New information released in the investigation of the murder of Itaberli Lozano show conflicting versions of how the gay teenager was killed.
On December 29th in a town in the region of Sao Paolo, Itaberli, 17, was killed by his own mother, Tatiana Lozano Periera, 32, with the help of two teenage boys. She and her husband, Itaberli’s step-father, wrapped the body in a duvet, dropped it in a cane field, and set it on fire. Both the mother and her husband have been arrested and charged with murder and concealment of a corpse.
The two teenagers who helped Tatiana, Victor Roberto da Silva, 19, and Miller da Silva Barissa, 17, were arrested last week. Veja is reporting on a new police report that says that Victor’s girlfriend, 15, applied for a job at the supermarket managed by Tatiana and mediated contact between the boys and the mother.
Tatiana says she contacted the boys to teach her son a “lesson.” She says that she called her son, who was staying with his grandmother and uncle, to come back home on December 29th. When he did, the two teenagers were waiting inside and she went outside the house listening to her son cry for help.
Victor tells a different story, accusing Tatiana of offering him money to kill Itaberli. He says he refused but agreed to scare her son. He says he tightened his arm around Itaberli’s neck until he passed out and then ran away. Miller says he left before any violence occurred. Victor’s girlfriend, though, says she stayed and saw Tatiana stab Itaberli three times.
Security cameras outside the home show Tatiana waiting outside until the two boys leave, and then show her re-entering the home.
Police Commissioner Helton Testi Renz said, “We are trying to create a complete picture this week with the circumstantial evidence. We don’t yet know who did the stabbing. But it is already possible to say that the four acted in collusion to achieve the ultimate goal, which was to kill the victim.”
Tatiana originally said her son was staying with relatives and eventually reported her son as missing before the charred body was connected to the case. She then claimed self-defense, accusing her son of threatening her, her husband, and her 3-year-old son, and that Itaberli used drugs and brought men home, a claim that the boy’s uncle denies.
Prosecutor Wanderley Baptista of Trindade Junior says the crime was committed because of homophobia. He cites a December 27th Facebook post from Itaberli where the teen says he was beaten by his mother for being gay and kicked out of her home. Itaberli’s uncle also says that the boy was murdered for his sexuality.
Carolina Aram, a lawyer with Brazilian Bar Association’s Commission on Sexual Diversity, said she has evidence that homophobia was the motivation behind the crime that she obtained from neighbors, and that Itaberli had already been the victim of a homophobic hate crime, according to G1. She will deliver the evidence to the judge.