APB - Crazy Elias and Renato Souza Lopes, alias "Ratinho" (Little Rat).
profrv at nex.net.au
Sun May 9 06:35:17 PDT 1999
A third member of the gang that killed journalist Tim Lopes shot dead
See the portuguese version of the press release
Alleged drug dealer Flávio Reginaldo dos Santos, alias "Buda", one of the
suspects in the Tim Lopes murder who was still at large, was shot dead by
police in the early hours of 15 August in Vila del Cruzeiro, a Rio de
Janeiro shantytown. Police said he was hit by bullets while trying to
escape the police officers who were attempting to arrest him. Dos Santos
was reportedly a member of the gang led by "Crazy" Elias, the prime suspect
in the Lopes killing. Dos Santos was not believed to have participated
directly in the killing of Lopes. He was wanted for having set fire to a
drugs squad vehicle with four police officers inside in September 2001.
14.08.2002 - Growing concern about Tim Lopes investigation after death of
Reporters Without Borders today voiced its utmost concern about recent
developments in the investigation into the murder of TV journalist Tim
Lopes, in particular, the death in the space of a week of two suspects who
had been wanted for their presumed participation, and reports of police
In a letter to President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Reporters Without
Borders secretary-general Robert Ménard called for a thorough investigation
into the circumstances of the death of the two suspects, especially
Mauricio de Lima Mathias, who was reportedly killed in an exchange of shots
with police during an attempt to detain him.
Ménard said the organisation was also "extremely concerned" about reports
that the journalist's killers had corrupted police officers. "It would be
scandalous if elements in the police help to keep this crime unpunished",
the letter said, stressing that "this odious crime has outraged Brazilian
society and the international community".
The organisation asked to be kept informed of the results of the enquiry
into the presumed corruption of police officials by Elias Pereiora, the
head of the gang that executed Lopes. Finally, it also insisted that
measures be taken to guarantee the safety of the five suspects currently
held in this case and that of the witnesses.
One of Lopes' presumed killers, André da Cruz Barbosa, alias "André Capeta"
(André the Devil), was killed by a bullet in the head on 13 August. The
police say he probably killed himself, but do not rule out the possibility
that he was gunned down by a rival gang or members of his own gang,
However, according to Aldney Zacharias Peixoto, a representative of the
public prosecutor's office, he could have been seen as someone who knew too
much and may therefore have been executed by corrupt police habitually paid
by the gang to ensure its protection.
The other suspect, Mauricio de Lima Mathias, was shot dead five days
earlier, on 8 August, when police tried to arrest him in the Vigario Geral
shantytown (north of Rio) where he was hiding. He had been implicated in
the journalist's death by other suspects, and was one of four persons
wanted by the police in the case.
According to Agence France-Presse, an anonymous caller recently told the
police that Elias Pereira, alias "Elias Maluco" (Crazy Elias), the chief of
the band of drug dealers which executed the journalist, had paid 600,000
Reals (200,000 Euros) to corrupt police for them to leave him alone. This
is denied by Francisco Bras, commander of the military police. But Sergio
Aguiar, secretary for public security in Rio de Janeiro, has said that "it
is very possible that Crazy Elias enjoys the protection of certain corrupt
police". Five officials are currently being investigated.
Two suspects are still wanted in the Lopes murder investigation : Crazy
Elias and Renato Souza Lopes, alias "Ratinho" (Little Rat). According to
the daily O Globo, on 9 August a judge ordered that the five suspects
already detained in this case be placed in preventive custody. They are
Elizeu Felicio de Souza, alias "o Zeu", Angelo Ferreira da Silva ("o
Primo"), Reinaldo Amaral de Jesos ("Kadê"), Fernando Sátyro da Silva ("o
Frei") and Claudino dos Santos Coelho ("Xuxa"). This was done at the
request of the two investigating magistrates in charge of the case, Vivian
Tavares Henriques and Patrícia Mothé Glioche, to ensure they would not be
released. The five face charges of theft, drug trafficking, homicide and
"concealment of a body".
A TV Globo journalist, Lopes was killed on the night of 2-3 June while
gathering information on the use of child prostitutes by drug dealers in
the Vila del Cruzeiro shantytown on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro.
Dealers recognized him as he was shooting footage with a micro-camera.
According to two if the detained suspects, he was tortured and then
finished off with a machete by the local drug baron, Crazy Elias. His body
was then burned. Charred human remains found on 5 July in a clandestine
cemetery in the Grota shantytown have been formally identified as those of
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