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Cats Used To Smuggle Contraband Into Brazilian Prison

The cat in question
The cat in question
Romero Nobrega maximum security prison

It wasn't the Easter bunny delivering chocolate eggs this past Sunday night. No, that furry creature scaling the walls was a very real cat, in a very serious attempt to smuggle a precious load of cell phones and SIM cards into Brazil's Romero Nobrega maximum security prison.

With adhesive tape and bandages strapping the load to his belly, Miao (as we shall henceforth call the protagonist in this tale) was allegedly sent in to the prison in Paraiba on orders of the Primeiro Comando da Capital, a top Brazilian mob outfit that controls most of the country's cocaine market.

Sadly for the narcos, the seven SIM cards, four phones and chargers were too heavy for Miao and he was spotted by some eagle-eyed officers, reportsLa Stampa. While Miao may have disappointed his mafioso owners in doing this, he was later rewarded by the guards who lured him with milk and kitty treats.

This isn't the first time that animals has been used by drug traffickers to smuggle contraband into Brazilian prisons, says Daniel Ribeiro, penitentiary guard at the security facility. "We are investigating because we suspect there is a real criminal organization that trains these poor animals and uses them for criminal purposes," he told reporters this week.

The first known smuggler-cat was stopped on New Year's Eve in 2012 as it tried to sneak into Arapiraca prison with phones and SIM cards. Earlier that year, seven pigeons were stopped as they tried to get into PirajuĂ­ prison, in the state of Sao Paulo, with cell phones and drugs in the mini birdie backpacks they were sporting.

No flying the coop for them.

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The Colonial Spirit And "Soft Racism" Of White Savior Syndrome

Tracing back to Christian colonialism, which was supposed to somehow "civilize" and save the souls of native people, White Savior Syndrome lives on in modern times: from Mother Teresa to Princess Diana and the current First Lady of Colombia, VerĂłnica Alcocer.

photo of a child patient holding hand of an adult

Good intentions are part of the formula

Ton Koene / Vwpics/ZUMA
Sher Herrera


CARTAGENA — The White Savior Syndrome is a social practice that exploits or economically, politically, symbolically takes advantage of individuals or communities they've racialized, perceiving them as in need of being saved and thus forever indebted and grateful to the white savior.

Although this racist phenomenon has gained more visibility and sparked public debate with the rise of social media, it is actually as old as European colonization itself. It's important to remember that one of Europe's main justifications for subjugating, pillaging and enslaving African and American territories was to bring "civilization and save their souls" through "missions."

Even today, many white supremacists hold onto these ideas. In other words, they believe that we still owe them something.

This white savior phenomenon is a legacy of Christian colonialism, and among its notable figures, we can highlight Saint Peter Claver, known as "the slave of the slaves," Bartolomé de Las Casas, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Princess Diana herself, and even the First Lady of Colombia, Verónica Alcocer.

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