Josias 50: The Naked Savage Changes Clothes

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Josias 50: Media circus for a dead man walking.

During his statement, Josias recounted details of how Rio military police sold police uniforms and weapons to drug traffickers, citing the name of a policeman known as Medeiros.

Alagoas 24 Horas reports something really perplexing, without elaborating, and with fuzzy sourcing, about a young man known as Josias 50 who has reportedly “confessed to taking part in the murder of” TV Globo journalist Tim Lopes. It writes

Josias Cinqüenta é um exemplo de quando crime e personalidade se tornam indissociáveis, por motivos que ficam a critério da sociologia e da psicologia debater.

Josias 50 is an example of when criminality and personality have become indistinguishable, for reasons it is best left up to sociology and psychology to debate.

He has confessed to witnessing the crime and helping dispose of the body, according to Alagoas police accounts of his statements to them.

A24 reports that he

  1. had been seen on TV Globo before as a wanted member of a gang that robbed armored cars while dressed as military policemen; and
  2. explained that an expression he uses to express his philosophy of life — “Vida louca no morro do Macaco” — “is part of a militia in Vigário Geral, in Rio de Janeiro.”

Say what? Are they using that as a synomym for armed groups in general? “Militias,” or policia mineira, tends to be the term used for paramilitary protection rackets run by moonlighting cops, firemen and sometimes soldiers.

The adolescent, who says he was 12 when Lopes was killed, reportedly came to Maceió “three months ago” from Rio. Why?

He says these things during a media perp walk in which he recounts bloodthirsty deeds. The reporting is all fuzzy and riddled with editorializing cribbed from Cesare Lombroso.

A24 focuses on the young man’s tattoos to reinforce a common (astonishingly racist) talking point you hear from certain quarters: “Hip hop is a culture of death!”

We recently read that evidence that could clear up cases of alleged summary executions of random young black men wearing Snoop Dogg T-shirts in the aftermath of the May 2006 PM-PCC wars has been destroyed.

“Technical problems with the audiovisual equipment,” the PM told a local newscast last evening. Jesus Christ. More on that later.

TV Cultura recently interviewed Mano Brown of Racionais MC on Roda Viva.

Back in December 2006, Aline Gatto Boueri and Marina Lemle of an NGO called Comunidade Segura reported:

In communities such as Vigário Geral and Parada de Lucas, the narcos have made a peace deal to protect the traffic against the arrival of militias, say local leaders. In that area, executions no longer occur; local narco leaders judge and punish crimes according to the offical Penal Code. The strategy is designed to guarantee the soldiers of the traffic a great sense of confidence in their leaders than in the militia and to ensure that the community feels more sympathy with the traffic than with the militias.

Vigário Geral was in the news recently as its residents’ association celebrated its 97th anniversary. Pop star Marisa Monte recently performed there with the famous AfroReggae, which now lists the city government as one of its sponsors.

American music producer Quincey Jones visited there during Carnaval with the Minister of Culture. Around the same time, Brazilian marines traded gunfire across the highway with men armed with AR-15 assault rifles who reportedly disappeared into the community, even as it was reportedly being “occupied” by military police. See

An attempted invasion and “takeover of drug points of sale” in VG was reported on September 12.

Led by someone known as “Big-Titted Rosie.”

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“Rose Peituda of the CV,” September 11, 2007. Source: O Dia.

A24 on Josias 50:

De acordo com Josias Cinqüenta, antes de morrer Tim Lopes teve os olhos queimados com um cigarro. “Eu tive pena, pois nunca tinha visto aquela situação, mas precisava participar para não morrer”, diz ele. No entanto, em outro momento do depoimento, o preso confessa que participou do crime porque ganharia de Elias Maluco a quantia de R$ 250. “Eu queria comprar umas coisas para mim. Queria comprar roupas”, salienta.

Accordig to Josias 50, before dying, Lopes has his eyes burned with a cigarette. “I felt sorry for him, I had never seen anything like that, but I had to take part or die,” he said. However, in another statement, he confesses that he took part in the crime because Elias the Madman paid him R$250. “I wanted to buy things for myself. I wanted to buy clothes,” he says.

Josias Cinqüenta foi preso após ter seu rosto exibido no programa Linha Direta da Rede Globo de Televisão. Não pelo crime da morte de Tim Lopes. Ele participou de um assalto a um carro-forte em abril deste ano. O acusado é apontado como integrante de uma quadrilha especializada em assaltos, que roubava vestidos de policiais militares.

Josias 50 was arrested after his face was shown on Globo’s [Direct Line] program. But not for the murder of Tim Lopes. He took part in an armored-car robbery in April of this year. He is accused of belonging to a gang specializing in robberies, which operated wearing military police uniforms.

Who says so?

Pointed to by whom?

Além dos assaltos, da morte do primo e do homicídio de Tim Lopes. Josias Cinqüenta confessa ainda o assassinado de cinco policiais militares do Rio de Janeiro. Em um dos crimes, ele chegou a arrancar as duas pernas de um dos militares com tiros de fuzil. “As pernas ficaram penduradas apenas pela pele”, relata ele.

Besides armed robberies, the murder of his cousin and the homicide of Lopes, Josias 50 also confesses to the murder of five Rio military policemen. In one of the crimes, he even tore off both legs of a policeman with rifle fire. “His legs were just hanging by the skin,” he relates.

Josias Cinqüenta carrega nas costas – literalmente – sua filosofia de vida, depois de ter entrado para o mundo do crime. Há em suas costas uma tatuagem com a inscrição HIP HOP. Indagado sobre o porquê da tatuagem. Ele diz que é uma espécie de mote de sua existência e que significa “Vida Louca no morro do Macaco”, ou seja, uma expressão que integra uma milícia em Vigário Geral, no Rio de Janeiro.

Josias 50 carries his philosophy of life on his back — literally — after entering a life of crime. On his back is the inscription HIP HOP. Asked about the meaning of the tattoo, he says it is a slogan of his existence and that it means “vida louca in the Morro do Macaco” — that is, an expression that is part of a militia in Vigário Geral, in Rio.


Are you implying a “militia” controls Vigário Geral?

Arrested by the state judicial police of Alagoas, based on a tip to a hotline during the Globo “most wanted” show.

From A24’s first breaking news story on the arrest and confession of Josias 50: “He came to Maceió about three months ago to live with his grandmother.”

De acordo com o delegado-geral de Polícia Civil, Carlos Alberto Reis, o rapaz – que apresentou certidão de nascimento onde informa ter 17 anos – foi preso no bairro do Trapiche da Barra, onde estava morando na casa da avó. “Ele veio para Maceió tem aproximadamente três meses. No depoimento assumiu participação no caso Tim Lopes e no assalto ao carro-forte na Vila da Penha.

He said he came with a buddy from the drug trade known as Carioca, and has killed military policemen in Rio:

Josias confirmou que veio para Alagoas em companhia de outro companheiro do tráfico, conhecido como Carioca, e que passou a cometer roubos na capital alagoana. “Só roubei aqui [Maceió] e tenho apenas sete crimes no Rio, entre eles a morte de policias militares”.

In another quote from his press interview — his press interview? — he says he shot a policeman’s legs off — “they were only attached by the skin.”

More details on the “bandits dressed as police” angle:

Durante o depoimento, Josias contou ainda detalhes de policias militares do Rio de Janeiro vendendo fardamento da corporação e armas para traficantes, citando o nome de um policial conhecido como Medeiros.

During his statement, Josias recounted details of how Rio military police sold police uniforms and weapons to drug traffickers, citing the name of a policeman known as Medeiros.

He said THAT?

And now they are sending him back to Rio?

You want to bet he winds up dead, and then newspaper editorials come out saying that that’s a good thing?

Does this kid even have defense counsel?

How can the Alagoas prosecutor get away with trotting him out before the media spotlight and getting him to waive his right to remain silent, I wonder?

What is up with arresting this kid and then trotting him out in front of the cameras to be goaded into recounting bloody acts of savagery in stark language, anyway?

I would really like to see a full transcript of this press conference of the confessed killer.

A certain virulent strain of Brazilian law-enforcement journalism: Even James Ellroy would have a hard time dreaming this shit up.


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