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Doctor gets 56 years for Brazil sect killings

Reuters, UK
Sep. 10, 2003 • Thursday September 11, 2003

BRASILIA, Brazil, Sept 10 (Reuters) – A Brazilian court sentenced a doctor to 56 years in prison for the ritual mutilation and killing of boys in a remote Amazon town more than a decade ago, a prosecutor in the case said on Wednesday.

Cesio Brandao received the sentence for the gruesome killings of three boys and the attempted murder of a boy who escaped from his captors after having his genitals removed.

Fourteen years after the first kidnappings and mutilations, the trial is being closely followed as a test of Brazil’s ability to bring justice to remote areas where local elites rule.

“This is justice for a community that put their trust in a doctor who went on to kill their children in Satanic rituals,” said prosecutor Clodomir Araujo.

Another doctor involved in the killings, Anisio Ferreira de Souza, was last week sentenced to 77 years in prison for the ritual killing of three boys and the attempted murder of two.

Two other men were sentenced last week to a total 92 years in jail for the murders and mutilations.

A court was set to decide the case of Valentina de Andrade, the fifth and final defendant, on Sept. 22.

She was jailed last week after she tried to flee the country.

Prosecutors say Andrade is the leader of a sect known as Superior Universal Alignment that was founded in Argentina.

A group representing the victims says Andrade believes she was contacted by a medium who told her boys born after 1981 were possessed by the devil.

The victims’ families say there were more victims — 19 in all.

They were aged between 8 and 13 and were kidnapped, tortured or killed between 1989 and 1993 in the Amazon town of Altamira.

Some had their eyes gouged out, wrists slit and genitals cut off.

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