Catarina Barros de Sousa left Portugal 12 years ago for the former Portuguese colony of São Tomé and Principe. The then 39-years-old, with the intention to help the poor street children of Africa, would never have guessed that she would meet her end there.
The moment she arrived at São Tomé and Principe, an African island nation off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea she immediately started helping the community. The “white mother”, as she was called by locals, worked in many social and humanitarian institutions of the island. Her altruism was so big that she ended up adopting a black child and settling on the island.
Everyone knew Catarina for “always riding a scooter” on the island of São Tomé, something rare for a woman. After volunteering, he worked for several companies and institutions, such as the aviation company Africa’s Connection. For years she was the tour guide for Corallo, a local chocolate company and then finally became a hotel manager at Mucumbli hotel. She did guided tours and was therefore known to everyone and many tourists who passed through São Tomé.
As it’s usual in these Third World countries, things aren’t as pretty as those Instagram and Facebook photos make it to be, there was trouble in paradise. Besides claims that the local African employers skipped some days of work, stole things from their jobs, the situation reached a tipping point with the local hotel security guard. Witnesses say he threatened her because she started a disciplinary procedure against him, deducted 300,000 STD (12 euros) from the employee’s salary since he kept skipping work and he also didn’t like taking orders from a white woman, according to unofficial sources. The end of this sad tale was known on late Tuesday, March the 3rd, as she was beaten and struck several times with a machete on the neck and head.
This gruesome murder only reached national Portuguese media because photos and videos of her death started circulating in social media, the São Tomese embassy in Portugal is oddly quiet as well as their judiciary police. Every month, Portuguese nationals are either killed or go missing in former Portuguese African colonies, as well as other Europeans in Africa. The World is not a fairy tale park and Europeans should know better to not end up like Catarina or another well-known case that shocked the World, like the Scandinavian girls beheaded in Morocco.