Patrícia Lourival Acioli, according to a defense attorney who knew her well, had “a serious problem”.
She wasn’t afraid.
Patrícia, until last Thursday, was a judge in São Gonçalo, a suburb of Rio de Janeiro.
She used to say she hated murderers, particularly murderers who were cops.
And she was famous for putting them away.
No one in the state had a better record against rogue elements within the law-enforcement community.
In September of 2010, she condemned an entire “Death Squad”, four men who exterminated 11 people.
In January of this year, it was the turn of six policemen who systematically murdered criminals “resisting arrest”.
And just last week, she ordered the incarceration of still another group of murderous, badge-carrying thugs.
She was tough and competent.
She handed down heavy sentences.
And there was more than one cop who hated her for it.
In an interview published last year, she said this:
“No one dies before their time. I know there are those think it’s the judge who’s responsible for all their troubles, but let’s not forget that it’s the honest cops who investigate, the prosecutors who make the charges, and the juries that bring down the verdicts. I’m not afraid of threats. If someone wants to do something to me, they should stop threatening – and do it.”
On Friday, the 12th of August, they did.
It was just after midnight.
Patrícia arrived home to find a car blocking the entrance to her garage.
When she stopped, she was waylaid by two men on motorcycles.
They shot her 22 times with two different pistols – a .40 and a .45.
Calibers that, in Brazil, are restricted to the armed forces – and to members of the federal, civil and military police.
Patrícia was 47 years old and the mother of three children.
Leighton – Monday