“Where is Amarildo?” is a continuing saga in Rio de Janeiro since July, when Amarildo Souza Lima was taken for “questioning” by the Pacifying Police Unit in Rocinha and never seen again. An action was quickly planned in Rocinha and many more during the following weeks. If circumstances were different–if it hadn’t been the new UPP force sensitized with human rights training, if it hadn’t been a couple weeks before the Pope visited, if it hadn’t occurred during the historic time of street protests–Amarildo’s case would probably have been largely ignored by the media and the middle class. He would have become one more poor, black male to disappear, presumed dead, in Rio de Janeiro. But public pressure forced a hesitant government and resistant police force to investigate; and after months it has now been revealed that Amarildo was tortured by police for hours in the Rocinha UPP station until his death. Police officers then disposed of the body, which has yet to be recovered. Well over a dozen UPP officers in Rocinha have been implicated in his torture, death and coverup, including the commander of the squad.
[cartoon by Latuf: http://latuffcartoons.wordpress.com/%5D