Go catch a bus back to your country --  racist assault by Portuguese security guard

Nicol was catching a bus after a night of partying when a security guard from the bus company violently assaulted her: "These n-----s just don't learn," he allegedly claimed.

Catia Bruno
Cátia Bruno NewsMavens, Portugal
Go catch a bus back to your country --  racist assault by Portuguese security guard - NewsMavens
A bus stop in Porto, Portugal, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

Nicol Quinayas is a 21-year-old Colombian woman who has lived in Portugal since she was five. On the night of the June 24, she was coming home after partying with her friends at the popular Saint John festivities in the city of Porto.

She had joined her friends on the line to enter a bus when some other passengers accused her of cutting in front of them. She claims she told the other passengers she was meeting her friends, but offered to go to the end of the line. "Never mind," they replied.

But when she entered the bus, the security officer on the bus had a different understanding of what had ocured. "You won't get inside", he said, kicking her out. What followed was a series of physical and verbal abuses that left her in need of medical treatment. 

"You won't get inside, fucking n----r. You can't come here and cut the line, go catch a bus back to your country."

Those are the words Nicol claims he said, making this assault most likely a racially motivated one. "These n-----s just don't learn", he added. A video surfaced of the guard restraining Nicol on the ground, as well as pictures that clearly show her facial injuries. 

Over the next few days, the newspaper Público unveiled the police report, which was only filed three days after the incident, even though it had been immediately reported.

The public bus company and the state's attorney reacted swiftly: the guard was suspended pending an inquiry and a state investigation is also underway. "The government won't tolerate violence or racist and xenophobic outbursts," the Interior Ministry claimed. Is this really true?

Details from the story:

  • Nicol is 1.59 meters tall and weighs 55 kilos. "I am a small chicken", she says.
  • The passers-by didn't intervene, even though some are heard in the video criticizing the guard. "He had a uniform on, people felt respectful," Nicol explains.
  • Nicol and her friends claim the Police didn't ask for her data when interviewing her after the incident. Still, they talked thoroughly with the guard, who was smoking a cigarette after the assault.
  • The association Racism SOS claims this is "another example of racist and xenophobic discrimination in Portugal" and criticizes the Police's response, which it defines as "short."
inbox_large_illu Created with Sketch.
Tired of the news media’s prevailing male perspective? We are too.

Get our newsletters composed exclusively by female journalists from all over Europe.


Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

NewsMavens is a media start-up within Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland's largest liberal broadsheet published by Agora S.A. NewsMavens is currently financed by Gazeta Wyborcza and Google DNI Fund.
Is something happening in your country that Newsmavens should cover?
Zuzanna Ziomecka
Zuzanna Ziomecka EDITOR IN CHIEF
Lea Berriault-Jauvin
Lea Berriault Managing Editor
Jessica Sirotin
Jessica Sirotin EDITOR
Ada Petriczko
Ada Petriczko EDITOR
Gazeta Wyborcza, Agora SA Czerska 8/10 00-732, Warsaw Poland
The e-mail addresses provided above are not intended for recruitment purposes. Messages concerning recruitment will be deleted immediately. Your personal data provided as part of your correspondence with Zuzanna,Lea, Jessica and Ada will be processed for the purpose of resolving the issue you contacted us about. The data provided in your email is controlled by Agora S.A. with its registered office in Warsaw Czerska 8/10 Street (00-732). You can find more information about the processing and protection of your personal data at https://newsmavens.com/transparency-policy