Journalism from the center of the world

Beatriz Matos and Alessandra Sampaio met to talk about living and fighting for life one year after the brutal murders of their husbands, Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips. Photo: Pablo Albarenga/Sumaúma

They led separate lives, distinct and distant. Bia had a career as a professor with the graduate program in anthropology at the Universidade Federal do Pará (UFPA) in Belém. Far away, in Salvador, Alê had plans to open an online craft store featuring artists from northern Brazil, while she also made purses of her own design on her sewing machine. It’s unlikely the lives of Beatriz Matos, nickname Bia, and Alessandra Sampaio, nickname Alê, would ever have crossed were it not for the tragedy. The murders of their husbands, Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips, one year ago Javari Valley, in the Brazilian Amazon, brought them together. A bond born of pain turned into friendship. Bia and Alê have become accomplices in their pursuit of life in brutal times.

“This picture is going into the family photo album,” they joked, as they posed for photographs of their conversation, which took place in Brasília at the invitation of SUMAÚMA. What follows is an exchange between two women united in the struggle for justice and their activism in defense of Amazon and Indigenous peoples, but also united in pain and horror over the brutal loss of their partners at a time when the administration of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro (Liberal Party-RJ) was fostering a situation of deliberate abandonment in the Amazon.

Bia is now part of the new administration, headed by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Workers’ Party-SP). At the beginning of the year, she became head of the Department of Territorial Protection of Isolated and Recently Contacted Indigenous Peoples, within the Indigenous Peoples ministry, where she works with the same team as her late husband, Bruno. Alê has put her handicrafts aside and is learning, while grappling with red tape, how to set up an NGO. But her first goal is to publish the book her late husband, Dom, was writing at the time of the crime—but doing so unhurriedly and carefully, as he and she would want it. Alê and Bia grieve their husbands deeply, as human beings and not as the symbols they have become. For them, these two men weren’t “heroes,” nor do the women think of themselves as “strong”—adjectives so often applied to them.

The women’s conversation flows easily, almost always cheerful and loving, even when they talk about the tragedy. They laugh about life’s ironies, although they tear up at the thought of the children: Bia and Bruno’s three- and four-year olds and Alê’s beloved nephew, who can no longer bear to look at his Uncle Dom’s deep gaze in his picture. There is anger when the women talk about injustice, about their financial hardships, about the cowardice of those who want to blame the dead. Neither woman ever wants to let her husband die. Like beings of the forest, Bruno and Dom “encantaram”—they transformed into other beings.

At the end of their conversation, Bia and Alê hug each other tightly and decide to spend the rest of the afternoon together. First, they pick up Bia’s children from school. The pain is there; maybe it will never go away. But the joy of being together supersedes it. For Alê and Bia, marked by blood, the best way to respond to violence is by living—and fighting so nature and its peoples can go on existing. This isn’t their husbands’ battle. It’s theirs.


Alessandra Sampaio (Alê): It was really crazy, how we met, because it was so intense, right? Everything we lost, those days of the search [for the two men]…

We had no contact, and I made a video because there was pressure for us to say something, for the families to say something, and we weren’t up to that yet. I made a video in my living room, with my sister recording, and the video went viral. I kept thinking, my God, I’m saying these things, but I don’t know what Bia thinks, what she’s going through, she’s got two kids! I learned your news through the news. We met out of necessity, but we clicked, right?

Beatriz Matos (Bia): I think so too. I remember at one point we talked over WhatsApp or on the phone. And there was one day when we did a video call, at the beginning of the search, right? We met on that call. I’d seen your video, but I hadn’t watched the whole thing because it was too hard. I was also very afraid of exposing my sons to all this. I was afraid of them being seen, and that might be traumatic for them. I don’t know, like, when I was taking them to school… I didn’t want people to recognize me.

Alê: Things were foggy.

Bia: All really strange. What I remember is that we hit it off right away. Because we might not have. We were going to be there to support each other, but not necessarily feel this immediate trust.

Alê: I remember I was also anxious that people might interpret things kind of like: “Alessandra is speaking on behalf of the families.” And it wasn’t that at all. I didn’t even know what Bia thought, what she was thinking, how she was reacting. And then you told me, “Alê, it was nice, because while you talked, I could shield myself, because of the boys.” So I was really relieved. At that moment, I felt a mixture of despair, angst, feeling guilty, about not doing the right thing, of giving out the wrong information.

At one point Dom’s siblings called me to say, “Look, they called from the embassy.” And I got it mixed up; I thought it was the British Consulate that had called them. I had asked the consulate to let them know, because I didn’t trust the information from the previous [Brazilian] government.

And then Dom’s brothers got a phone call in the middle of the night; they called me at 6:00 AM and said, “They found two bodies.” I said, “My God, they found two bodies!” This went to a journalist who was talking to my sister. He said, “Alessandra, can I release this?” I said, “I don’t have any confirmation, but I think so.” The confirmations I got about everything came from journalist friends. The Federal Police weren’t informing me as fast as these journalists were. There was a delay with the police, with the information, very distressing. So he released that, and it reverberated so much… People were calling, saying it was wrong. Then you feel guilty. I started feeling super guilty. I was naïve to pass that information along.

Bia: I still feel that way today: that I should be talking more, acting more. What’s my role here? Do I need to speak up and put things out in the media or not, or am I exposing too much? Ever since the search, and even today, I feel the same thing. And at the same time, trying to respect what I feel, but also without knowing for sure. You just don’t know. Who knows what we feel? Nobody.

Alê: We don’t know. At least you’re an anthropologist, I’m not even that. Not a journalist, not an anthropologist, I’m even more lost. And I very often feel guilty too. People come up, try to help, and things get messy. We can never please everyone; we’re never one hundred percent sure about things. You try to do your best, and it’s not always what people expect. You have to learn to deal with this, right? I think it’s really hard.

Bia: Especially because there’s an issue that is bigger than our marriages, our families. The question of political engagement, the way they died and how they were murdered, and how this happens to a lot of people in Brazil. Not just a few. They’re not the only ones who died for their important political engagement related to Indigenous and environmental issues.

Alê: Protection, conservation.

Bia: And here I’m sure Bruno would expect nothing less than this of me. But at the same time, I don’t know about keeping things in proportion. There’s the matter of lending continuity to his work, of thinking about that, but at the same time respecting our moment, without knowing exactly what moment this is.

Alê: Our private lives have become public. I think there’s a lot of pressure on what we do, because it’s as if we represented both of them. It’s pressure coming from various places. From people we trust, people we have relationships with, but with different purposes. So what’s the proposal that will represent what I think is right and will be best? [There’s] fear of making a grotesque mistake, out of naivete. It’s very distressing.

Bia: Yes.

Alê: And everybody asks, “What about Dom’s and Bruno’s legacies?” I say, “They’re being made.” There’s their work, and there’s our maturing emotionally, dealing with the loss. I tell my psychologist that there is Alessandra the ‘legal person’ and Alessandra the ‘natural person’.

Bia (laughing): Totally.

Alê: Right now, the one who’s functioning better is Alessandra the legal person, because it’s close to the anniversary of their deaths. There are events, interviews… And videos are filmed, and statements are made, and things are arranged. And Alessandra the natural person is there, off quiet. When she can, she watches a video and gets emotional, trying to find a balance.

Bia: Ever since it happened, I’ve had the legal person switched on. In part, because I worked with this too. For example, when I gave the first interview, for [the Globo television network program] Fantástico, I had in mind what needed to be said so the search would be more efficient. No, I’m not going to cry.

Alê: You were a guide for me because I was totally Alessandra the emotional, just remembering Dom, my husband, because I didn’t understand the full dimension of things yet. You were an example to me when you said, “We have to focus on this, now.” I understood the message. I said, “It has to be like that too, because it’s so urgent.” The question of security, of violence, of invasions [of the Amazon], of the search, the trial. So much we’re going to go through yet.

Bia: I think this legal thing, like you were saying, helps hide things, sweep the emotional part under the rug. There are very few times when I really face this. When it hits me…

Alê: Definitely. But this week is…

Bia: Because then it gets to be too much.

Alê: It’s too much.

Bia: Then I switch on the legal person. I have to do this or that. And you balance things.

Alê: It’s for the sake of our health, right? Doing things and focusing on what’s possible.

Bia: And that’s why everybody keeps saying, “Gosh, Bia, you’ve been so strong! You’ve done it!” Except it’s really just been a way around things.

Alê: Exactly. Gosh, I hear that a lot too. “You’re so strong! You’re an example!” I say, “Good God, don’t put that burden on me too.”

Bia: Nobody knows how to live through something like this. And truthfully, facing it is actually much harder. It’s really hard to stop and think about what happened to you, to your children, your family, what’s going to happen from here on in. The situation we’re in now, without them… what we’ve lost. When I stop to think…

Alê: You feel kind of desperate, right?

Bia: Then I can’t handle it. It’s my analyst talking, and I agree. It’s a way of not letting him die. It’s a bit of a way to not let him die.

Alê: With all of this, with the small children, with you working all the time…

Bia: The idea of a mother left behind, of a four- or three-year-old child losing their father, under any circumstances, is beyond horrible. Under these circumstances then, it’s unbearable. It’s unbearable. Except that, at the same time, you have to bear it. What am I going to do? You too. You and Dom didn’t have children, but you were thinking about it. And besides, you lost a partner, and you won’t find another like him. Just like me. The story I had with Bruno, I won’t have another. We lost. It’s unbearable to think about.

“The idea of a mother left behind, of a four- or three-year-old child losing their father, under any circumstances, is beyond horrible. Under these circumstances then, it’s unbearable. It’s unbearable. Except that, at the same time, you have to bear it. What am I going to do?”

(Beatriz Matos)


Alê and Bia have become accomplices in their pursuit of life. Photo: Pablo Albarenga/Sumaúma

Bia: I think a lot about what he would like me to be doing. We had a partnership. I had two children, one after the other. We met out in the field, right there in Javari Valley. We traveled around by boat there a million times. Except for a while, I was more dedicated to staying at home, because of the boys. I didn’t travel because we had young children. He was there, but he’d come back, and we’d discuss everything. He would tell the Indigenous, tell his friends: Beatriz is teaching, but she’s always here thinking about you.

Alê: Remember when we got to Javari, when we were there at the port, and the Indigenous saw you and asked, “Where are your children?” They wanted to see pictures of the kids.

Bia: Because I met some of the girls there when they were little, and now they have their own children. He’s not here, but I’m continuing this partnership. It’s kind of crazy. I’m continuing the partnership without him physically present, but present in another way. And I imagine you’re doing the same.

Alê: Yes. Dom’s book. There’s the book team, who are specialized people. But the final word is always mine.

So I want to open an NGO in his name. People are always asking, “What’s happening with the NGO?” And I say, “It’s maturing, it needs time.” Because I don’t want to make some hideous mistake in his name. And resisting this external pressure… I’ve heard a lot of “If you don’t do it now, the timing will be off.” What timing? There’s no timing! A person died in a horrible tragedy, in a brutal way. I don’t care about timing. This project goes well beyond time. It goes beyond them, beyond the tragedy. It’s to protect the territory, the original peoples, who are under threat. It’s very distressing. They died for this, and nothing has changed, and it seems like they will have died in vain. It’s not just a trial that brings justice. It’s a change in terms of protecting the territory, especially Javari, but also other territories. There has to be a change; this really has to happen.

Bia: And even the trial, right? Did you see that thing, that report [on May 8, on the Globo television news program Jornal Nacional], with the murderers telling lies?

Alê: [Saying it was] self-defense. Criminalizing Bruno.

Bia: On national TV. And without presenting the other side. A report that lasted I don’t know how many minutes, to tell lies, on national TV. It was serious.

Alê: It’s cruel to us. I couldn’t watch.

And the efforts to discredit them. Talking about Bruno’s violence, and also saying that Dom was an adventurer, that he was in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person. There have been a bunch of insinuations like that. Dom knew exactly where he was, and so did Bruno.

Bia: Bruno was there to contribute to Dom’s report. Bruno was only there at that moment because of Dom. And Dom was only there at that moment because of Bruno.

Alê: Exactly. There’s no victim, there’s no one to blame. This is the narrative they want to create, right?

Bia: As if one were irresponsible and the other an adventurer.

Alê: Exactly.

Bia: One person who is clueless, and the other, irresponsible. Just like the guy [the murderer] said there [on the news report]. As if Bruno had been violent. That’s absurd! He was shot in the back. It’s lie after lie. And I think these things are meant to weaken. It’s a very well-structured tactic.

Alê: Dirty, low.

Bia: Very well-funded even. This has been done on other occasions, all the time.

Alê: With Chico Mendes, Sister Dorothy [Stang], the same thing. Discrediting them.

Bia: Or blaming them. Like they did to Marielle [Franco], saying she was involved.

Alê: With a drug dealer, that she was dating a drug dealer.

Bia: They said that about Bruno and Dom at the time. They slurred them in so many ways, I can’t even remember. Awful things were said by the [Jair Bolsonaro] administration. I didn’t trust the authorities; I didn’t trust them.

Alê: What outrages me most is that this is a second death for them. They’re trying to kill Dom’s and Bruno’s dignity, when they died defending the right side, you know? Trying to defend something that is for everyone, the Amazon. I see the Amazon more and more as the heritage of all Brazilians. And whoever steals timber, gold, who kills forest protectors, is stealing from us, from me, from you, from my children, from everyone here. It’s absurd. To me, criminalizing the two of them is as low as you can go.

“They’re trying to kill Dom’s and Bruno’s dignity, when they died defending the right side, you know? Trying to defend something that is for everyone, the Amazon.”

(Alessandra Sampaio)

Bia: It’s vile. I remember those guys who ripped Marielle’s sign.

Alê: Yes, exactly.

Bia: I always remember that. I can appreciate what that meant for her family. You lose someone that way and on top of it, they keep vilifying their memory, their dignity. We have the right to memory. My children do. I worry. Can you imagine them as teenagers? When they’re searching [the internet]?

Alê: What information are they going to access, right?

Bia: They’re going to access it all. And they’ll see all this crazy stuff.

Alê: It’s very unfair.

Bia: It’s very unfair. But I also don’t want them to idealize their father.

Alê: Yes, because there’s this other side too: “They were heroes!” [You have to recapture] the human dimension. Of the person who makes mistakes, who lives with us, who fights, who makes up, regular people.

The children

Like beings of the forest, Bruno and Dom “encantaram”—they transformed into other beings. Now, Alê and Bia are fighting for nature and its peoples can go on existing. Photo: Pablo Albarenga/Sumaúma

Bia: I want my children to have an idea of who their father was. But then I always have my doubts. Should I take them at some point? I simply couldn’t take them to the funeral; it was too soon, it was too much. Now there are all these acts paying respects a year after [their murders]. I’m still not sure whether I should take them, if I should explain, so they understand their father is loved by people. They know he was murdered. They know his death was violent. They know, and I didn’t even need to tell them right out. They knew. Very crazy, because they understood it right away.

The other day [my four-year-old son] was at a club and went to get a popsicle. I said, “Go ahead! You can go alone.” Then he came back, and the popsicle girl said to me, “I wanted [to come here] to meet this child’s parents, because he said something so strange to me. I asked him, ‘Where’s your mother?’ And he said, ‘She’s over there.’ ‘Where’s your father?’ He said, ‘He died in the war.’” She thought he was making it up. Then I told her he was telling the truth. It is a war. That’s how he’s processing this, and it’s true. His father didn’t disappear, didn’t abandon him. That’s not it.

Alê: I have a four-year-old nephew who also asks me. Nobody told him anything; they turned off the TV. But he knew. One day he asked me, “Why didn’t Uncle Dom dive into the river? He knew how to swim. Why didn’t Uncle Dom grab the bad man’s gun and shoot him?”

Bia: Listen to that!

Alê: Because he wasn’t violent. So then you explain it to the child. Why didn’t he hide in the forest? It’s like: Why didn’t he do anything to still be here with us today? I said, “Honey, he did what he could. It wasn’t possible, you know? They were ambushed, they were tricked, they were caught by surprise.”

Bia: My son, especially the four-year-old, he asks me these things too, and you have to explain. [He has to know] it wasn’t Bruno’s choice.

Alê: Exactly. That was my nephew’s question: why didn’t he dive in? Why didn’t he try? [My nephew] refused to accept it. “But he could swim so well, there, under the water. Do you suppose he was afraid of caimans?”

Bia (laughing): There’s that too, right? Precisely—they’re not superheroes, fighting with caimans and diving, flying, hiding in the forest [laughing]. When my son talks about the war, he’s talking about this same thing.

“The other day [my four-year-old son] was at a club and went to get a popsicle. I said, “Go ahead! You can go alone.” Then he came back, and the popsicle girl said to me, “I wanted [to come here] to meet this child’s parents, because he said something so strange to me. I asked him, ‘Where’s your mother?’ And he said, ‘She’s over there.’ ‘Where’s your father?’ He said, ‘He died in the war.’” She thought he was making it up.”

(Beatriz Matos)

Alê: About the fight, right? Which is also so normal for boys at that age.

Bia: Exactly! But I think that’s what it is for everyone. They have this human dimension, but at the same time, they were extraordinary people too. Who did a lot. And I see, I discover the things Bruno was involved in. Now that I’m working here, I meet someone from Funai [National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples] who says, “Look, I did such-and-such with Bruno, on such-and-such an occasion.”

Alê: That you didn’t even know about.

Bia: I didn’t know about! I didn’t even know him! And so I collect these stories.

Alê: When you were talking about Bruno now, I remembered Dom too. He wasn’t vain; he didn’t go on and on about his work. Then I heard that he was one of the best journalists in the world. I said, “Wow!” They might be exaggerating a bit, but they told me that. He did so many cool things.

Bia: [Environment minister] Marina [Silva] saying she did an interview with him… That’s right, they were indeed very special people. In my case, I’m discovering things now too. There were some things I even used to get a little mad about, like him being on his cell phone all the time, which I understand better now. It was unbearable, all the time on it, talking about work, because there was something urgent, because I don’t know what else…

Alê: But you know that was something Dom always told me. Dom, when he went on that expedition with Bruno in 2018, came back in love with Bruno. He said, “I’ve never met anyone so committed. Never! I’ve never met anyone like Bruno. Bruno’s level of commitment and of being there for the Indigenous in Javari, it’s amazing. He talks like he’s Indigenous, he understands Indigenous humor, he speaks their language, he makes jokes, he sings… He walks in the forest just like the Indigenous! To me, Bruno, I don’t know, there’s no explanation. He has such a strong Indigenous personality inside him, and the Indigenous people recognize this, that’s the most beautiful thing.”

Bia: A number of people have said he had this soul thing. And this other thing they say, that they became “encantados” [enchanted, that is, transformed into other beings].

Alê: That’s so beautiful.

Bia: Very beautiful. I’ve heard that from a lot of people, that they turned into others, that they’re in the forest.

Alê: That they’re still protecting it.

Bia: I think that is extremely consistent, because I know how committed he was, even at the expense of his own family. He had this thing about the woods, the forest, loving it. He loved that part of the forest too, you know?

Alê: Dom used to say he saw God in nature. He wasn’t religious at all, but he used to say this, “Alê, I find God in nature.”

Bia: They had a kind of spiritual commitment, right? I think so too. And then Bruno had this thing, for example, of planting. I moved here [to Brasília] and had to leave his plants back in Belém. I still don’t have any plants at home because he was the one who took care of them, who taught the boys to plant. He knew the names of every plant in the forest, of the trees. He knew their cycles. He liked learning how to hunt and fish, with the Indigenous.

Their legacy

Bruno with indigenous people from the Javari Valley (left). Photo: Funai / On the right, Dom Phillips takes notes while talking to indigenous people in the Yanomami Indigenous Land. Photo: João Laet/AFP

Alê: I think this legacy business is a challenge, right? How you lead your life, with your children, because there’s the financial question, which is really worrisome. As the mother of two children, how do you deal with this?

Bia: I worry, but I’ve had a lot of support. When they passed the hat, that saved me.

Alê: It did! Friends saved you; they passed a virtual hat. Both here in Brazil and abroad.

Bia: It was really hard in the beginning. We had an income, and it dropped in half. With two children in school, rent, the bills come. What do I do? “Sorry, this month I’m not going to pay the rent because my husband died?” There’s none of that. You pay the rent. His pension from Funai doesn’t even cover the boys’ school.

Alê: And at a moment like this, so critical, how are you going to take a child out of school for them to adapt [to another school]?

Bia: Exactly! I was so desperate. I’m going to have to move, put the boys in another school. But how do you take them away from that security they have there, of being with their teacher, their classmates, in their apartment? All of a sudden, everything changes. On top of losing their father, right? It was horrific. The pension from Funai is really low. Like Bruno, many of the staff at Funai, who are very dedicated, very committed, work under precarious conditions. Now they’re fighting for a career plan… That’s very, very important. The Lula administration has been promising to take all these actions. The creation of the ministry of Indigenous peoples is in itself a very big thing.

Alê: It’s an indicator.

Bia: It’s a very strong indicator of the direction of this commitment. But for all of this to be feasible, you have to have the concrete conditions, and the concrete conditions are a good staff, in Indigenous communities, working, well paid, with decent working conditions. For example, people who are assigned to ethno-environmental protection fronts, who are assigned to monitoring isolated peoples, which was Bruno’s case, their working conditions are tough, very precarious, and they’re very poorly paid. We’re considering how to change this, how to improve things. I say “we” because now I’m in this position, in a department that deals with the matter of the isolated peoples within this ministry that has just been instituted. And I’m only here because there was this group of people that Bruno gathered around him. The staff at the OPI [Observatory for the Human Rights of Uncontacted and Recently Contacted Peoples], who did wonderful work during the pandemic. And the news immediately spread that the administration was putting together a transition group. They’re also lending continuity to Bruno’s work, in various spheres. There are people in this collective I trust a lot. I rely on them.

Alê: And have you ever heard this? People have commented to me, like, “Oh, aren’t you going to ask the State for compensation?”

Bia: Sure, I’ve thought about asking! I think there has to be some, but the first thing I thought was “I’ll send it in, it’ll end up in my department for me to reply. No, thank you.” [both women laugh]. I’ve already got so many things to reply to, I’m not going to ask that of me, no! Or ask it of Funai. I think this is something we have to consider, have to do, and have to do thinking from the perspective of the State, because there was negligence on the part of Funai at that time, negligence on the part of the Brazilian government, of the executive branch. We know that.

In fact, the previous president of Funai [Marcelo Xavier] was indicted [as part of the investigation in May], right? He was indicted for failure to act in regard to their homicides.

But I think the question is, what about from here on out? Me being in this position because of the collective work Bruno led with these other people. I feel they’re going to lend continuity to his work, and I’m doing that on this front, being part of this administration, this ministry. It’s an important front for fighting inside the administration. And that’s what we’re facing right now, in the sense of engaging in political debate, showing Brazilian society and also the State itself how important the work we do is.

We’re fighting inside the administration itself to get these resources. I feel we have political space, but you also have to fight for it.

Alê: At least there is this change. Because under the former administration, it was deliberate abandonment. We went through that, in the case, for example, of the search. The police… I learned what happened from a journalist.

Bia: The day the bodies appeared, Bolsonaro led a motorbike rally in Belém. I was at a window of my house, listening to the motorcade party under my window. The British prime minister [Boris Johnson] said, “I’m sorry.” He paid tribute, honored them. He’s not from the left, a progressive, but he was a decent person. While we were left listening to them smeared here in Brazil. Offensive, terrible things.

Alê: The Federal Police would say something once in a while. The search left real marks on me. I’m deeply grateful to the Indigenous. Because this abandonment by the State—I think it was a very clear message for us.

Bia: Now we’re trying to make up for our losses, but it takes time. More could be getting done, for sure. Except that being here in the government, you see how many problems are here, waiting to blow up. It’s not just in Javari, not just the Yanomami—who are in the media more. There are any number of Indigenous lands, any number of leaders under threat. Any number of places where drug trafficking is creeping into the territories. Invasions have intensified over the last three, four years. We received a number of Indigenous delegations at the ministry during the Free Land Camp. But the news was always like this, problems that had either begun or grown much worse in recent years. We’ve got all of these outstanding matters [gesturing broadly with her hands], things to take care of.

Alê: And we know there’s a huge movement against it, right?

Bia: Yes, there is! We see Congress rushing to vote on things prejudicial to the ministry [of Indigenous peoples] itself. Prejudicial to the ministry of the environment and climate change. There’s an attack from all sides, very well-orchestrated. While some people are attacking Indigenous territories at the base, others are attacking in Congress. We have to understand that our enemies are very well organized and are coming with everything.

Alê: I think this is very distressful for us.

Bia: It is… But there’s also this: the fact that we are not standing still but are entering the fight is also important.

Alê: It is. It’s what gives my life total meaning right now.

Bia: Not letting them die.

Alê: Not letting them…

Spell check (Portuguese): Elvira Gago
Translation into Spanish: Meritxell Almarza
English translation: Diane Whitty
Edição de fotografia: Marcelo Aguilar, Mariana Greif e Pablo Albarenga
Page setup: Érica Saboya e Viviane Zandonadi

The pain is still there, but for Alê and Bia the best way to respond to violence is by living. Photo: Pablo Albarenga/Sumaúma

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