The children that Leonor Cipriano brought into the world are scattered. They have been distributed between relatives and an institution
When she was a child, her father used to arrive home drunk and to beat up his children. At those times, Leonor would grab her mother’s skirt and try to hide there looking for protection, but the usual answer was “Go away because if he doesn’t beat you up, he’ll beat me”, read the Joana Case process files.
In João Cipriano, her brother, she found the nurture that the rest of the family denied her, they were always very close and the sexual relationship that developed between them was “naturally an extension of just that, an exchange of affection”, the same document continues.
Leonor was born in Soudes, a poor village which is located within one of the poorest counties of Europe, Alcoutim. She grew up and changed her partner five times, from those relationships six children were born.
Dina is the eldest daughter, who is now aged 18. When she was 11 months old, her mother handed her over to her paternal grandmother. The grandmother and the father raised the little girl.
When he was two months old, Marco met a similar fate. The boy who is now aged 14 lives in Messines with his relatives. Another boy lives in Porches with his father; he is now aged 8.
Leonor bore Ruben and Lara from her relationship with Leandro. The boy lives with his paternal grandparents in Mexilhoeira Grande and is now aged 7; the girl was handed over to the “Bom Samaritano” children’s home and is presently aged 5. The child was delivered to the institution because her father failed to pay the grandparents the amount that had been set by a court: 250 euros to help raise the little girl.
Joana was Leonor Cipriano’s sixth child, she would be 12 years old now.
In the village of Figueira, where she lived for a small part of her life, Joana is remembered as a sad girl. “A small woman”, as described by neighbour Maria Bárbara. And she justifies by saying that she still recalls how she “had to collect the clothes because rain was coming”. The girl that rarely smiled inspired the affection from those who watched how she took care of her siblings and walked to school alone.
source: 24Horas, 29.10.2008