The wife of one of the eight males who were found dead in a mangrove following a police operation in a Rio de Janeiro slum alleges that her husband was taken by force from their home and executed by cops after an agent was killed in an ambush.
The bodies were located by residents Monday morning in the favela complex of Salgueiro after Sergeant Leandro Rumbelsperger da Silva, 38, was murdered Saturday.
A series of gun battles erupted between a special elite team of the military police and a gang in the municipality of São Gonçalo on Saturday and Sunday evenings before the corpses were discovered in the mangrove.
The wife of one of the dead men, who declined to provide her name in an interview with Brazilian newspaper Extra Globo, said that Jhonata Klando Pacheco Sodré, 28, was removed from their residence and murdered by authorities along with seven other individuals at the swamp.
‘They took them alive, stabbed them to death,’ she said, as quoted by. ‘They all have no genitals, apart from those who have no eyes, no legs, no arms.’
Pacheco Sodré, who was married for nine years, had a criminal record that included drug trafficking and theft, the online news portal reported.
Residents stand near the bodies of some of the eight people who were found dead in a mangrove in the Rio de Janeiro slum complex of Salgueiro on Monday
Police officers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, watch as firefighters remove one of the eight bodies that were found by residents at a mangrove near the slum complex of Salgueiro on Monday
Jhonata Klando Pacheco Sodré’s wife said he was taken by force from their home before he was found dead at a mangrove in a slum outside Rio de Janeiro on Monday
Sergeant Leandro Rumbelsperger da Silva, who was assigned to the Rio de Janeiro 7th Military Police battalion, was ambushed by alleged gang members and shot dead while he was patrolling the slum complex of Salgueiro on Saturday
Igor da Costa Coutinho, 24, reportedly shot dead Sergeant Rumbelsperger da Silva before he was died after a gun battle Sunday night
The grisly find comes after 75 members from the Military Police’s Special Operations Battalion were deployed to regain control of the slum, according to an internal police memo uncovered by Extra Globo.
The slum is overrun by drug gangs operated under the direction of Antônio Ilario Ferreira, who was released from prison in 2019 after serving a 27-year sentence.
At least eight police officers used their weapons in the operation that left nine people dead.
Authorities have denied that any of the officers involved in the operation tortured the men found in the mangrove.
Cleonice da Silva Araújo told Extra Globo that her brother Élio da Silva Araújo, 52, who was arrested for robbery in 2013, was reportedly ‘beheaded’ by the cops.
‘If he was shot, I would accept,’ Cleonice da Silva Araújo said. ‘But they beheaded my brother. Unfortunately, justice works that way.’
Élio da Silva Araújo (right) and Carlos Eduardo Curado de Almeida (left) were among eight men whose bodies were found in a mangrove. Araujo’s sister said the 52-year-old was ‘beheaded’
Vinícius Medeiros de SouzaI (left) and Ítalo George Barbosa de Souza (right) were among the eight bodies found by residents at a mangrove in a slum outside Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rafael Menezes Alves (left) was shot in the leg and chest, according to his sister. David Wilson Oliveira Antunes’s body was found next to Menezes Alves’
Authorities identified, 17-year-old Kauã Brenner Gonçalves Miranda, pointing out to the camouflage clothing he was wearing, thus connecting him with the criminal network that operates in the slum.
His mother told the news outlet that one of his fingers had been cut off.
News outlet O GLOBO gained access to autopsies conducted on eight of the suspects found at the mangrove that showed they were hit by rifle bullets in the head and chest. However, the report did not mention any signs of torture or wounds as alleged by the families.
Sergeant Rumbelsperger da Silva, a married father-of-two belonged to the military police’s 7th battalion, was shot while he was patrolling the slum around 6am local time Saturday.
The military police identified one of the shooting suspects as Igor da Costa Coutinho, 24, who was shot during a gun battle Sunday night and died in an ambulance while he was being rushed to an area hospital.
So far this year, officers from the 7th battalion killed 1,096 people, the highest of any battalion in the state, and up 17% from the first nine months of last year.
Firefighters cover the dead bodies that were located by residents in the Rio de Janeiro slum complex of Salgueiro on Monday
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