Punishment or Witness Elimination?: Confessed Brazilian Torturer Found Murdered
By Michael Uhl
At approximately four o’clock this past Thursday afternoon, Paulo Malhaes, a retired officer who served in the ‘70s during the years of Brazil’s military dictatorship, was murdered at his small farm outside of Rio de Janeiro.
Malhaes had become infamous in recent weeks for his lurid testimony before the Brazilian Truth Commission, where he described in graphic detail how the bodies of opponents of the repressive regime had been disappeared after being killed under torture.
According to news reports, Malhaes, his wife and a house mate, in some reports described as a valet, had arrived at the farm around two p.m. and were confronted by three intruders already in their home. The wife, Cristina Malhaes, and the house mate, later identified by police only as Rui, were restrained and led off into one room, while the former lieutenant colonel was taken to another.
Cristina and Rui were later released unharmed as the assailants departed the scene by car. Neither of the survivors reported having heard a sound to suggest the Malhaes had been worked over or “tortured.” But when police examined Malhaes’ body Friday morning they found marks on his face and neck, and have tentatively concluded that he died from asphyxiation. The only items the murderers removed from the premises were a computer, a printer, and several weapons that had belonged to the victim.
The announcement of Paulo Malhaes’ murder, reported in front pages all over Brazil, has sent shock waves through the country, including among surviving junta participants. The big question being debated is which side did him in...
For the rest of this article by Michael Uhl in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2291