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Eight police arrested in murder of Brazilian judge

Acioli's murder provoked protests in Brazil

Brazilian Justice officials have announced the arrest of eight military police officers, including a lieutenant colonel, on suspicion of involvement in the recent assassination of a Rio de Janeiro judge known for her tough stance against organized crime.

Judge Patricia Acioli was ambushed and gunned down by hooded men upon arriving at her home the evening of August 11.  At least 21 shots were fired into the car driven by the 47 year old mother of three.

A spokesman for the Justice Tribunal of Rio de Janeiro said that Sao Goncalo battalion commander Claudio Luis Oliveira, who was suspected of masterminding the attack, and seven men under his command have now been jailed.

The seven, from the battalion’s tactical action group, were suspected of faking a death to cover up their murder of an 18 year old in a Salgueiro ghetto north of Rio on June 3rd.  Judge Acioli had been investigating that case, and was presumably killed to prevent her from sending them to prison.  In fact, the magistrate had already signed those arrest orders just a few hours before being killed.

Three other military police officers also suspected in her death were already jailed on September 12th.  Among the list of suspects Acioli had been investigating were both active and retired military police officers, including 91 suspected of murder.