By Lisa Flueckiger, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Eight out of Rio de Janeiro’s most wanted sixteen criminals had already been arrested by the police and sentenced to prison and managed to escape when being allowed to temporary leave the prison due to a change of their detention terms after good behavior.

Police searching for suspects, here in Complexo Alemão, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil News
Police searching for suspects, here in Complexo Alemão, photo by Marcello Casal Jr./Agencia Brasil.

These eight men include Rio’s three most wanted drug traffickers, Playboy, Peixe and Fu da Mineira, and their capture will be rewarded with R$50,000, R$20,000 and R$5,00 respectively.

Ricardo Chaves de Castro Lima known as Fu da Mineira for example was serving his sentence in a maximum security prison in Rondônia when he received the right to visit his family for seven days in August 2013. Sentenced to over ninety years in combination, he never returned from his leave.

Fu da Mineira is said to be responsible for the shootings in the communities surrounding Santa Teresa from last weekend, which claimed the lives of ten people until this morning. Commerce in the region has already claimed an eighty percent decline in customers due to the continued violence.

“He is a man, who if I remember correctly, has been sentenced to ninety years,and he managed to get out, to go home to visit [his family]. If I was sentenced to ninety years, at his age, I would not return. I think this is nonsense. At least, it is a lack of sensitivity. And now, it causes this war in Rio de Janeiro and the police have to do the work [to arrest him] again,” Rio’s Security Secretary, José Mariano Beltrame, lamented the situation.

Celso Pinheiro Pimenta, known as Playboy and Rio’s most wanted and most dangerous drug trafficker, had received the same right as Fu da Mineira, while serving his time at the same prison.

Paulo Storani, security consultant, blamed the conditions in Brazil’s prison system. “The decision of the judges, despite the dangerous prisoners, is not illegal. In some cases it can be inadequate. But this is a trend that we observe, to grant progression into a [half-open] regime, largely due to the overcrowding of prisons. I.e. these are legal measures to relieve the prison system [from overcrowding],” he told G1.

The remaining eight men on Rio’s most wanted list have never been captured or sentenced.

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