Will it in the end make any difference?
Brazilian authorities have sought the vigilantes responsible for stripping a teenage boy naked and chaining him to a lamp post.
The violent act comes after the teenager was caught by the vigilante gang in the town of Flamengo in Rio de Janeiro allegedly trying to mug a pedestrian.
At the time the gang would go on to strip the 16-18 year old teenager of his clothing, before shackling him by his neck to the lamppost with a bicycle lock. Authorities would later tell the youth was also stabbed in the ear.
The boy would eventually be saved after passerby Yvonne Bezerra de Melo, a local teacher and founder of the educational project, UerÍ, called 999.
She told Rio-based newspaper O Globo: ‘He was beaten, stabbed in the ear, stripped naked and tied by his neck – and no-one in the street did anything to help.
‘I asked him who had done that and he said it was the “motorcycle vigilantes”.’
Firefighters arrived at the scene and were forced to use cutting equipment to rescue the boy, who was later taken to hospital.
Following the incident, Yvonne Bezerra de Melo, 66, shared a photo of the teenager on her Facebook page – describing the youth as ‘young’, ‘bruised’ and ‘naked’.
More than 150 people have since commented on the photo – many of whom claim they have ‘no pity’ for the boy.
Told one commentator, Leonardo Costa: ‘I have suffered at the hands of thieves and I couldn’t care less if they are tortured or killed.’
Told another, Danillo Fernandes: ‘Wake up, you idiots. Anyone who walks around in Flamengo knows this is a THIEF who mugs old ladies and women every day on Avenue Oswaldo Cruz and adjacent streets.’
‘He has a gang, generally with four other thugs and two women. He deserved more.’
Nevertheless Ms de Melo condemned the vigilantes’ actions – saying: ‘If we let a gang of pitbulls kill and tie teenagers to lamp posts, this thing will get ugly.’
The recent incident comes as Brazilian network Rede Record reported that crime in Flamengo has risen by 200 per cent since 2012. Critically the underlying tenant of the crime waves reflects the ever increasing disparity between the haves and the have nots and the stymied attempts of government to address issues. Also hampering change is the general malaise and apathy towards lower classed bandits who are often vilified and despised by the community.
Authorities would later tell that on Sunday alone, seven ‘delinquents’ were arrested in the neighborhood as part of a crackdown, according to the command of the second BPM, or Botafogo quarter of military police.
Police have now identified the teenager and launched an investigation.
Go here to see further images