What we want from Cuca – 04/22/2023

The presentation of Cuca as the new coach of Corinthians already goes down in history as an infamy.

Since the hiring announcement, protest mobilizations could be heard loud and clear.

Convicted of involvement in the 1987 rape of a 13-year-old child in Switzerland, Cuca has taken the protests with him wherever he goes.

If in the 1980s crime was almost ignored, today we have, as a society, some awareness of its gravity.

Cuca arrived for the presentation interview on April 21 knowing that there would be questions about the Bern case in 1987.

He was prepared to give a speech saying “I’m an ally of the cause, I have daughters, I want a better world, I know I’m not the victim, count on me etc etc etc”. He picked up a few watchwords from feminist movements here and there and dropped them during the interview.

But, luckily for Cuca, few questions were asked about the case and there was no desire to detail his answers, ask for further explanations or anything like that.

In summary, Cuca said that he did nothing and, for having done nothing, he owes no apologies to anyone.

But let’s see: he also said that yes, there was “sexual act with vulnerable” in the environment in which he was.

He said he had no memory of that afternoon, but then he described in detail the room where the crime took place.

He was present, we have a fact here.

It saw? Did not see? He heard? Didn’t you hear? Did you participate?

We do not know. He was not asked about details at the news conference.

He clung to the fact that he had not been identified by the victim in the hearings that followed the complaint.

This data is really important, but there are others that conflict with it. There were investigations, Cuca was imprisoned for a month before returning to Brazil, there were testimonies, there was the defense of the accused and, in the end, there was a conviction. So the “victim didn’t recognize me” part loses steam.

We also know that victims of gang rape may not recognize their attackers’ faces given the extent of the trauma.

And we know, because that part of the story is not in dispute, that there was a 13-year-old who was raped in a hotel room in Bern with four Grêmio players present – Cuca among them.

When Cuca says he didn’t do anything, he’s right: taking his statement that he didn’t touch the girl as true, so he didn’t do anything like scream, call the police, go asking for help through the corridors, punch the rapists, free the child.

Ah, but there was no evidence of physical violence.

This is how things can happen: the victim is paralyzed.

For a child in these conditions, time stands still.

It is, I suppose, the feeling that comes with death. It is, in fact, a kind of death.

So “doing nothing” would be, in this situation, a rather profound horror.

Cuca was in the L-shaped room, as he described in the press conference, and he didn’t hear anything?

You saw a child coming in and practicing sexual acts with your peers and what did you keep doing? Folding T-shirts to store in the closet? Making the bed? On your knees praying to Our Lady?

Two years after the crime, the newspaper Der Bund, from Bern, published an article detailing what had happened that afternoon.

As the process runs in secrecy of justice, it is not possible to know if what is written there appears in the file.

In the article, we learned that the girl had tried to kill herself shortly after the rape and that she was suffering from psychological disorders as a result of the trauma.

If Cuca, a devotee of Our Lady, had known this, would he have sought her out to say he was present and then apologize for not having done anything? (Again, I am here considering the testimony of Cuca himself, who acknowledged that he was in the same room when the “sexual act with a vulnerable person” took place.

Just to make it clear: a sexual act with a vulnerable woman who then goes to the police to say she was abused is called rape.

The same article from Der Bund in 1989 says that the expert would have found sperm from Cuca and Eduardo, another player from the group of those convicted of the crime, in the girl’s body.

What we do know: the story that Cuca tells is very different from the story experienced by the abused child.

And we also know that sex with a child is pedophilia.

But then let’s just sentence Cuca until the end of time, don’t people have the right to try to get on with life?

Well, maybe that child’s life ended that afternoon.

I sincerely hope that she managed to become a strong woman despite the trauma.

It’s the path we all have to take in this life. It’s either that or give up on this world that takes our bodies for objects and shreds our dignity every day.

As for Cuca, if he doesn’t recognize the horror of this story and doesn’t get involved in it, it’s likely that there will be forever protests wherever he goes.

What could he do so that we could start to get over our disgust?

First, first of all, recognize that there was a crime, that there was a victim and that what happened is in the dimension of the unspeakable, the unnamable, the grotesque.

Not to recognize the gravity of what happened in that room in Bern is to offend and humiliate all the women who hear him speak.

Afterwards, and still taking into account his version of the facts, he could say that he is ashamed of what he did or did not do.

That today he understands that he was a coward for not having done anything, that he prays every day to try to overcome that afternoon of infamy, that he prays for the girl’s life, that he gets out of bed wanting to be a better man.

That he knows that our society is sexist, that he seeks to understand everything that sexism does, that the 24-year-old Cuca is a Cuca that embarrasses him, that he understands that sexual crimes committed against children have the numbers of a war, that a woman is raped every eight minutes and that these data are still under-reported, that we are in a society that blames women and children for the rapes they suffer, that in this society the party of one is the death of the other etc etc etc.

You could say that you want to meet with the female and feminist supporters of Corinthians. You want to hear them. Want to learn and evolve.

We therefore want Cuca to be involved in the Bern scandal.

Saying you didn’t do anything is a slap in our faces because, in this case, “doing nothing” is as grotesque as abuse.

And in that scenario, saying you don’t owe an apology is a punch to our stomachs.

President Duilio Monteiro would also need to go public to answer some questions about the hiring, about what he thinks of the machismo practiced by some of his advisers, about what the Corinthians fans are screaming at, revolted by the hiring, about how many shirts with the phrase “respect mines” have already been sold.

Sponsors, including Nike, should also account for us. We are, after all, the ones who consume products from brands that partner with Corinthians.

One of the sponsors even released a tiny note, poorly written and empty of content regarding the supposed equality of rights between men and women.

It’s all wrong. Absolutely everything wrong from start to finish.

Being a man should involve facing all these issues head on, not avoiding questions, not avoiding our questions and gazes.

But in this upside-down world, being a man means proving your masculinity by collectively abusing our bodies.


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