Crimes of Passion: The Campaign against Wife Killing in Brazil, 1910-1940

Susan K. Besse
Publication Date: 
January, 2001

From the article:

"Intense and widespread social concern over crimes of passion exploded in brazil in the 1910s and lasted through the 1930s. (This term refers to homocides resulting from conflicts related to love and/or sexual relations. In pradctice, the crime was generally a male crimes, involving the killing of women -- and/or their suitors -- by husbands, fiances, lovers, or fathers and brothers.) Crimes of passion were by no means a new phenomenon in Brazil, according to Portuguese law (to which Brazil was subject during the colonial period), a married man who discovered his wife in the act of committing adulery had the elgal right to kill bother her and her suitor, and the social custom of doing do did not die with the formal abrogation of this 'right'. Suddenly, however, these crimes began to be experiences as particular threatening."

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