Ceará, Brazil: What Has a Murdered Prison Guard To Do With “Extermination, Inc.”? O Globo Doesn’t Say

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“Dr. Hélio Bicudo was elected a Federal Deputy in 1990 and then re-elected in 1994 … during that period he authored important bills and proposed constitutional amendments that would have introduced changes in the structure of the Police, the judicial branch of government and the prison system. Salient among these was Bill Number 3320 of 1992, which narrowed the jurisdiction of the states’ military criminal courts so that they would no longer be competent to prosecute and punish crimes committed by military police in the course of discharging their police functions … a member of the São Paulo Military Police alerted Dr. Bicudo that while at the Officers Club, he had overheard a conversation among colonels in the São Paulo Military Police in which it was suggested that an “accident” or “assault” might befall Dr. Bicudo, to prevent passage of the aforementioned bills.” Hélio Bicudo v. Brazil, Case 12.397, Report No. 80/05, Inter-Am. C.H.R., OEA/Ser.L/V/II.124 Doc. 5 (2005)

Among those arrested in (federal police) Operation “Extermination, Inc.” were Col. Carlos Alberto Serra, former chief of the capital city police, as well as business owners and an employee of the Clóvis Bevilaqua courthouse.

Assassinato de agente provoca greve em presídio do Ceará: O Globo reports on new developments in a federal case in Ceará, part of a coordinated regional effort to suppress death squads in the Northeastern states.

The former police chief of Fortaleza was accused of heading the scheme in question.

See also

FORTALEZA – Os agentes penitenciários do Instituto Penal Paulo Sarasate (IPPS) decidiram, nesta segunda-feira, suspender os serviços de atendimento aos presos. Escolta para as audiências, visita de advogados e banho de sol estão suspensos. Os detentos só terão direito à alimentação e à emergência médica. A decisão é um protesto pelo assassinato do agente Cléber Nobre Silva, morto nesse domingo, na porta de casa, no bairro São Gerardo, periferia de Fortaleza, após deixar o plantão no presídio. Ele foi alvejado com 16 tiros disparados de um carro preto com placa ainda não identificada. Quatro balas atingiram a cabeça e o peito do agente penitenciário.

Prison guards at the Paulo Sarasate Penal Institution decided today to stop working with prisoners. Escorts to court hearings, attorney visits and recreation are suspended. Prisoners will only have the right to food and emergency medical treatment. The strike comes in protest of the murder of prison guard Cléber Nobre Silva, killed Sunday in the doorway of his home in São Gerardo, on the outskirts of Fortaleza (Ceará), after completing his shift at the prison. He was targeted with 16 rounds fired from a black car with plates yet to be identified. Four bullets struck him in the head and chest.

O crime tem características de execução e foi cometido três dias depois de a polícia prender 20 pessoas acusadas de fazer parte de grupos de extermínio que vinham atuando no estado há pelo menos quatro anos. Eles seriam responsáveis por pelo menos 25 homicídios.

The crime exhibits characteristics of an execution and came three days after police arrested 20 persons accused of belong to death squads that had operated in the state for at least four years. They are blamed for at least 25 homicides.

Até a semana passada, 272 pessoas foram vítimas de crime de pistolagem no Ceará, segundo a polícia. Entre os presos da operação Companhia do Extermínio está o coronel Carlos Alberto Serra, ex-comandante do policiamento da capital, além de empresários e um funcionário do Fórum Clóvis Bevilaqua.

As of last week, 272 persons had been victims of pistolagem in Ceará, police say.

Since when?

And why do we think this case is connected to the death squad case, anyway?

On pistolagem, think “mob-style hitmen.” Or, better, think of Jack Palance in Shane.

Among those arrested in (federal police) Operation “Extermination, Inc.” were Col. Carlos Alberto Serra, former capital city police chief, as well as business owners and an employee of the Clóvis Bevilaqua courthouse.

If I am reading this right — the most extensive coverage is from the regional O Povo, it seems — the Chief and 9 other policemen were engaging in ad hoc contract enforcement in the raw materials sector, among other things.

De 2004 para cá, quatro pessoas ligadas à madeireira foram executadas: um funcionário, um fornecedor, o assessor do advogado da empresa e Miguel Luiz Neto. A série de crimes teria começado depois que uma parceria estabelecida entre o empresário morto e Firmino Teles foi desfeita, porque o último não teria cumprido sua parte em um acordo comercial. A família da vítima acusa Firmino de ter falsificado documentos e manter 71 equipamentos da madeireira em seu poder.

From 2004 to the present, four persons with ties to the lumberyard were executed: an employee, a supplier, an aide to the company’s lawyer, and the company’s ower. The series of crimes allegedly began when a partnership between the dead businessman and Firmino Teles ended because Teles had reportedly not lived up to his end of a business deal. The family of the victim accuse Teles of falsifying documents and having 71 pieces of equipment belonging to the business in his possession.

More on that as it comes in.


Woodcut from a Pernambucan cordel.

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