Brazil Mass Killings Mystery

August 14, 2015 On the outskirts of Sao Paulo, four gunmen arrived at the local bar and shot all 10 people inside, killing eight.

Across Osasco and in neighbouring Barueri, groups of gunmen wearing balaclavas struck in 11 locations on August 14, including another bar and a cafe, killing a 16-year-old boy. In about two hours, 18 people were dead.

In Sao Paulo, a security guard and a police officer had just been killed earlier that month.

In August 2015, in Uberlandia, five people, one of them a woman, were shot dead in a fusillade of what were reportedly .380 caliber bullets.

In Uberlandia, a prison guard had been killed on his way home the day before the massacre.

In July 2015, 37 people were shot dead over a single weekend in Manaus, the capital of the Amazon region and one of the cities that hosted the 2014 football World Cup.

In Manaus, a sergeant from the national paramilitary police had been murdered as he came out of a bank.

Authorities consider whether vigilantes sought retributions for these killings.

The question remains if they’ve been committed by rogue police officers or it’s a feud between drug cartels.

Some analysts have suggested revenge attacks after two officers were arrested in May in connection with the murder of eight men at a football supporters group in Sao Paulo.

Most likely is that police meted out their own justice in Brazil because they feel let down by the state, especially in the cases of killings of unprotected off-duty officers.

An official estimate of 500 police officers killed annually is not even half the true number. 80 percent of police have had a close colleague who was murdered, while 52 percent say they have trouble providing for their families, given that civil police officers earn only around ($865) a month.

At least 2,212 people were killed by the police in Brazil in 2013, according to the Brazilian Public Security Forum, an independent research group, and experts say the actual number is probably substantially higher because some states do not report killings by their police forces.

In August 2015, Gleydson Carvalho’s radio program was on the air in the provincial beach city of Camocim when two gunmen burst into his studio. During a musical interval, they subdued the receptionist and told a technician to stay quiet. Then they did their work, unloading three rounds and killing Mr. Carvalho, a journalist known for crusading against political corruption.

At least three other journalists have been killed in Brazil this year in retaliation for their work, bringing the number of such cases before the killing of Mr. Carvalho to 16 since 2011, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, a news media advocacy group in New York.

In May 2015, Evany José Metzker, a political blogger in the state of Minas Gerais who had been investigating a child prostitution ring, was found decapitated outside the town of Padre Paraíso.

In May 2014, Djalma Santos da Conceição, was tortured and killed in the northeastern state of Bahia. The police in the town of Conceição da Feira found Mr. Santos da Conceição’s body with his tongue cut off and his right eye gouged out. Mr. Santos da Conceição had reported on corruption and crime in the town.

Between 2002 and 2013, at least 448 environmentalists were killed in Brazil, according to Global Witness. That equates to roughly half of all the environmentalists murdered worldwide during that period.

According to local watchdog CPT, the grim tally is even worse: More than 1,500 Brazilians have been killed over the past 25 years fighting deforestation, and another 2,000 have received death threats, Men’s Journal reported in 2012.

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