Friday October 15, 2010

Former Brazilian Soldiers Say they Were Forced to Have Sex with Homosexual Superior

By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent

MARABÁ, Brazil, October 14, 2010 ( – A group of former Brazilian soldiers say that a lieutenant colonel sexually harassed and forced recruits to engage in sex acts with him in order to continue their military careers, according to the Brazilian television network R7.

However, despite photographic and video evidence, formal complaints by six soldiers, and numerous witnesses interviewed by R7, the Brazilian military denies that evidence implicating the colonel exists.

Following the initial complaints in 2009, Alberto Almeida was promoted from the rank of major to lieutenant colonel and put in charge of a local hospital, where he also engaged in sexual harassment and misbehavior, according to witnesses.

Soldiers who worked under Almeida say that the colonel attempted to kiss them on the mouth and touch their genitals, and repeatedly invited them to his home. He is also accused of holding parties for young recruits at an isolated beach known as a hangout for couples, and inducing them to have sexual intercourse in exchange for career benefits.

Video supplied to R7 shows one of the beach parties, where Almeida is shown in a bathing suit opening the flap of a tent where soldiers are sleeping together, and making sexual insinuations. Fifteen recruits reportedly participated in the outing. Other photos show Almeida dressed as a woman and embracing young soldiers, one of whom is dressed as a fairy, in sexually suggestive ways.

In addition to two male soldiers who say they suffered harassment under Almeida, R7 interviewed other witnesses who worked at the hospital, including a female soldier who was discharged from the military for insubordination following her own complaint against Almeida.

“The whole world knows” about the behavior of Almeida, former Sergeant Rubenice Dias Martins told R7, “but no one has the courage to tell the truth, out of fear of being persecuted, and even of being sued.”

She is now seeking legal recourse against the military, and wants to be restored to her previous position.

“I don’t have anything to be ashamed of,” said Dias Martins. “They are the ones who should be ashamed.”

Click here to see original video report by R7 (in Portuguese).

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