Document - Brazil: "Suspect" goes missing from police custody: Amarildo Souza Lima


UA: 202/13 Index: AMR 19/006/2013 Brazil Date: 02 August 2013

URGENT ACTION "SUSPECT" GOES MISSING FROM POLICE CUSTODY Military Police arrested a man they had apparently mistaken for a drug dealer they were chasing, in Rio de Janeiro on 14 July. The police have since claimed they released the man, Amarildo Souza Lima, after checking his records, but he has not been seen since. Amarildo Souza Lima, aged 42, was taken to the Peacemaker Police Unit (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora - UPP) in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro. Surveillance cameras at the entrance showed Amarildo being taken into the building, but police have claimed he left through a door where the camera was broken. Police have said they are investigating what happened after Amarildo was released, but have found nothing. His wife, Elizabeth Gomes da Silva, told Brazilian newspaper O Globo on July 24, “I don’t believe I’ll see him alive again. We haven’t been threatened yet, but I fear what the police can do against me and my family after it becomes a cold case.” (Não acredito mais que vou encontrar ele com vida. Não sofremos nenhuma ameaça, mas tenho medo, muito medo de que depois que a poeira baixar a polícia faça algo comigo ou com minha família) Amarildo has always lived in the Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood of Rocinha, and is well known by residents and local police.

Rocinha residents started a series of demonstrations on 17 July, with people from across Rio de Janeiro and huge activity on social media. Residents of Rocinha have searched for Amarildo, with human rights defenders and civil police officers, but the state government and police have not been able to find him.

Please write immediately in Portuguese or your own language:  Urging the authorities to order a prompt, thorough, independent investigation of what happened to Amarildo after he was arrested by Military Police on 14 July, and bring those responsible to justice.  Urging them to ensure that potential witnesses, Amarildo’s family and all the people taking part in the investigation are protected against intimidation.  Calling on them to ensure that surveillance cameras are also used to watch the police’s activity, and are installed around and inside the UPP buildings.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 13 SEPTEMBER 2013 TO: Governor of Rio de Janeiro Sergio Cabral Palácio Guanabara R. Pinheiro Machado, s/n - Laranjeiras CEP 22238-900 Rio de Janeiro, RJ Fax: +55 21 23343559 Email: Salutation: Dear Governor

State Secretary of Public Security José Mariano Beltrame Praça Cristiano Ottoni, s/nº - Prédio da Central do Brasil CEP 20221-250 Rio de Janeiro, RJ Fax: +55 21 23349329 Email: Salutation: Dear Secretary

And copies to: President of the State HR Commission Dep. Marcelo Freixo ALERJ – Palácio Tiradentes Rua 1º de Março, s/n CEP 20010-090 Rio de Janeiro, RJ Fax:+55 21 25881268 Email:

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.



The Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP) is a community policing programme that has been implemented in certain slums in Rio de Janeiro. Despite official statistics showing the implementation of the UPP has reduced the incidence of criminality, Amnesty International in Brazil has been receiving complaints of human rights violations in areas with UPP.

Rocinha is one of the largest favelas (shanty towns) of Rio de Janeiro, with about 70,000 inhabitants, and is located in the upper-class neighbourhood of São Conrado. The UPP was implemented at Rocinha in September 2012.

Amarildo Souza Lima lives in Rocinha, which is on a steep hill in southern Rio de Janeiro. He has lived there all his life. There is no sign that he is involved in any illegal activity, ever. He works as a bricklayer and has helped many in the neighbourhood to build their houses.

Name: Amarildo Souza Lima Gender m/f: m

UA: 202/13 Index: AMR 19/006/2013 Issue Date: 02August 2013

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