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By Beatriz Miranda, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Last evening, October 24th, Rio’s Military Police announced that the institution’s General Court called for the arrest of the two policemen that killed Maria Ruiz Jimenez, the 67 year-old Spanish tourist who was shot dead in Rocinha yesterday morning.

Rio security forces clashed with criminals in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
The Military Police claims not to have seen that the car driving Jimenez was a tourists’ car, photo Fernando Frazão/Agência Brasil.

According to the Police, the case was considered as flagrant crime. The two officers (one of them is a Lieutenant) were sent to a Military Police Prison Unit in Niterói, Rio’s neighbor municipality.

“The case will be sent to Rio’s State Military Public Ministry. They will decide how the investigation must proceed”, declared the institution in a public note.

In addition, the corporation also claimed that, like every other security forces in Brazil, the Military Police strictly follows the procedures foreseen in its Approaching Manual.

However, the regular conduct forbids the officers to fire an unidentified car when it enters an interdicted zone. The right procedure, says the manual, is to chase the car and block its way whenever is possible. The manual’s violation is also a subject of investigation.

The accused soldiers are testifying at the 1st Judicial Military Police Station. Afterwards, they will be sent to the Division of Homicides, where they will be judged by Delegate Fabio Cardoso, who is in charge of this inquiry.

Yesterday, October 24th, Maria Ruiz Jimenez was inside a car driving on “Caminho do Boiadeiro”, which is “a commercial public street that holds an open street fair every Sunday”, says Zezinho, manager of a sustainable tourism agency in Rocinha.

The driver, an Italian man who has lived in Rio for four years, denies to have received any order to stop the car from the police forces in the area.

Jimenez was shot in the neck and died before arriving in the hospital. Besides the victim, there were two other Spanish tourists and a Brazilian guide in the car.

The Rocinha favela community has been plagued by violence for more than a month now. After two occupations by the Armed Forces, the police tries to detain drug kingpins thought to be hiding in the community.

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