Less than three weeks after the infamous Brazilian colonel who ordered the massacre of the Carandiru inmates was found dead, shot in the abdomen, in his own apartment, the São Paulo police is closing the case certain that they have the murderer.
Police chief Armando de Oliveira Costa says that the case is "100% solved" and that he will indict today, September 26, the colonel’s girlfriend, Carla Cepollina, 42, as the killer.
Costa Filho, says that he is "absolutely certain" that Cepollina, a lawyer, is the assassin and she will be indicted for double aggravated murder: killing for a futile reason and in a way that prevented the victim from defending himself. The military man was found covered with blood, wrapped in a bath towel,
"We are very sure, we have a cohesive probatory set. Nothing that might come now would be able to change our utter conviction that Carla Cepollina is the crime’s author," the police chief said.
Colonel Ubiratan Guimarães, who had won a seat in the São Paulo state legislature as Assemblyman with 56,000 votes and seemed sailing towards an easy reelection, was killed September 9 in his apartment in the posh neighborhood of Jardins.
The police believe that Guimarães was murdered with one of the eight weapons that he owned: a caliber .38 revolver that has disappeared from his residence.
Guimarães, 63, headed the police operation that in 1992 resulted in the death of 111 rebelled inmates at the Carandiru Detention House in São Paulo. In 2001 he was condemned to 632 years in prison, but he appealed and his sentence was overturned by the state’s Supreme Court. He didn’t serve even one day in prison.
The military police colonel had been receiving death threats since the Carandiru massacre on October 2, 1992. Many people believed at first that he had been murdered by the PCC (First Command of the Capital), a prison gang that has been terrorizing São Paulo and that claimed to have assassinated another policeman involved in the Carandiru slaughter: José Ismael Pedrosa, the Carandiru’s director at the time of the rebellion.
Cepollina’s lawyer, Antônio Carlos Carvalho Pinto, told reporters that the evidence presented by the police to prove that his client is the colonel’s murder "is too weak and without any consistency." He is Cepollina’s second lawyer. Her first attorney was her own mother.
Some Brazilian jurists are already anticipating that Carla will use the argument of legitimate self defense in court and will win her case. Guimarães was known by friends and foes to be a very violent man who didn’t like to be antagonized.