Rio police arrest over 40 for extorting Petrobras contractors, murdering opponents

Police in Rio de Janeiro arrested 43 people on Thursday for allegedly taking part in a murderous gang that extorted companies providing services to state-run oil company Petrobras and established a secret cemetery where it disposed of rivals.

The arrests underline the growing power of militias in and around South America’s third largest city, comprised in part of retired and off-duty police officers, who control the distribution of utilities and basic goods for millions of residents.

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