Janaína Mattos Alves, 35, saw her world crumble on the night of June 30, 2016. She was at home when the news arrived that her son Jhonata Dalber, 16, had been shot. “His friend arrived at my door desperately screaming, ‘They shot Dalber!’ I never thought that it would be the shot that killed my son. I thought that it was in the leg or arm, or a bullet scrape—that he would go to the hospital but survive,” Alves recalls. Jhonata had left his house in Usina (in Tijuca, in Rio’s North Zone) at his mother’s request to fetch bags of popcorn at a relative’s house that she had planned to bring to her younger child’s school celebration the following day. When she found out what happened, Alves went to the location where the action took place, but her son wasn’t there anymore. “I got to São Miguel (one of the main streets in Tijuca) by motorcycle and asked the police, ‘Where is my son?’ Until then, I didn’t know that they had removed the body. They laughed and mocked me,” she decries.

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