried to steal his bicycle by tattooing “I am a thief and a loser” on his forehead.

A disturbing video of an alleged would-be thief sporting a “sou ladrão e vacilão” tattoo on his forehead has been doing the rounds on Brazilian social media since Friday. In it, two men ask the 17-year-old terrified boy to tell them what he wants to have tattooed on his forehead, and then force the answer out of him – “thief”. After the humiliating tattoo is completed, they again force him to say why he had received the bizarre “artwork”, and he admits that he had tried to steal a bicycle.

Read More »