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Eleven Police Held After Brazil Killings
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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Eleven police officers were arrested on suspicion of participating in the massacre of 30 people last week on the city’s poor outskirts, and the search continued for another suspect, authorities said Monday.
Rio de Janeiro State Security Secretary Marcelo Itagiba said that four officers were charged with murder for Thursday night’s shooting, while the seven others were implicated in the attacks and have been remanded to police barracks. Police did not specify their alleged roles.
Police continued the search Monday for another suspect in the killing spree in Baixada Fluminense, a vast sprawl of poor suburbs on Rio’s north side.
Authorities believe the killings were a show of force by rogue police angered by the arrest of eight other officers caught on film while disposing of two bodies.
The four officers charged with murder were identified by eye witnesses, said Rio de Janeiro state Police Chief Alvaro Lins.
The shootings — the bloodiest massacre in years in a state well known for its violence — left many residents perplexed by their seemingly random nature. Only two of the victims had criminal records and five were teenagers shot dead while playing video games at a local bar.
The homicide rate across Rio de Janeiro state is among the highest in the world at around 50 per 100,000 residents, but in the Baixada, it climbs to 76 per 100,000.
(Posted on April 5, 2005)