Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hazing in Brazil

Pres. Maria Elizabeth Rocha
The Supreme Military Tribunal of Brazil, in an opinion by President Maria Elizabeth Rocha, has affirmed a corporal's six-month sentence in a hazing case. Victims were beaten and burned with a clothes iron. Details can be found here:
The Federal Public Defender argued that the crime occurred in a context of hazing, and "it is impossible to deny that rituals are found in many different cultures and bodies throughout history." According to the defense, hazing is tolerated and even encouraged as a rite of passage to achieve integration of the individual to the group. Also according to the Public Defender, the victim consented to participate in the event sponsored by superiors and was not coerced into agreeing. Therefore, the victim's consent precludes a finding that the accused's conduct was wrongful. [Rough Google translation]
The court rejected this argument, observing that there could be no valid consent in the circumstances. 

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