On June 1st, a Pública (a Brazilian non-profit investigative news agency) published an article detailing how several high ranking members of Cordão de Ouro had been accused of sex crimes.
Since its publication, the article immediately gained attention in the Portuguese speaking capoeira community. It has been getting attention internationally as well, but most non-Brazilian students probably don’t have a clue unless their teacher told them. Even though rumors have been going around for a longer time, the news article blew the lid off the whole thing and now more and more stories are surfacing.
Many fear that the news will fade away without reaching the global capoeira community or triggering changes. I believe that is true, especially since capoeira doesn’t have a big medium and a lot of information is being shared in private chat groups. It is important to raise awareness now that there is a momentum. To help do this, I’ve decided to collect all related news in this article and try to make everything available in English (still working on that).
If you have come across information, statements or articles that aren’t mentioned below, please let me know in the comments.
Original article by a Pública:
“Capoeiristas denunciam mestres de um dos maiores grupos do país por crimes sexuais” – 01/06/2021
Video message from Mestre Suassuna (PT) following the publication:
Official statement from Cordão de Ouro (PT):
Download here – 30/05/2021 (notice that this was release two days before the news article)
Official letter from Mestre Suassuna (PT):
Download here – 08/06/2021
Statement from Mestre Edan saying he is cutting ties with the group:
Facebook – 09/06/2021
New article on globo.com (PT):
“Grupo de capoeiristas afasta membros investigados por crimes sexuais contra crianças e adolescentes no Ceará” – 10/06/2021
Have you been a victim of abuse in capoeira and would you like to share your story? Write me via email@example.com and I’ll make sure your voice is heard by publishing it here.
You can share as many or as few details you want and of course you choose whether or not you want to stay anonymous.
Sexual assault on a minor in the Netherlands
A former mestre from Cordão de Ouro was charged and found guilty of assaulting a minor. She was a student of his group in the city of Enschede. When the news reached the board of CDO, the mestre was banned from the group. He temporarily moved to Brazil, leaving his family behind, but eventually returned and founded his own group.
News article (Dutch):
https://www.112-ov.nl/112-enschede/capoeiraleraar-uit-enschede-veroordeeld-voor-ontucht-met-17-jarige-leerling/ – 18/08/2020
Someone on Reddit had the courage to share a personal story about the same mestre which happened years ago:
Rape of minors in Belgium
The head of ABADÁ Capoeira Belgium, based in the city of Ghent, was accused of raping several underage students. He eventually admitted the facts. This started in 2018 and the group supposedly knew what was going on. I don’t have an official source on this, but according to some people he has now been expulsed from ABADÁ.