Patricia Acioli, a Rio de Janeiro state lower court judge known for her uncompromising opposition to death squads, was gunned down in Niterói in 2011.
Patrícia was driving her Fiat Idea when she was surprised by men wearing ski masks, traveling in two cars and two motorcycles. At least 15 gunshots from .40 and .45 pistols struck the judge, who died on the scene.
The judge had handed down prison sentences to state military police troopers (PMs) from São Gonçalo, in the greater Rio metro area. The men were charged with kidnapping drug dealers, murdering them, and then demanding a ransom for their safe return.
Patrícia also remanded to custody PMs accused of staging crime scenes involving armed confrontations to conceal the summary execution of criminal suspects.
The judge’s name figured on the “blacklist” of Wanderson Silva Tavares, aka “Gordinho,” arrested in Espirito Santo in January 2012 and accused of heading up a death squad in São Gonçalo that had killed at least 15 persons in three years.
The troopers also face adminstrative punishment for privatizing the armory of the battalion — replacing rounds fired with fresh rounds in order to eradicate evidence in shooting cases.
Source: iG | O Dia.
A criminal conspiracy to bypass internal controls in order to misappropriate ammunition from the Seventh Military Police Battalion in São Gonçalo was controled by the group accused of assassinating judge Patrícia Acioli in 2011.
In recorded conversations obtained exclusively by O DIA, corporal Carlos Adílio Maciel Santos reveals how to defraud the system for replacing ammunition expended during what are suspected to be clandestine activities.
The carioca daily O DIA has covered death squad cases in some detail, relative to its peers in regional and national press. In 2008, four of its staff were kidnhapped and tortured by a Rio militia.
“The bullets we shoot, we are replacing,” a PM identified only as Ribeiro tells Adílio. In a court-ordered wiretap, he says he used the same method during a prior incident in Morro da Coruja, a neighborhood of São Gonçalo.
Adílio is one of 11 defendants accused of taking part in the execution of the judge with 21 gunshot wounds. He and PM corporal Sérgio Costa Júnior — who confessed the crime and was the first to be sentenced to 21 years — are accused by military court of misappropriating ammuntion from the battalion where they worked. Official ammunition — of a caliber reserved for the exclusive use of police — was used in the shooting, as O DIA reported at the time.
“There is no doubt. They were using official ammo to commit crimes,” says state prosecutor Leandro Navega
The trial of the other conspirators gets underway today, as Terra reports.
Early in her career, while still a state prosecutor, the judge had already had her car raked with machine gun fire.