The last day of the vacation of communicator Barbara Thomaz, 37, in Portugal was marked by an episode of humiliation and violence that transformed — for the worse — the final stretch of the trip. She says she was cursed in a xenophobic attack by an Uber driver.
The report adds to a growing number of such complaints. The issue was recognized by the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs of Portugal, Ana Catarina Mendes, in a recent interview with Sheet.
Barbara says that in the early hours of Thursday (28) she asked, with two Brazilian friends, for a car by app after a dinner in Lisbon. The driver soon began to drive at high speed and recklessly, making sharp turns and ignoring red traffic lights – to the point that, according to her, she did not allow passengers to fasten their seat belts, which were locked in motion.
Also according to the report, also made on social networks, the communicator and her friends asked the driver to slow down, but they were ignored, which left them terrified, “feeling in a Russian roulette”.
Faced with the insistence, “he suddenly braked on a completely deserted avenue and, shouting, ‘this is not Brazil, go back to that shit country'”, says Barbara. After cursing the passengers, the driver got out of the vehicle and opened one of the doors to try to force them out. “I came out the other side and I was pulling my friends, because he was out of control and aggressive.”
According to her, luckily a taxi was passing on the other side of the avenue — and the three, nervous, practically threw themselves in front of the vehicle, to attract attention and get on board. “I spent the day crying. The last day of the trip became the funeral of my joy. We are alive, but we are definitely not well. Our nationality, gender and security were attacked,” wrote the communicator.
Back in Brazil, she is now trying to report the driver, but claims that she has not yet received his complete data from Uber – without which, she says, she cannot open a police report.
Sought, Uber Portugal said in a note that it does not tolerate any form of discrimination. “Whenever we are aware, through the application, of situations such as the one indicated, the user and the driver are contacted with the aim of taking appropriate measures, which may include removing the driver’s access.” The company also reported having created, in the app, reporting channels against cases of discrimination or racism.
Faced with the repercussion of the case, Barbara says she was contacted by Uber do Brasil, which promised to help in the investigations. The team, however, has not yet announced what measures will be taken.
The communicator says it was the first time she felt so humiliated on a trip. Days earlier, also in Portugal, where she had arrived on July 21, she went through another embarrassing moment when she heard, in conversation with a Portuguese, the suggestion to become a prostitute, in an allegedly joking tone.
Reports of xenophobia against Brazilians in Portugal accompany the growing interest in the European country. In 2021, a record of 209,072 Brazilians legally residing in the country was reached — but the figure does not include those with dual citizenship or those in an irregular situation.
Faced with the shortage of manpower in the country, especially in the tourism and services sectors, the Portuguese Parliament last week approved a program that expands and facilitates the granting of work visas to citizens of CPLP countries (Communities of Portuguese Speaking Countries). ), including Brazilians. This Friday (29), President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa promised speed to sanction the changes in the Foreigners Law.