A Rio de Janeiro court sentenced 13 of the 26 military police officers charged with the torture and death of construction worker Amarildo de Souza in 2013, in the south district of Rocinha, Rio's biggest favela. All of the convicts will be removed from their position as civil servants.
Among them is former Rocinha UPP (Pacifying Police Unit) Commander, Major Edson Santos, sentenced to 13 years and seven months in prison for the crimes of torture and body concealment.
Another convict is Lieutenant Luiz Felipe Medeiros, UPP Subcommander at the time of Amarildo's death, who received ten years and seven months of imprisonment for the crimes of torture, body concealment, and procedural fraud for having attempted to hamper with the probes.
The second most longest sentence was handed down to Douglas Roberto Vital Machado: 11 years and six months in jail, for the crimes of torture and body concealment. Another eight soldiers were convicted of the same crimes to ten years and four months in prison, among them Victor Vinicius Pereira da Silva, who died last year.
Officers Rachel de Souza Peixoto and Thaís Rodrigues Gusmão were sentenced to nine years and four months each.
The case took place in July 2013, when then UPP Commander, Major Edson Santos ordered officers from his unit to locate suspects connected with drug trafficking in the community and bring them to the unit for questioning. During the crackdown, the police were told that Amarildo de Souza “held the keys to drug traffickers' storehouse.”
The bricklayer was then detained and taken to the police unit, where, according to court officials, following orders of the two UPP leaders, Amarildo was tortured and killed by a group of police while others kept watch outside. After Amarildo was killed, the police concealed his dead body.
Lawyer João Tancredo, counsel to the construction worker's family, said that the conviction represents the acknowledgment of Amarildo's killing by the State. “What the family feels is that it doesn't matter how long the sentence is. What matters is that the State acknowledges that the police are accountable for kidnapping and murdering Amarildo,” he said. The victim's body was never found.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Rio court sentences 13 police over torture and killing of Amarildo