Brazil: Journalist tortured, cut into pieces and burnt

Investigative journalist Tim Lopes suffered a horrifying death at the hands of a gang of drugs traffickers in a “favela” (slum) of Rio de Janeiro, as he was preparing a report on the social fabric of the city’s one million slum-dwellers.

Tim Lopes was tortured, before being cut into pieces and burnt on 2nd June by men obeying the orders of a drug trafficker called Elias Pereira da Silva, otherwise known as “Elias Maluco” or Mad Elias. Tim Lopes was working for the Brazilian TV Station, Globo, preparing a report on the Vila Cruzeiro favela, one of the city’s 800 favelas, where one million people live, controlled by 10,000 drugs traffickers.

Police only enter the favelas in large-scale military operations, since the traffickers are heavily armed and control the daily lives of the inhabitants in their area. They dictate who enters the favela, who leaves, who has the right to live there, they control the sale of drugs and even provide a social umbrella for the poor. Raids are made on neighbouring favelas or areas to get more clients.

The only law is drugs trafficking, the only rule is that of the gun and the only justice is the warped ideas of those who perceive themselves as above justice. An unhealthy legacy from years upon years of centre-right wing governments.

Luis Inacio Lula da Silva (Labour) currently leads the opinion polls with some 40% of voting intentions. Standing for social justice and progress, Lula aims to start addressing the country’s extremely profound social ills, which does not mean allowing drugs traffickers to control the lives of a million inhabitants in Rio de Janeiro. Should the Brazilian people have the political courage to take a stake in their own country, social ills such as these can be eradicated by Lula and the Partido dos Trabahladores after election in October.


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