Sunday, February 25, 2007

Rio's 'Carnival of Death'

A recent story by Jens Glusing of Spiegel Online International explores the violence of this year's Carnival season in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

According to the story, dozens of mutilated corpses have been discovered within stolen cars. The victims had been tortured, possibly due to a violent rivalry between competing drug gangs. Those gangs have also engaged in recent firefights in city streets.

The violence reportedly did not disturb Rio's enormous pre-Ash Wednesday parades and other celebrations.

Governor Sergio Cabral said he will consult with Colombia, which has had success battling gang violence in Bogota and Medellin, on methods for resolving the problem.

Brazil's Finance Minister, Guido Mantega, was briefly taken hostage when hooded gunmen broke into the home of businessman Victor Garcia Sandri during a Carnival barbecue on Tuesday, according to an Associated Press story. About 10 guests were with Sandri at the time. The gunmen threatened a "bloodbath" if the guests did not give them money. Authorities say the assailants did not recognize Mantega.
Sao Paulo is also experiencing violence. FoxNews reported that two teenage couples were killed by unidentified gunmen at a plaza in the city's eastern section yesterday. Three of the teens were killed immediately. The fourth died at a local hospital. They were sitting at the plaza having a conversation when gunmen opened fire from an automobile.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.