Rio de Janeiro elite police chief sacked as 'pro-Nazi chats' revealed
Local magazine published inflammatory messages said to have been posted by head of a paramilitary battalion to fellow officers
Jonathan Watts in Rio de Janeiro
theguardian.com, Monday 5 January 2015 21.45 GMT
The already thuggish reputation of Rio de Janeiro’s police force dropped a notch lower after the commander of an elite unit was dismissed on Monday for allegedly endorsing Nazism, plotting against a superior and inciting violence against anti-World Cup protesters.
Colonel Fábio Almeida de Souza was replaced as head of the Choque Battalion of paramilitary police after Veja magazine published inflammatory messages that he is said to have posted to fellow officers using the WhatsApp chat service.
The text conversations are reportedly taken from an internal investigation into an assassination attempt on a rival officer, whose home was peppered with bullets in January 2014.
Although De Souza was cleared of that wrongdoing, the messages appear to suggest he and other members of the battalion plotted to create what they called a “Reich” inside the organisation. Referred to by his fellows as a “Fuhrer”, De Souza described his group as “pure race and flawless”.
In one chat, De Souza predicted he would take leadership of the paramilitary police in Rio and then said he would inflict a “nuclear winter” on his enemies: “You will see what revenge is.” When his colleagues outlined plans for a coup, De Souza responded by writing “Germany 1930 standard”.
During the street protests that racked Rio in June 2013, De Souza was asked about baton techniques for restraining protesters. He responded: “Kill them. That will immobilise them permanently.”
Nobody was fatally shot during the demonstrations, but De Souza boasted to his fellow officers when he hit a protester with a teargas pellet from a pump-action rifle. “What pride!” he exclaimed.
The messages call into question the judgment of Rio state’s top security official, José Mariano Beltrame, who promoted de Souza in November.
Beltrame has denied reports that he had been previously warned about the messages. He said he was “horrified” by the chat between officers and is seeking a police investigation into De Souza (Fonte)".
Juntos Somos Fortes!