Unfortunately, it isn’t an April Fools gag, and it wouldn’t be funny even if it was. The owner of one of the most striking smiles in all of Jiu-Jitsu, the star from Cantagalo favela Fernando Tererê had a relapse and is right back in a drug addiction-induced depression, a battle that looked to be won last year. The black belt was all set to lead a serene existence with his wife in England, but he couldn’t keep it together and returned to Rio.
“Tererê is aggressive and back on drugs in the favela in Rio. His family is desperate again and asking for help, and he doesn’t want any help,” reports friend Elan Santiago, a Jiu-Jitsu black belt from team Alliance. “The doctors have diagnosed him as being schizophrenic and having psychotic episodes. It’s gotten ugly. The Jiu-Jitsu world needs to come together again, like it did before, if we want to save him and help his parents, Lena and Tio Barriga.”
The question now is how. How would you help Tererê in such a predicament, gentle reader?
DRUGS IN THE MIDST OF OCCUPYING POLICE FORCE
“The right thing to do would be to stick him in rehab again, but it would cost 17,000 reais, which is inviable for his family and hard for us to come up with again, after all the prior successful campaigns, including with the support of GRACIEMAG.com,” vented Elan.
Tererê’s ex-partner at TT Jiu-Jitsu school Eduardo Telles found out what his friend was going through and agreed to pay to have him taken to a rehabilitation center in São Paulo.
Tererê’s plight is further intensified by the fact that he lives in one of the communities taken over by a police pacification unit. According to residents of Cantagalo, the drug dens are still going strong in the light of day and located just two streets away from the police base. “Nobody wants the drugs leaving the hill; that’s why the police turn a blind eye here,” remarked one resident.
It’s a delicate moment, friendly Jiu-Jitsu fan. What would the best way to help be?
Let us know what you think. And if you would like to collaborate, please contact Elan Santiago via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.