LISBON (Reuters) – A Portuguese court on Monday sentenced a white man who shot dead a Black actor in a busy street last year to more than two decades behind bars in a case that put racism and the country’s colonial past in the spotlight.
Bruno Cande, 39 and of Guinean origin, was shot several times by white Portuguese man Evaristo Marinho, 77, at Avenida de Moscavide, about 10 km (six miles) from Lisbon’s city centre, in July 2020.
Marinho was convicted of racially motivated murder and will spend 22 years and nine months in prison, the court ruled.
A soldier during the war in Portugal’s former colony Angola, Marinho racially abused Cande before shooting him, telling him, among other things, to “go back to your country”.
Soon after the killing, hundreds of anti-racism protesters took over one of Lisbon’s main squares to demand justice – for Cande and for all other victims of racism.
“Bruno Cande lost his life and left his family and friends,” Portuguese lawmaker Joacine Katar Moreira wrote on Twitter. “This murder hit us all – 22 years is the minimum to alleviate the pain and anger we feel.”
Europe’s top human rights body, the Council of Europe, said Portugal must do more to confront its colonial past and role in the transatlantic slave trade in order to help fight racism and discrimination in the country today.
Complaints of racial discrimination increased 50% to 655 in 2020 but the figure is likely to be far below the actual rate of racist incidents, Secretary of State for Equality Rosa Monteiro said in March.
Recent racially-motivated crimes include a KKK-style torchlight rally and e-mailed threats to Black lawmakers, including to Katar Moreira.
In a separate report, the Council of Europe said there are numerous serious accusations of racist violence by Portuguese police.
(Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Angus MacSwan)