HomeNewsBriefBrazil Sentences 3 Military Police for Judge’s Murder
BRIEF

Brazil Sentences 3 Military Police for Judge's Murder

BRAZIL / 31 JAN 2013 BY EDWARD FOX EN

A Brazilian judge gave three military police officers prison sentences of more than 20 years for the 2011 assassination of Rio de Janeiro Judge Patricia Acioli, who worked to prosecute illegal police militias operating in the city.

The three men, sentenced on January 30, received terms ranging from 22 years and six months to 26 years, reported Jornal do Brasil. One other police office has been sentenced in the case so far: Sergio Costa Junior, who admitted to having planned Acoli's murder in August 2011. He received a 21-year sentence.

Judge Acioli was gunned down outside her home in August 2011. She had worked to combat illegal militias comprised of current and former police officers, handing down some 60 rulings against those involved in these groups. Costa confessed that Acioli's assassination was carried out in retaliation after she ordered the arrest of three officers accused of an extrajudicial killing.

Seven more police officers are set to stand trial for the crime.

InSight Crime Analysis

The Acioli case shines a light on the power wielded by the militias. The illegal armed groups have deep roots in Rio de Janeiro, after beginning to form three decades ago as vigilante forces to combat drug gangs. Since then, however, they have evolved into advanced criminal organizations, operating extortion and kidnapping rings, and carrying out extrajudicial killings. One Rio militia dismantled last year was estimated to bring in $3 million annually from illicit activities, for example. There are concerns that these groups may be spreading to other areas of Brazil, away from their traditional area of operations in Rio.

Acioli's assassination was likely carried out to intimidate other judicial authorities from challenging the militias. However, the fact that these three officers have been convicted and sentenced can be seen as a success for Brazil's judicial system, which suffers from corruption, inefficiency, and an enormous backlog of cases.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 30 SEP 2014

Thirty years ago, an alleged criminal organization called the Black Serpents -- whose existence was never proven -- was used…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 11 JUL 2017

Residents of Rio de Janeiro are fleeing as rates of lethal violence are increasing, and citizen-led efforts to help…

BRAZIL / 2 AUG 2016

In the past two years, the killings by Brazilian police of young Afro-Brazilian men has reached record levels, with little…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.

THE ORGANIZATION

Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.

THE ORGANIZATION

Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.

THE ORGANIZATION

Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.