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Am I Being Executed?' Brazilian Killed By Indonesia Unaware Until End, Says Priest





Am I Being Executed?' Brazilian Killed By Indonesia Unaware Until End, Says Priest Rodrigo Gularte
The Brazilian man shot dead alongside Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia was a paranoid schizophrenic who didn't realise he was being executed until his last moments of life.

Rodrigo Gularte, 42, asked 'Am I being executed?' as he was being chained up to be transported to the jungle clearing on Nusakambangan island where he and seven other death row inmates were killed by firing squad in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

The Irish priest appointed to be Gularte's spiritual advisor in his final hours said he talked to Gularte for an hour and a half late on Tuesday night to prepare him for the executions, but the convicted drug trafficker was confused about his fate and complained about hearing voices.

Angelita Muxfeldt (right), cousin of executed Brazilian drug convict Rodrigo Gularte, checks the condition of the body of her cousin at the hospital morgue in Jakarta on Wednesday

Angelita Muxfeldt (right), cousin of executed Brazilian drug convict Rodrigo Gularte, checks the condition of the body of her cousin at the hospital morgue in Jakarta on Wednesday

Workers carry coffin of Brazilian executed drug smuggler Gularte during his prayer ceremony

Workers carry coffin of Brazilian executed drug smuggler Gularte during his prayer ceremony

Gularte was arrested in 2004 for attempting to smuggle six kilograms of cocaine into Indonesia

Gularte was arrested in 2004 for attempting to smuggle six kilograms of cocaine into Indonesia

The Brazilian national was a paranoid schizophrenic who didn't realise he was being executed until his last moments of life

The Brazilian national was a paranoid schizophrenic who didn't realise he was being executed until his last moments of life

'When they took him out of the cell I was with him and he went to the front place, just to go out to where the car was, and then they put these bloody chains on them,' Father Charlie Burrows told Irish radio station RTE.

'And he said to me "Am I being executed?"

'And I said "Yes, I thought I was explaining that to you".

'And he didn't get excited because he was a very quiet kind of a guy but he said "This is not right."'

Father Burrows said Gularte then became paranoid that he would be shot while he was in the car. 

Father Charlie Burrows said he talked to Gularte for an hour and a half late on Tuesday night to prepare him for the executions, but the convicted drug trafficker was confused about his fate

Father Charlie Burrows said he talked to Gularte for an hour and a half late on Tuesday night to prepare him for the executions, but the convicted drug trafficker was confused about his fate

Brazilian executed drug smuggler Rodrigo Gularte's prayer ceremony at the hospital morgue in Jakarta

Brazilian executed drug smuggler Rodrigo Gularte's prayer ceremony at the hospital morgue in Jakarta

Gularte's cousin, Angelita Muxfeldt, mourns during his prayer ceremony. For years his family pleaded for clemency on the basis of his mental illness

Gularte's cousin, Angelita Muxfeldt, mourns during his prayer ceremony. For years his family pleaded for clemency on the basis of his mental illness

Images of the eight men executed in Indonesia are placed on tables at Gularte's prayer ceremony

Images of the eight men executed in Indonesia are placed on tables at Gularte's prayer ceremony

THE MEN EXECUTED ALONGSIDE CHAN AND SUKUMARAN

  • Rodrigo Gularte, 42, Brazil, arrested in 2004 on arrival at Jakarta airport with about 6 kilograms (13 pounds) of cocaine hidden in several surfboards
  • Martin Anderson, 50, Nigeria, arrested in Jakarta in 2003 with 50 grams (1.8 ounces) of heroin
  • Jamiu Owolabi Abashin, 50, Nigeria, arrested in 1998 at Surabaya airport with about 5 kilograms (11 pounds) of heroin. He was originally sentenced to life in prison, which was reduced to 20 years by the High Court, then changed to death by the Supreme Court on appeal by prosecutors
  • Sylvester Obiekwe Nwolise, 49, Nigeria, arrested in 2003 on arrival at Jakarta airport from Pakistan with 1.2 kilograms (2.6 pounds) of heroin
  • Okwudili Oyatanze, 45, Nigeria, arrested in 2001 on arrival at Jakarta airport from Pakistan with about 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of heroin
  • Zainal Abidin bin Mahmud Badarudin, 50, Indonesia, arrested at his home in 2000 with about 59 kilograms (130 pounds) of marijuana

'Because he's schizophrenic he said "Oh, there's a sniper waiting outside to shoot to me" and I said "No, you're safe now."'

Father Burrows said once they arrived at the killing fields, all eight death row inmates were tied to crosses with cable ties.

All eight men refused to wear blindfolds, choosing instead to face their executioners.

Father Burrows said once the men were tied up he was allowed to go and speak to Gularte again, who did not become hysterical but spoke in protest of his imminent death.

'I talked to him and he said "This is not right, I made one small mistake and I shouldn't be having to die for it,"' he said.

'He was annoyed more than anything else because he's a very soft spoken, quiet and sensitive man.'

Gularte was arrested in 2004 on arrival at Jakarta airport with about six kilograms (13 pounds) of cocaine hidden in several surfboards. 

He was sentenced to death by the Tangerang District Court in February 2005, and spent seven of his 11 years in prison on Nusakambangan.

Gularte's family tried without success to obtain clemency for him, saying doctors have classed him as paranoid schizophrenic.

Under Indonesian law, a mental health disease can provide for clemency in death penalty cases.

Jakarta twice turned down appeals for clemency and the Indonesian authorities told the Gularte family only a government doctor's diagnosis would be considered for Rodrigo's possible reprieve.

July 31, 2004. A Customs officer inspects surfing boards used by Brazil's citizen Rodrigo Gularte to smuggle six kilograms of cocaine into Indonesia

July 31, 2004. A Customs officer inspects surfing boards used by Brazil's citizen Rodrigo Gularte to smuggle six kilograms of cocaine into Indonesia

Rodrigo's cousin Marlise Gularte de Cavalho told Daily Mail Australia: 'For our family it is like dying a little every day, it is hard to stay strong but you must'

Rodrigo's cousin Marlise Gularte de Cavalho told Daily Mail Australia: 'For our family it is like dying a little every day, it is hard to stay strong but you must'

The families of death row prisoners Sergei Atlaoui of France and Rodrigo Gularte of Brazil leave the ferry dock at Wijayapura after visiting the prisoners at Nusa Kambangan in Cilacap in February

The families of death row prisoners Sergei Atlaoui of France and Rodrigo Gularte of Brazil leave the ferry dock at Wijayapura after visiting the prisoners at Nusa Kambangan in Cilacap in February

Gularte's devastated family always insisted he was mentally ill and fell prey to drugs in his teens and to a Brazilian drug cartel in his early thirties.

He was so deluded that when he was arrested he told Indonesian police his two fellow couriers had nothing to do with the scheme. They were sent home. A year later, he was sentenced to death.

In an interview with Daily Mail Australia in February, when Gularte's family still had hope he might be spared, his cousin Marlise Gularte de Cavalho said the 42-year-old would tell his family he didn't believe that he would be executed during prison visits.

He insisted a manned satellite over Nusakambangan was stalking him and voices in his head told him he wouldn't be executed because 'the voices say the death penalty has been abolished'.

An emotional Angelita Muxfeldt holds photos of cousin Rodrigo Gularte

An emotional Angelita Muxfeldt holds photos of cousin Rodrigo Gularte

Clarisse Gularte (left), mother of convicted Brazilian drug smuggler Rodrigo Gularte, greets relatives of convicted French drug smuggler Serge Areski Atlaoui as they depart the Nusakambanga prison outpost

Clarisse Gularte (left), mother of convicted Brazilian drug smuggler Rodrigo Gularte, greets relatives of convicted French drug smuggler Serge Areski Atlaoui as they depart the Nusakambanga prison outpost

Bali Nine members, Myuran Sukumaran (left) and Andrew Chan (right) were shot alongside Gularte

Bali Nine members, Myuran Sukumaran (left) and Andrew Chan (right) were shot alongside Gularte

'For the two hours we are there I guess he would talk lucidly for about 10 minutes,' Ms de Cavalho told Daily Mail Australia.

Ms de Cavalho spent weeks with Gularte's other cousin, Angelita Muxfeldt, and his mother Clarisse Muxfeldt taking the police ferry almost daily to visit Nusakambangan where he was held island's newest prison, Pasir Putih, which lies not far from one of its famed white sand beaches. 

Angelita tried for years to make Rodrigo aware of the danger he was in, but afflicted by delusions he would tell her it 'was all a trick'.

'Now I don't tell him because he is calm and not frightened. Perhaps it is better that way.'

 Nusakambangan Island where Rodrigo Gularte was held for the past seven years on death row

 Nusakambangan Island where Rodrigo Gularte was held for the past seven years on death row

Rodrigo Gularte's family hired a government professor of psychiatry to examine Rodrigo in prison on Nusakambangan. The prison governor sent the professor's written diagnosis of Gularte's schizophrenia to the Indonesian Attorney General, but it was rejected

Rodrigo Gularte's family hired a government professor of psychiatry to examine Rodrigo in prison on Nusakambangan. The prison governor sent the professor's written diagnosis of Gularte's schizophrenia to the Indonesian Attorney General, but it was rejected

'They say no,' said Ms de Cavalho, 'they won't listen, the president has the power over people's lives that should only be God's.'
'The Indonesian people we have spoken to, do not support the death penalty and I do not believe the majority of Indonesians do' said Rodrigo Gularte's cousin Marlise Gularte de Cavalho

'They say no,' said Ms de Cavalho, 'they won't listen, the president has the power over people's lives that should only be God's


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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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