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Last Updated: Sunday, 24 July, 2005, 12:26 GMT 13:26 UK
Family mourn for Brazilian victim
Alex Pereira

Relatives and friends of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian man shot by police in London, have expressed their grief, shock and anger at the killing.

His London-based cousin, Alex Pereira, paid tribute to him but sharply criticised authorities for the error.

His grandmother said there was no reason for considering him a terrorist.

The 27-year-old was fatally shot after boarding a train at Stockwell underground station on Friday, a day after failed attacks on the network.

Climate of terror

The BBC's Steve Kingstone in Sao Paulo says there has been a lot of sympathy for London in Brazil over the bombings, together with an understanding of the need for tough police action.

He was the grandson that I always carried inside my heart, and I am terribly sad about what happened
Zilda Ambrosia de Figueiredo

But Brazilians are also strongly opposed to the Iraq war and there is still a lot of anger about the US invasion, he says.

They will be also be asking why someone lying on the floor and apparently offering no resistance was shot, according to eyewitnesses, five times in the head.

Our correspondent says the Brazilian government, while obviously sensitive to the broader climate of terror, is under pressure from its people to deliver answers.

It said in a statement it was shocked and perplexed, and expected a full explanation from the UK authorities.

'Full of life'

Details have been emerging about Mr Menezes - an apparently law-abiding citizen who was well-liked and as concerned as other Londoners about the bomb attacks.

Mr Pereira said his cousin was the son of a bricklayer and grew up in the town of Gonzaga in Minas Gerais state, a source of many migrants to Europe and the US.

He moved to Sao Paulo to live with his uncle at the age of 14, attended high school and became a qualified electrician.

Exclusive picture of Jean Charles de Menezes (BBC)
Menezes was said to be on his way to fit a fire alarm

He had lived and worked in London legally for at least three years and spoke excellent English.

The cousin described him as a "person full of life", adding that he was "a victim of government's mistakes."

"They had to kill someone to show the whole population they are working and make the country safe," he told the BBC.

"He does not have a past that would make him run from police," he added in an interview for Brazilian TV.

But the BBC's Tom Gibb in Brazil said Mr Menezes' experience of Sao Paulo's slum areas meant that he might - on the contrary - have run in reaction to having a gun pulled on him.

His grandmother, Zilda Ambrosia de Figueiredo, offered perhaps the most touching tribute.

She told Globo TV: "He was very easy going and very communicative with everyone."

"He was the grandson that I always carried inside my heart. And I am terribly sad about what happened."


Gésio César D'avila, a friend and colleague, said Mr Menezes had considered alternative transport after the failed attacks on 21 July.

"We were together on Thursday, and when we saw what happened, Jean said he wanted to buy a motorbike to avoid the tube," he said.

On Friday Mr Menezes had come out of his flat in Tulse Hill, south London, which he shared with cousins Vivian and Patricia.

He was thought to be on his way to fit a fire alarm.

The house had been under police surveillance because of a suspected link to Thursday's attempted bombings.

Police followed him as he caught a bus to Stockwell tube station.

They said Mr Menezes' apparently bulky clothing added to their suspicions. Some Brazilians find even summer weather in the UK cold and often dress warmly.

But cousin Patricia Armani said she did not remember him wearing a padded jacket.

"He didn't use to feel cold. In the winter he even walked on the street with T-shirt," she told the BBC Brasil.com

Metropolitan Police chief apologises for the shooting


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