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Montevideo, November 20th 2018 - 17:44 UTC

Amnesty helps anti-mafia lawmaker leave Brazil following death threats

Tuesday, November 1st 2011 - 21:52 UTC
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Marcelo Freixo investigations have led to the indictment of 225 people, including politicians, police officers and fire-fighters Marcelo Freixo investigations have led to the indictment of 225 people, including politicians, police officers and fire-fighters

A high-profile state congressman in Rio de Janeiro who investigated criminal militia groups is leaving Brazil after he said police found at least seven death threats against him this month.

Marcelo Freixo said he will leave this week for an unidentified European country with the help of human rights group Amnesty International.

“I plan to stay outside Brazil for a while. I want this time to adjust my security precautions and to call the attention of the authorities” he told the local media adding that “I'm treating this as my own personal problem but clearly it is a public security problem too.”

Freixo led an investigative commission in 2008 that looked at militias -- illegal groups made up of off-duty and former police officers and fire-fighters that have expanded their presence in Rio's poorer communities in recent years.

Organized crime within the security forces is among the most serious problems Rio faces as it prepares to host global showpiece sports events -- the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics two years later.

The militias were originally applauded by some politicians as a solution to the drug gangs that dominate many slums but reportedly engage in criminal activities themselves, including extortion and summary executions.

Freixo's investigation led to the indictment of 225 people, including politicians, police officers and fire-fighters.

“The threats have always existed but now they have intensified,” said Freixo, who travels in a bullet-proof car, has a 24-hour bodyguard and is widely believed to be the model for the crusading politician in the hit 2010 Brazilian movie “Elite Squad 2.”

In August, gunmen killed a judge who took a hard line against militia members, ambushing her as she arrived home in Niteroi, across the bay from Rio. Eleven police officers have been arrested on suspicion of involvement.
 

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • Yuleno

    The ugly face of capitalism which allows the accumulation of wealth in private hands, irrespective of how it was accumulated eg astiz in Argentina fujimori in Peru have not been stripped of their personal wealth and Blair in UK continues to accumulate but Cameron already has it but will get more after prising open the opportunities in libya.sr frexio may as well address political inequality by some other means than attack the henchmen who live on the crumbs of the real criminals

    Nov 02nd, 2011 - 08:13 am 0
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