Source: Polícia Federal
The federal police this morning [August 6] executed Operation Hecatombe in order to break up a death squad composed of police officers that operated mainly in the Northern Zone of the city of Natal.
Nearly 220 PFs are serving 21 arrest warrants, nine material witness warrrants and 32 search and seizure warrants , in the cities of Natal/RN, São Gonçalo do Amarante, Parnamirim and Cerro-Corá. Also participating are 30 police officers of COT, the federal special tactics group, which specializes in high-risk operations.
During the investigation, evidence was found of the involvement of a death squad in 22 cases of homicide and five cases of attempted homicide. The motives of these killings are various, ranging from crimes commissioned by third parties and paid for in case; disputes over the control and operation of drug sale locations; mere personal quarrels; and queima de arquivo, that is to say, the elimination of witnesses to crimes committed by the group.
Some of the investigation targets have previously been charged with homicide — one of the group members has already done jail time for illegal possession of various firearms allegedly used in the assassinations.
All suspects will be charged with aggravated murder and membership in a death squad. The maximum penalties for the crimes committed by the principal figures in the group runs to 395 years in prison.
Hecatombe was supported by the Rio Grande do Norte police intelligence group.
Death Squads and Police
In the past two years, this is the third federal police operation against death squads. In February 2011, a Operation Sixth Commandment served 19 arrest warrants on police involved in death squads in Goiás state, while in September 2012, Operation Squadre shut down a militia organization run by police and operating in the João Pessoa metro region.
Será realizada entrevista coletiv,a no auditório da Superintendência Regional da Polícia Federal, às 10h, localizada na Rua Dr Lauro Pinto, 155, Lagoa Nova-Natal/RN.
.Tribuna do Norte reports that five military police were arrested in the operation.
The arrest of PMs wasc onfirmed by major Eduardo Franco, of PM Internal Affairs. Of the five suspects located, four are privates and one a sergeant. It is not yet known how each of the PMs acted on behalf of the death squad.
The name Hecatombe is an erudite allusion to mass sacrifice as described by Homer in the Iliad.
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