A court in Belem, northern Brazil, has sentenced two men to a total of 92 years’ imprisonment for their part in the murder and sexual mutilation of young boys in the Amazon town of Altamira between 1989 and 1993.
The trial was marked by dramatic moments.
Outside, hundreds of people, including relatives of the murdered boys, marched on the courthouse carrying their pictures. They also held banners demanding justice.
Inside, two of the three survivors, who escaped after being mutilated, recognised the two men on trial.
One of the survivors said: “Then I was a child and afraid, but now I’m an adult and I’m not afraid anymore.”
He said he had been lured into the forest, tied to a tree and smothered with chloroform to make him unconscious.
A total of 19 boys aged from eight to 14 were attacked.
Five were mutilated and died, three escaped with horrible injuries, six escaped before they were harmed and five have never been seen again.
All the attacks took place between 1989 and 1993.
One of the prosecuting lawyers, commenting on this long delay in bringing the accused to justice, said the trial is a test of Brazil’s capacity to bring justice to remote areas.
The jury found both men guilty of murder.
Carlos Alberto Santos, a security guard and former policeman, was sentenced to 35 years.
Amailton Gomes, son of a landowner, received 57 years.
Both were remanded in custody pending appeals.
On Tuesday the trial of three other accused will begin.
Two are doctors and the third is a woman said to be the leader of the Satanic sect which killed the boys to use their sexual organs in rites of black magic.
Courtesy Jim Cairns
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