Brazilian Policeman Suspect of Torturing Journalists Surrenders

Suspect policeman Odnei Fernando da Silva A Brazilian civilian police inspector who is accused of heading the militia that kidnapped and tortured two O Dia journalists and their driver in Rio de Janeiro's Batan favela on May 14, 2008, surrendered to Brazil's authorities on June 16.

Odnei Fernando da Silva, also known as "01", "Dinei" and "íguia" (Eagle), went with his lawyer to the headquarters of the Department for Repression of Criminal Actions and Special Investigations (DRACO) to give himself up. He had been on the run since June 4, when a warrant for his arrest was issued.

In an initial statement, da Silva denied any involvement in the abduction and torture of the newspaper's three employees. He suggested he had an alibi, claiming that he was at a party in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Bangu at the time of the crime.

Asked about his relationship with the gang's alleged No. 2, Davi Liberato de Araújo, he said he had known him since childhood but no longer kept his company.

Da Silva was taken to a special detention center for policemen inside the Gericinó prison complex.

Reacting to the news, international press organization Reporters Without Borders stated that the group hailed this latest progress in the investigation and hoped that the police "would quickly establish exactly who was responsible for the barbaric treatment inflicted on O Dia's employees."

On June 4, a man arrested on suspicion of being a member of the militia that kidnapped and tortured  the O Dia employees was shown to the press by members of DRACO.

He was identified as Davi Liberato de Araújo, 32, also known as "02" because he is alleged to be second-in-command of the militia. Liberato, who is serving a jail sentence in which he is now periodically allowed out, claims he was in prison at the time of the kidnapping.

At that time, the police also announced that an arrest warrant had been issued for da Silva, a former prison guard who previously imprisoned for homicide.

The DRACO reported that it was investigating the possibility that members of the military police were also involved in the Batan militia and that the militia used a clandestine cemetery.

The "O Dia" reporter who was one of the three people who were kidnapped has meanwhile claimed that, while being tortured, she recognized the voice of an assistant to Coronel Jairo, a member of the Rio de Janeiro state parliament. Jairo has denied having anything to do with the militia and condemns its activities.

RSF

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

We, from Brazil’s Landless, Denounce Syngenta and Its Crimes Against Humanity

We, from the Landless Movement in Brazil (MST), would like to share with you the ...

Life School

Increased liberalization of economic policy in Brazil is creating new threats and opportunities for ...

Brazilian Astronaut Will Wear Clothes Made in Brazil in Space

The garments that Brazilian astronaut Marcos César Pontes is going to wear during his ...

Amazon Faces Serious Flooding After Two Weeks of Non-Stopping Rain

Civil Defense spokesmen in the capital of the state of Acre, Rio Branco, in ...

Investing in Brazil Is Investing in South America, Says Lula

Talking in São Paulo, where he took part in the Brazil & Partners: Investment ...

From Rio to Ouro Preto with charm

Here’s a Brazil far from the maddening crowds which has been preserved in its ...

In Brasília Assemblymen Get Busy Trying to Prevent a Federal Intervention

The assemblymen in the Federal District Legislative Assembly (CLDF) are hard at work to ...

People on the Streets and Authorities Lambast Brazil’s Impunity

Members of the Brazilian Congress, representatives of the private sector and the Brazilian Bar ...

Brazil and Argentina Join Forces to Make Weapons

Argentina and Brazil are considering the joint manufacturing of different types of arms both ...

Brazil Believes Tax Cut Will Give Big Boost to Information Technology

Brazil is expecting to almost double its investments in the information technology sector. That ...