From: Witness


Poverty forces many in Brazil to seek new dreams which can end in tragedy.

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Director: Simone Duarte

The 7th of July 2005 was a dark day in London’s history. Fifty-six people died when four suicide bombers attacked the capital’s transportation system.

Just two weeks later, another series of bombs were discovered on the transport system. These failed to detonate, but police were on high alert.

So when a young man entered the same underground station where three of the would-be bombers began their journeys, police were not taking any chances. They said he was acting in a suspicious manner, so they shot him dead. 

It was a fatal case of mistaken identity.

The victim was a Brazilian named Jean Charles de Menezes. He was a young man from the small town of Gonzaga, Brazil, trying to make a better life for himself abroad.

Unemployment is high in Gonzaga. Although the de Menezes tragedy left the villagers of Gonzaga in shock, it did not dissuade many of them from following a similar path to find work abroad.

Nineteen-year-old Juninho’s parents live illegally in the US. His father left when he was 11 and his mother when he was 15. Even though they send him money, he misses them. Edmilson, a construction worker, decided to emigrate illegally to the US. But this can be an expensive and dangerous venture.