By C.H. Gardiner
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A well-known Brazilian politician’s husband was shot and killed early Sunday morning in what police said has signs of being a targeted assassination.
Anderson do Carmo was followed to his Niteroi home by two men on motorcycles where, according to the authorities, he was shot and killed while getting out of his car.
Carmo was a pastor and the husband of Flordelis dos Santos Souza, a gospel singer and congressinal Deputy for the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Brazilian site Extra reported that authorities were pursuing the possibility that a disagreement within the family may have motivated the killing. The site quoted a source that also said the family’s dog was drugged before the shooting.
Carmo and Santos Souza married shortly after meeting in 1993, while conducting missionary work in the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro. Following their marriage, they adopted 37 children. At the time of Carmo’s death, the couple had 55 children.
Authorities said that Carmo was shot 15 times and that following the shooting he was rushed to a private hospital where medical staff could not revive him.
Technicians were still analyzing the crime scene Sunday and police said they would conduct a full investigation into Carmo’s death.
The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel, took to Twitter to express his condolences Sunday, saying that “I am saddened to hear of the death of Pastor Anderson Carmo, husband of federal deputy Flordelis. The crime will be rigorously investigated by the Rio Civil Police. My condolences to the family, especially his wife and children.
The targeting of politicians and those close to them is nothing new in the state of Rio de Janeiro which has seen an uptick in the number of officeholders and associates that have been gunned down over the last several years.
The death of councilwoman Marielle Franco, who was shot and killed along with her driver last year, sent repercussions throughout Brazil and gained attention around the world.
The murder of someone so closely related to a high ranking politician is somewhat uncommon in Brazil, especially with the apparently planned and targeted nature of the killing. This may explain why police are pursuing the possibility that the motivation for the murder comes from within the family.
A statement issued Sunday by an aide to the federal deputy said: “The Flordelis family painfully must communicate the sudden passing of Pastor Anderson do Carmo, a servant of Jesus Christ. Deputy Flordelis is presently too distraught to comment on the situation publicly. At this moment, we hold the hand of God and beg for his comfort. Pastor Anderson was fulfilling a marvelous ministry, redeeming souls in the fight against hate due to an absence of God. Today is a tough Sunday in our lives. We ask for everyone’s prayers.”