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Fears in Brazil: police group apparently involve on vengeance killing rampage

Wednesday, January 15th 2014 - 00:09 UTC
Full article 25 comments
The twelve homicides on the same night were followed by the torching of three buses and a private car The twelve homicides on the same night were followed by the torching of three buses and a private car

Twelve people were killed in the Brazilian city of Campinas, the second biggest in São Paulo state, on Sunday night with police investigating if the murders were linked. All of the murders occurred during a three-hour period in the Ouro Verde area, in the city’s periphery, and were followed by the torching of three buses and a car by hooded men.

 The 12 homicides had similar characteristics: the gunmen fired the shots from a moving car and the victims received multiple shots to their heads and upper bodies. There are serious suspicions that members from the military police could have been involved in retaliation for the killing of one of their members during an armed robbery.

The killings again set alarms ringing about security in Brazil and reliable forces with only five months to the beginning of the World Cup next June.

The first attack occurred at around 11pm on Sunday, when four men were killed at the Recanto do Sol II neighborhood, local newspaper Folha de São Paulo reported. Ten minutes later, two other men were killed at the Cosmos neighborhood, with shots to their heads. The rest were murdered at the Villa Alegre neighborhood.

Of the 12 people killed, six had police records for crimes such as homicides and car theft, but no weapons or drugs were found on them. They were all between 17 and 30 years old. Local police believe that the murders are linked but were working to try to find out what the link was.

One of the theories is that the homicides were committed by members of the military police as retaliation after a member of the force was killed while off duty during a robbery at a gas station. Another hypothesis is that the homicides were the result of a battle between rival gangs.

At least three buses and a car were torched in Campinas on Monday, following the murders. The incidents took place in the same area where the homicides had occurred. The vehicles were set on fire by a group of around 30 hooded people but none of them had been arrested yesterday.

The homicides add to insecurity concerns in Brazil, as the country prepares to host the World Cup this year and the Olympics in 2016.

Last week, the Rio de Janeiro state police department announced that a special force had been created ahead of the events, with special focus on controlling violent demonstrations. The battalion is composed of about 500 specially trained officers recruited from police units statewide.

The decision to create the special force follows the violent protests that erupted in June all over Brazil against bus fare hikes, corruption, poor public services and the billions of dollars being spent on the World Cup and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. At least six people died in connection with the protests, and Rio saw some of the most violent ones.

Brazil also announced in the beginning of January that 10,000 members of an elite federal security force will help better control the demonstrations expected around the country during the World Cup.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Captain Poppy

    Ohhhhh Brasiliero

    Jan 15th, 2014 - 12:52 am 0
  • golfcronie

    Brasiliero will be ecstatic by this news, can't wait to hear if this typical
    behaviour of the police ( if it is the police ). I would certainly try and persuade people to avoid going to the World Cup. I wonder how many of the footballers will suddenly have health problems.

    Jan 15th, 2014 - 10:00 am 0
  • Conqueror

    Another warning. Avoid Brazil. Nothing “good” in Brazil. No-one is safe in Brazil. How to see the World Cup and Olympics in safety? Television. Stay home. It's cheaper and safer.

    Jan 15th, 2014 - 01:16 pm 0
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