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Rio Resident Detained for 36 Hours Following Flawed Military Operation

03/14/2018 - 08h45

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LUCAS VETTORAZZO
LUIZA FRANCO
FROM RIO DE JANEIRO

A resident of Vila Kennedy, a community which is controlled by the Comando Vermelho criminal organization and located in Rio de Janeiro's western district, was detained by the army for 36 hours, following a flawed military operation.

Carlos Alberto Dória Jr, 26, a watchmaker, was coming back from a party with a friend on the morning of February the 3rd, when his car was pulled over at a military blockade right by the entrance point of the community. The Armed Forces consider the location a sort of "laboratory" that will help determine how to proceed with the federal intervention in the state.

Mr. Dória Jr. and his friend were searched and their IDs were checked before they were released. However, as they were getting ready to leave, another man who was allegedly intoxicated, defied military agents who then used pepper spray to contain him.

According to the testimony of Corporal Pedro Henrique Rodrigues, which was given at a Military Police Court, some pepper spray accidentally got into the car that Mr. Dória Jr. and his friend were in, leading the two to exit the vehicle and protest against the blockade. Their protests were met with more pepper spray.

Mr. Dória Jr.'s friend ran away while he was handcuffed with plastic straps then placed in the back of an army vehicle. He was arrested on the spot for disobedience and taken to the Vila Militar in Deodoro, 10 kilometers away.

Disobedience is contained in the Penal Code and the sentence varies from 15 days to two years of prison. However, Law 9,099 stipulates that when someone is accused of committing a crime that amounts to a two-year-maximum sentence, then they must be released as soon as they sign a form in which they agree to appear in court.

"He shouldn't have been detained for even an hour. This situation was clearly abusive", said Federal Public Defender Thales Arcoverde.

Danilo Verpa/Folhapress
The Armed Forces consider the location a sort of "laboratory" that will help determine how to proceed with the federal intervention in the state
The Armed Forces consider the location a sort of "laboratory" that will help determine how to proceed with the federal intervention in the state

ARMY'S VERSION

The army said in a statement that it had "no intention of pepper spraying other civilians, it only tried to contain a disobedient individual who appeared to defy the army blockade. However, even if other people were sprayed, that does not justify hostile actions against troops.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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