The in-depth investigation by journalist Ivan Mizanzuk, which resulted in the podcast and later in the television series “O Caso Evandro”, aired on Globoplay, was an incentive for two of those accused of the boy’s death, Celina and Beatriz Abagge, to speak openly about the torture they suffered to confess to the crime and seek the condemnation of the abusers.
Last month, they released the book “Malleus: reports of injustice, torture and miscarriage of justice”, in which they tell their version of the story, from the moment they were caught by the police at home, in Guaratuba, on the coast of Paraná, in 1992, until the years they spent in a penitentiary in the region of Curitiba and the trials to which they were subjected.
They were identified as the ones responsible for the kidnapping and death of Evandro Ramos Caetano, 6, which would have occurred during a ritual. According to the indictment, the child was sacrificed to “open the way” for the politics and business of the Abagge family.
“If there was a ritual, it was against the Abagge family, this one did exist,” said Celina in a conversation with leaf with both by videoconference.
In parallel, the defense of her daughter, Beatriz, prepares a request for criminal review of the last trial, in 2011, which found her guilty of Evandro’s disappearance and death – her mother, Celina, was never tried, as the accusation against she prescribed it because she was already 70 years old. In the first jury, held in 1998, both were acquitted.
The team of lawyers, coordinated by Antonio Figueiredo Basto, will also seek the conviction of police officers and compensation from the state for the abuses. The confession tapes were edited and the original versions, which confirm the tortures, were obtained by Mizanzuk during the production of the podcast and listened to by Abagge in the seventh episode of the television series.
“We are going all the way to get people to be held accountable,” Beatriz said. At 57, she has been a civil servant for 30 years and, since 2016, has been an occupational therapist at the Psychosocial Care Center (CAPS) in Guaratuba. Encouraged by the case, Beatriz also graduated in law.
“[Buscamos] the rescue of our name, of the Abagge family”, added Celina, 82. She is now retired and lives with another daughter in Curitiba.
They claim that if the request for a conviction for torture is not accepted in Brazil, they intend to go to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. “If they agree to let these people free, instead of paying for the crime they committed against anyone, then Paraná is in favor of torture, [agindo] outside the Constitution”, said Beatriz.
The name of the book, according to the authors, is part of the nickname they received before the prosecution. They were known as the “witches of Guaratuba”. “Malleus Maleficarum”, or Hammer of the Witches, was the name of the manual used to judge them during the Middle Ages.
“This hammer of the judge was used exactly at the time for the Inquisition and later to hammer a ‘truth’, to end us”, said Beatriz, who today follows spiritualism. “If I could be in an umbanda center now, I would be, I just won’t go because otherwise the press is on top.”
Just like at the time, Celina continues to practice Catholicism.
The daughter believes that, in addition to prejudice against religions of African origin, the aim of the investigations also reveals a sexist character. “The reference [ao caso] they were witches, no one talked about men”, he pointed out, citing the other five accused of the crime at the time, all men.
The saint’s father Osvaldo Marcineiro, his friend Vicente de Paula Ferreira (who died in prison in 2011) and the artisan Davi dos Santos Soares were convicted in 2004. Francisco Sérgio Cristofolini and Airton Bardelli, employees of Serraria Abagge, on the other hand, where the ritual would have taken place, they were acquitted in 2005.
Despite also being sentenced to 21 years and four months in prison, Beatriz was able to pardon her sentence in 2016, according to a decree that guaranteed pardon to those sentenced to more than eight years in prison who had, among other requirements, children under 18, such as it was her case.
Leaving a story for Beatriz’ children, Celina’s grandchildren and other family members was also the aim of the book. They say that even they didn’t know details of the tortures, such as the sexual abuse suffered by Celina, as she also revealed in the Globoplay series.
“The family was already going through torture with us in prison, doing everything to get us out, how were we going to comment on the barbarism we went through? There was no way”, justified Celina.
With the series, they themselves were able to see scenes of the time for the first time, like residents of Guaratuba stoning their house after being found guilty. Died in 1995, Aldo Abagge, Celina’s husband and Beatriz’ father, was mayor of the city.
“Everything moved me a lot […]. Even the mother was afraid that I would go out in Guaratuba and I left for everything, nothing happened, because people already know the story”, said the daughter.
“I was sick, I was angry, because I saw a torturer in a good mood without paying anything, without anyone charging anything. It shook me up,” the mother said.
According to them, Aldo’s political power, together with the demands of the people from Paraná regarding the disappearance of children at the time and religious prejudice, in addition to investigations conducted by the “I heard”, led to the accusations.
Continuing the work of the father, mother and daughter, they still look for clues about Evandro, whom the Abagge family believes is still alive. “We didn’t kill him, so, on our part, there is no death, there is no dead boy,” said Celina.
For Beatriz, the hope is that the current productions around the case will help to find the boy, who would be 35 years old today. “If the family [de Evandro] is really satisfied and believes this happened [a morte do menino], I’m sorry for them because we still have hope, but we don’t want them to feel uncomfortable with our opinion.”
The daughter says that, for always talking about the case on social media, she suffered many attacks, but after Mizanzuk’s revelations, there was a change in the way she looked at them, mainly by the press. “Before it was a murderer, now it’s supposed to, that kind of thing has changed, but there’s still something veiled about us.”
Even though there are different opinions about the case, they say they are only concerned with the declaration of innocence by the Court.
“There will always be those who will accuse us, even listening to the podcast or watching the series, and others who will empathize and start observing, serving as a lesson so that it doesn’t happen to other families”, concluded Beatriz.
Malleus: reports of torture, injustice and miscarriage of justice
- Price BRL 52.00 (262 pages)
- Author Celina and Beatriz Abagge
- Publishing company Brazil Publishing