Tim Lopes murder: “Crazy Elias” arrested

first_imgSee previous press release about Tim Lopes case Organisation BrazilAmericas RSF begins research into mechanisms for protecting journalists in Latin America RSF_en Alarm after two journalists murdered in Brazil “Crazy Elias,” leader of the gang of drug-dealers who murdered journalist Tim Lopes, was arrested on 20 September. Among the nine suspects in the killing, seven have been arrested and two are dead. Reporters Without Borders is extremely concerned by reports that the gang have corrupted the police. April 27, 2021 Find out more News Follow the news on Brazil BrazilAmericas Newscenter_img September 24, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Tim Lopes murder: “Crazy Elias” arrested News 2011-2020: A study of journalist murders in Latin America confirms the importance of strengthening protection policies May 13, 2021 Find out more Reports See the portuguese version of the press releaseElias Pereira, also known as “Elias Maluco” (“Crazy Elias”), the main suspect in the journalist’s killing, was arrested on 20 September in a house in the Complexo do Alemao slum area, west of Rio de Janeiro, near where Lopes was murdered. He was the last of the drug gang accused of the murder to be picked up and is considered the gang’s leader. It is thought he personally killed Lopes with a sword. The authorities say he has been protected by corrupt police. At his first court appearance after his arrest, he denied having killed Lopes.—————————-Renato Souza Lopes (“Ratinho”), a member of the “Crazy Elias” drug gang suspected of murdering journalist Tim Lopes, was arrested on 26 August in a house in the northern Rio de Janeiro slum of Complexo do Alemao. Police said it was he who had spotted the journalist investigating drug trafficking in Vila del Cruzeiro. Souza Lopes, who was also being sought for possessing weapons, denied any involvement in the murder.Police nearly captured “Crazy Elias” himself, the main suspect in the killing, on 23 August but he managed to get away a few minutes before police arrived, apparently warned by two policemen. An internal enquiry is being made.Of the eight other suspects in the murder, six have been arrested and two are dead. Four other members of the gang have been killed in shoot-outs with police.————————————————————————————————————–16.08.2002 – A third member of the gang that killed journalist Tim Lopes shot deadAlleged drug dealer Flávio Reginaldo dos Santos, alias “Buda”, one of thesuspects in the Tim Lopes murder who was still at large, was shot dead bypolice in the early hours of 15 August in Vila del Cruzeiro, a Rio deJaneiro shantytown. Police said he was hit by bullets while trying to escapethe police officers who were attempting to arrest him. Dos Santos wasreportedly a member of the gang led by “Crazy” Elias, the prime suspect inthe Lopes killing. Dos Santos was not believed to have participated directly in the killing of Lopes. He was wanted for having set fire to a drugs squad vehicle with four police officers inside in September 2001.————————————————————————————————————–14.08.2002 – Growing concern about Tim Lopes investigation after death of two suspects Reporters Without Borders today voiced its utmost concern about recent developments in the investigation into the murder of TV journalist TimLopes, in particular, the death in the space of a week of two suspects whohad been wanted for their presumed participation, and reports of policecorruption.In a letter to President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Reporters WithoutBorders secretary-general Robert Ménard called for a thorough investigationinto the circumstances of the death of the two suspects, especially Mauriciode Lima Mathias, who was reportedly killed in an exchange of shots withpolice during an attempt to detain him.Ménard said the organisation was also “extremely concerned” about reportsthat the journalist’s killers had corrupted police officers. “It would bescandalous if elements in the police help to keep this crime unpunished”,the letter said, stressing that “this odious crime has outraged Braziliansociety and the international community”.The organisation asked to be kept informed of the results of the enquiryinto the presumed corruption of police officials by Elias Pereiora, the headof the gang that executed Lopes. Finally, it also insisted that measures betaken to guarantee the safety of the five suspects currently held in thiscase and that of the witnesses.One of Lopes’ presumed killers, André da Cruz Barbosa, alias “André Capeta”(André the Devil), was killed by a bullet in the head on 13 August. Thepolice say he probably killed himself, but do not rule out the possibilitythat he was gunned down by a rival gang or members of his own gang, However,according to Aldney Zacharias Peixoto, a representative of the publicprosecutor’s office, he could have been seen as someone who knew too muchand may therefore have been executed by corrupt police habitually paid bythe gang to ensure its protection.The other suspect, Mauricio de Lima Mathias, was shot dead five daysearlier, on 8 August, when police tried to arrest him in the Vigario Geralshantytown (north of Rio) where he was hiding. He had been implicated in thejournalist’s death by other suspects, and was one of four persons wanted bythe police in the case.According to Agence France-Presse, an anonymous caller recently told thepolice that Elias Pereira, alias “Elias Maluco” (Crazy Elias), the chief ofthe band of drug dealers which executed the journalist, had paid 600,000Reals (200,000 Euros) to corrupt police for them to leave him alone. This isdenied by Francisco Bras, commander of the military police. But SergioAguiar, secretary for public security in Rio de Janeiro, has said that “itis very possible that Crazy Elias enjoys the protection of certain corruptpolice”. Five officials are currently being investigated.Two suspects are still wanted in the Lopes murder investigation: Crazy Eliasand Renato Souza Lopes, alias “Ratinho” (Little Rat). According to the dailyO Globo, on 9 August a judge ordered that the five suspects already detainedin this case be placed in preventive custody. They are Elizeu Felicio deSouza, alias “o Zeu”, Angelo Ferreira da Silva (“o Primo”), Reinaldo Amaralde Jesos (“Kadê”), Fernando Sátyro da Silva (“o Frei”) and Claudino dosSantos Coelho (“Xuxa”). This was done at the request of the twoinvestigating magistrates in charge of the case, Vivian Tavares Henriquesand Patrícia Mothé Glioche, to ensure they would not be released. The fiveface charges of theft, drug trafficking, homicide and “concealment of a body”.A TV Globo journalist, Lopes was killed on the night of 2-3 June whilegathering information on the use of child prostitutes by drug dealers in theVila del Cruzeiro shantytown on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. Dealersrecognized him as he was shooting footage with a micro-camera. According totwo if the detained suspects, he was tortured and then finished off with amachete by the local drug baron, Crazy Elias. His body was then burned.Charred human remains found on 5 July in a clandestine cemetery in the Grotashantytown have been formally identified as those of Lopes. Help by sharing this information Receive email alerts to go further April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img

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