LITTLE DID the wife and children of Jaime Félix do Rosário know last Friday evening that this much respected Bicesse family man and taxi driver had been barbarically murdered in what seemed like a motiveless crime. His money and mobile telephone were not stolen, so robbery was not the motive.
Last Friday, in the very early hours, Jaime Félix, a 66-year-old taxi driver for almost 20 years, picked up what was to be his last fare at 4.08am. A passing motorcyclist found Jaime Félix slumped near the rubbish bins in Quinta da Alagoa, Carcavelos. Jamie Félix’s black and green Mercedes 220 taxi was some hundred metres away, with the door open and the lights full on.
A pool of blood in the tar marks the last moments of Jaime Félix’s life, where he was stabbed a number of times in the neck and body. A trail of blood led the hundred metres down to the rubbish bins, where Jaime Félix’s lifeless body was discovered.
At 3.40am, Jaime Félix’s car nº 135 of the Radio Taxis Costa do Sol had been seen at the taxi rank in Visconde de Luz Gardens in Cascais – was this where he picked up his ill fated fare? It is not exactly known where his trip started, but Quinta da Alagoa was its end.
The Resident’s Bob Hughes spoke to some of the taxi driver’s colleagues on Saturday,one of whom said “If a client did a runner without paying, Jaime Félix would be after them”.
Not far from this location, there are the Marianas “with its many drug addicts”, quoted one of the neighbours who asked not to be named. A neighbour of Jaime Félix, who had know him for years, described the taxi driver as a quiet, respectable family man, willing to help others. She said: “He was everyone’s friend and he will be deeply missed. I pray his murderer will be caught quickly and sentenced harshly.”
Taxi drivers protest
On Saturday, around 130 taxi drivers staged a protest at the taxi rank at Tamariz beach in Estoril to highlight the dangers that their job carries. They then proceeded to the scene of Jaime Félix’s murder.
The Resident spoke to one of the taxi drivers, who said: “Today we lost a colleague and his family has lost a husband and father. How many more will die before we receive the protection we were promised by the government? We hope that Jaime Félix, the third taxi driver to die this year (last week’s The Resident reported on a taxi driver murdered in Agualva-Cacém, Sintra, after being licensed for only one week), will not just become a statistic. In his memory, we will fight for better protection like video surveillance, security divisions between drivers and passengers, and GPS positioning in all cars.”
Florêncio Almeida, president of the Associação Nacional dos Tranportadores em Automóveis Ligeiros (ANTRAL), the national association for taxi drivers, will meet on Monday with the government. He said the incident was a tragedy, in which a colleague was “barbarically murdered”, and something must be done. “We need to ensure that all measures of security as described in Law 6/98 are implemented now. We have waited for this regulation and funding for seven years,” he said.