EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AMR 19/26/91
UA 322/91 Death Under Torture 2 October 1991
BRAZIL: Mauro MARTINS SOLANO, aged 17
Amnesty International is concerned about the death, allegedly under police
torture, of Mauro Martins Solano, on 22 September, in Cuibá, Mato Grosso, Central
According to information received by the organization Mauro Martins
Solano was detained on the morning of Sunday 22 September by agents of the
Civil Police, near his home in Cuiabá. He was accused of stealing some
electrical domestic appliances and taken to the Santa Isabel Police Station.
He was then allegedly tortured for several hours, including severe beatings
and keeping his head under water until near asphyxiation. Mauro Martins Solanas
died in the afternoon of the same day, in the police station, in the arms of
his wife, aged 16, who was present at the station and witnessed some of the
beatings. According to the official death certificate Mauro Martins Solano
died from asphyxiation as a result of ingestion of water. He was reported
to have three litres of water in his lungs. Two policemen have been charged
with causing the death of Mauro Martins Solano but have not yet been detained.
The murder of children and adolescents under the age of 18 has become a feature
of everyday life in Brazil's cities. According to the Ministry of Health,
violent death among the 15-17 group jumped from 54.3 percent of all causes
of death in 1979 to 65 percent in 1986. The figure is believed to be even
higher today. According to the MNMMR, 280 children were killed in the first
three months of 1991 in the eight Brazilian states where a survey was conducted.
According to the survey those mainly responsible for the children's deaths
are death squads, the police and private security agencies. In some of the
country's biggest cities, murder is the main cause of death among children
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes and airmail letters:
- expressing concern at the death of Mauro Martins Solano under police custody
on 22 September l991;
- demanding that Mauro Martins Solano's death be promptly and thoroughly
investigated and that those found responsible be brought to justice.