Brazil accused by OAS court of massacres in Rio slum

The sentence was pronounced 23 years after the first mass shooting in

Published in 16/05/2017 - 14:08 By Alana Gandra reports from Agência Brasil - Rio de Janeiro

The Brazilian government will be given a year—a deadline ending on May 11, 2018—to reopen investigations into the two massacres that took place during police operations in 1994 and 1995 in Nova Brasília, a community within the favela complex of Alemão, Rio de Janeiro. Compensation will also have to be paid to about 80 people. In each mass shooting, 13 young people were killed.

The sentence was made public last Friday (May 11) by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), an autonomous legal body linked to the Organization of American States (OAS).

The court accused the Brazilian State of not ensuring justice in the Nova Brasília case. This is the first time Brazil is charged by the OAS court with police violence.

The case, known as Cosme Rosa Genoveva and Others Against Brazil, or simply the Nova Brasília Case, reached the Inter-American Court in May, 2015, after 15 years under deliberation at the Inter-American Human Rights Commission, and after being shelved in Brazil. The request for the case was signed by the Center For Justice & International Law (CEJIL) and the Religious Studies Institute (ISER), which represent the victims.

In a note, the Ministry of Human Rights announced that the Brazilian State recognizes the competence of the Inter-American Court, adding the court will be notified of the fulfillment of the sentence within the deadline given.

Mass shootings

On October 18, 1994, agents from Brazil's Civil and Military Police conducted a raid into Nova Brasília, one of the favelas in the Alemão Complex. A helicopter was deployed, and 13 young people were killed, most of them black. In the operation, three women, two of them teenagers, were reported to have been tortured and sexually assaulted.

In the same favela, another operation was carried out on May 8, 1995, following an alleged anonymous report, according to CEJIL and ISER. Another 13 youths were killed in the raid, which this time included two helicopters. “Even though the police had reported fierce clashes, neighbors told the press that the youths left their homes in a surrender position and were shot in their heads and chests by agents on the helicopters,” a report release to the press by the two NGOs read.

The murders were registered in the records as conflicts and resistance to arrest followed by death, which exempted the police from being held accountable for the deaths.

Translated by Fabrício Ferreira

Fonte: Brazil accused by OAS court of massacres in Rio slum

Edition: Davi Oliveira / Nira Foster

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