Brazil: Crimes of Passion

Brazil: Crimes of Passion

The mountainous southeastern state of Minas Gerais is commonly known as the terra dos machoes, or land of the machos. "Here, if a man sleeps around with other women, it's a sign of masculinity," says Elaine Matozinho, a policewoman in Belo Horizonte. "But if a woman is an adulteress, it's a different story: she pays with her life."

During the past 20 years, the murder or beating of women by their husbands or boyfriends was so common an occurrence that legitima defesa da honra (legitimate defense of honor) became a popular and tolerated legal defense. National murder statistics are not tracked...

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