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Four new arrests made in investigation into abduction and torture of Brazilian journalists

A cameraman covers a police operation as residents stand in the streets of Rocinha slum in Rio de Janeiro, June 2, 2008. Two Brazilian journalists investigating paramilitaries in Rio's slums said they were abducted and tortured by armed men who identified themselves as police, according to their newspaper O Dia. Photo: Associated Press (AP) / Ricardo Moraes

Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has wlcomed the progress being made in the investigation into the abduction and torture of two journalists employed by Brazilian newspaper, O Dia, and their driver in the Rio de Janeiro favela of Batan on May 14.

Three military police officers wanted in connection with the case—Fabio Gonçalves Soares (also known as 'Fabinho Catiri'), Marcos Antonio Alves da Silva (aka 'Marcos do Bope') and André Luiz de Mattos (aka 'Cocada')—were arrested in a major operation involving more than 80 government employees in Rio on December 11. A fourth man identified as Nilson Bueno (aka 'Nilson Faustão') was also arrested.

Items seized during the operation included equipment belonging to an elite Rio de Janeiro state military police unit called the BOPE. The four detainees are to be charged with “forming a militia.” Four other members of the military police are still being sought.

The O Dia employees were tortured for seven hours after being abducted by a militia based in Batan, where the journalists had been preparing a report for the previous two weeks. The case caused an outcry in Brazil, especially as police officers were allegedly involved in the militia.

The two alleged bosses of the militia—civilian police inspector Odinei Fernando da Silva (aka 'Dinei' and 'Zero Um') and Davi Liberato de Araújo (aka 'Zero Dois')—were arrested in June.

“We salute the great progress being made towards solving this case and we hope a trial will soon be held that sheds light on the circumstance of this abduction and identifies all those responsible,” RSF said. “This investigation must be an example in combating impunity. It nonetheless confirms the existence of serious abuses within police units that will need far-reaching measures.”

Date posted: December 17, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 352