Brazilian police accused of torturing bricklayer to death and hiding his body
Ten Brazilian policemen may face trial after being accused of torturing a bricklayer to death and then hiding the body, a police official said Thursday.
The 10 were arrested this week following the July disappearance and presumed death of Amarildo de Souza in Rocinha, Rio’s largest favela with 70,000 inhabitants.
Rio’s O Dia newspaper gave front page headline treatment to the story in their Thursday edition, alleging that Amarildo had been tortured by military police before he died.
His body has not been found, but following his disappearance on July 14 there have been several large scale public protests by Rio residents demanding an explanation.
In the weeks after he disappeared, hundreds of locals marched towards the residence of state governor Sergio Cabral in central Rio demanding news of the victim’s fate.
A local police commissioner has accused Amarildo of being involved in drugs trafficking and he was captured by CCTV cameras getting into a Police Pacification Unit (UPP) vehicle.
The 42-year-old father of six is assumed to have been taken away for questioning. He has not been seen since.
One of the 10 police arrested is the commander of the Rocinha UPP unit.
The UPP are tasked with ridding the slums of drug traffickers and militias. They work on site in units assigned to specific favelas, and have made inroads in reducing Rio’s crime rate.
But regular reports of police corruption and violence have forced recent widespread changes in senior UPP personnel.