Source Gauchazh Seguranca
The family of community leader Leandro Altenir Ribeiro Ribas, 43, had not slept at home in Vila São Luís, since armed gangs had moved into the area five years ago in the neighbourhood Rubem Berta, north of Porto Alegre.
They, like many others among the 250 families who live in the area, feared the recent shootings in the village. Late on Sunday night, however, Ribas returned to the village to get clothes, and was shot dead. “He had been staying in a restaurant near the village, since he could no longer enter or leave his home safely.
According to a family member who prefers not to be identified the village was a wonderful place until 15 days ago, when people began to despair about things changing. According to the initial investigations of the Homicide Department, Leandro had no involvement in crime and was the victim of traffickers who for at least a week had taken over the locality and started to control all activity in the area.
It is suspected that Leandro was killed just because he was a community leader, dissatisfied with the fact that the group was assaulting and invading residents’ homes.
According to the family member “Leandro was involved in everything. It was he who organised the light, the water, and repair of the streets. He had a lawyer dealing with the court cases. He was an electrician. Everyone liked him. He gave his life for this village”.
The village, is the scene of a dispute between criminal factions in the northern part of Porto Alegre. Earlier this week, an armed group had invaded the village to hunt the then-local drug trafficker. The target managed to flee and, amidst the shots, a shop keeper was injured. On the previous Tuesday, a 17-year-old teenager was killed when the gang again entered the village. According to witnesses, the shootings continued throughout the week.
Around 7:00 pm Sunday, men arrived at Vila São Luís, near Avenida Baltazar de Oliveira Garcia, at the border with Alvorada, in two cars and invaded some houses, again, in search of people who were protesting against their activities.
“At this point, Leandro arrived. He still tried to run away but was shot. From what we first gathered, he was not the original target – says local representative Roberta Bertoldo, who attended the scene of the crime.
With the investigations deepening, however, the police do not rule out the possibility that Ribas had been previously threatened by the criminals. “They’re killing everyone. They’re killing workers, “warned Leandro’s relative.