An online advertisement selling two black children for $0.42 sparked outrage and a police investigation.
The ad that read “blacks for sale” was posted on one of Latin America’s biggest online marketplaces, MercadoLivre.
Government officials asked MercadoLivre to turn over the user information on the person who posted the ad after more than 1,000 Brazilians complained. The online retailer complied and handed the information over to the Rio de Janeiro police. An investigation is underway.
The post was "an offence to the entire society,'' rights official Carlos Alberto Silva Junior told the AFP Friday.
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Junior said Internet sites should do more to crack down on racist content.
"Incitement to discrimination or prejudice by race, color, ethnicity or religion'' is punishable by two to five years in jail and by a fine, he said.
More than 100 million Brazilians are of African descent. The country has the second largest black population next to Nigeria.
David Santos, the head of the civil-rights group Educafro claims the ad could have an unintended positive impact.
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Santos told AFP "unconsciously this person has helped us debate with Brazilian society to make it aware that blacks have the same rights as whites.”
In 2012, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff instated a law that promises 50 percent of all university admissions go to public schools, with a priority given to blacks, mixed race, and indigenous teens.