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10 cops in Brazil accused of killing and hiding body

By Lateef Mungin and Umaro Djau , CNN
October 4, 2013 -- Updated 1536 GMT (2336 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The incident comes as Brazil addresses crime before World Cup and the Olympics
  • The alleged victim was brought in for questioning and was never seen again
  • Investigators believe the victim was tortured

(CNN) -- Ten military police officers in Brazil are accused of torturing and killing a 47-year-old brick layer -- and then hiding his corpse.

The incident was allegedly committed by members of Brazil's Pacifying Police Unit, a team assembled to address crime before the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games comes to Brazil.

The incident dates back to July 14 when Amarildo de Souza was taken to police headquarters in Rio de Janeiro by officers, state broadcaster Agencia Brazil reported.

Souza was never seen again.

Police said that Souza had been brought in for questioning and was released. But a prosecutor said there was no evidence from security camera footage that Souza ever left police headquarters, Agencia Brazil reported.

There was evidence, the state news agency reported, that two security cameras were turned off or burned.

Investigators believe Souza was tortured, killed and his body was concealed somewhere. Prosecutor Homero de Freitas plans to file a complaint against all 10 officers, Agencia Brazil reported.

One of the 10 accused is a unit commander for the new Pacifying Police Unit.

The military police team was created some years ago to clear the Rio de Janeiro slum, called a favela in Portuguese, of drug traffickers. The Pacifying Police Units are tasked with living and working in the favelas they protect.

The unit has grown in importance in recent years as the upcoming World Cup and Olympics puts Brazil in the spotlight.

CNN's Jessica King contributed to this report.

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