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Shock in Brazil for the murder of a judge tough on police corruption

Judge Patricia Acioli was mother of three children and had no police protection

In an attack that shocked the whole of Brazil, a female judge in Rio de Janeiro known for being tough on police mafia, drug trafficking and the death squads was shot by hitmen at dawn yesterday, receiving 16 shots.

Judge Patricia Acioli, 47, was killed when she arrived at her home in the exclusive neighborhood of Piratininga in the metropolitan region of Rio.

According to preliminary police investigations, the judge was assassinated by a group of masked gunmen in two cars and two motorcycles, and made ​​at least 16 shots. The hitmen escaped after the crime was materialized.

“It was a courageous judge. We will not tolerate these criminals. The murder of the judge is a challenge to the democratic rule of law,” said the governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral.

Acioli was known for handing down harsh sentences against members of death squads and vigilante militias, and was responsible for the imprisonment of 60 policemen linked to the militias, who provide services to private groups for committing massacres.

According to the President of the Court Rio Manoel Rebelo dos Santos, the judge had received several death threats in the past four years, but refused to leave accompanied by bodyguards. A pice of paper with Acioli´s name was also found in possession of a drug trafficker arrested in the state of Espírito Santo, along with eleven others that can also be targets for further attacks.