English translation of article “Juíza Patricia Acioli é morta a tiros em Niterói.” From O Globo, published August 12, 2011.
Judge Patricia Acioli is shot dead in Niteroi
RIO – Judge Patricia Acioli, 44-years-old, was murdered early Friday morning as she arrived home in Piratininga, the oceanic region of Niterói. According to witnesses, men in two cars and two motorcycles opened fire before she left the car. Patricia is from the 4th Criminal Court of São Gonçalo.
English translation of article “Patricia Acioli, juíza linha-dura com grupos de extermínio de São Gonçalo, é morta na porta de casa.” From Extra, published August 12, 2011.
Patricia Acioli, Hardline Judge with Death Squads in São Gonçalo, is Dead at Her Front Door
Judge Patricia Acioli, of the 4th Criminal Court of São Gonçalo, was killed at early Friday morning, with more than 10 shots, when she came home in Piratininga, Niterói. According to witnesses, two men on a motorbike carried out the shooting before she left her car.
Patricia Acioli, 44, was known for taking tough action against death squads in the region. Police officers of the 7th PM Battalion (São Gonçalo) accused of homicide in cases that were initially recorded as “acts of resistance” [legitimate police shooting as acts of self defense], had been tried before the judge, who oversaw the 4th Criminal Court of São Gonçalo since 1999. She was the only one who dealt with homicide cases—and related crimes—in the city. Known for her rigorous questioning of defendants and speedy trials, she considered a crime committed by a police officer in the line of duty to be more serious than one committed by an ordinary citizen.
She had recently apprehended four militiamen from the Luiz Caçador neighborhood—responsible for more than one hundred murders—and another seven from the Engenho Pequeno neighborhood. Additionally, she ordered the arrest of Luiz Anderson de Azeredo Coutinho, considered the biggest bicheiro [illegal gambling boss] in São Gonçalo.
Marked for death
This January, agents from the 72nd Precinct (Mutuá) in Guarapari, in Espírito Santo, arrested Wanderson Silva Tavares (a.k.a. o Gordinho [Little Fatty] or Tenente [Lieutenant]), 34, the leader of a death squad comprised of civil and military police officers, under investigation for at least 16 murders in São Gonçalo. With him, they seized a “black list” with the names of twelve people marked for death—among them was the name of Patricia Acioli.
Besides the judge, the list included the names of prosecutor Paulo Roberto Mello Cunha, of the city Grand Jury; three police officers from the Homicide Division of the 72nd Precinct (Mutuá); police chief Geraldo Assed, also of the 72nd Precinct; as well as witnesses to their crimes, among them the mother one of the victims, and even members of their own death squad with aspirations to becoming the new leader.
Patricia Acioli had said that she was not afraid of dying. “Whoever wants to do something, go and do it; don’t just keep threatening. No one dies before their time,” she said in an interview with O Globo.