Retired delegate Carlos Alberto Augusto, who worked at the State Department of Political and Social Order of São Paulo (Deops/SP), was sentenced in the first instance to 2 years and 11 months in prison, in an initial semi-open regime.
According to the MPF, this is the first criminal conviction against a former agent of the military dictatorship for political crimes committed during the period. Augusto participated in the kidnapping of former marine Edgar de Aquino Duarte, who had disappeared since 1971. The retired delegate can appeal the decision in freedom.
The sentence was handed down by federal judge Silvio César Arouck Gemaque, of the 9th Federal Criminal Court of São Paulo. It is the result of a complaint that the MPF filed in 2012 against the delegate and others involved. The person responsible for the action is the Attorney of the Republic Andrey Borges de Mendonça.
In the sentence, the Federal Court recognized the criminal responsibility of the defendant, proven “beyond any reasonable doubt” with documents from the Public Archives of the State of São Paulo and several witness statements.
“There is more than enough evidence that the accused Carlos Augusto participated in the victim’s arrest and was active in at least one of the places where he was illegally detained,” the federal judge noted. [menos] “Under no circumstances is it admissible that state forces of repression, even in regimes such as those experienced at that time, had authorization to practice acts outside the law in relation to Edgar, remaining imprisoned by the
two years, incommunicado, subjected to all sorts of violence, torture and degrading treatment. However, the legitimate exercise of the right to force is expected from the State forces, not the practice of crimes”, highlighted the magistrate. He stressed that the action against Edgar took place in the context of a “terror system” implemented by the state, which “arrested without a warrant, kidnapped, tortured, disappeared and killed people for their political positions.”
Ustra, Fleury and Singillo
In addition to Carlos Alberto Augusto, Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra – former commander of the Second Army Information Operations Detachment (DOI-Codi) in São Paulo – and former delegate Alcides Singillo were also responsible for Duarte’s kidnapping. However, they ceased to appear as defendants after they died in 2015 and 2019, respectively.
The case also had the participation of other people who remained unidentified or who had also died when the MPF filed the complaint, among them former delegate Sérgio Paranhos Fleury.
Edgar de Aquino Duarte was arrested on June 13, 1971, without any court order to support the action. At the time, he worked as a broker on the São Paulo Stock Exchange and no longer had any links with groups opposed to the dictatorship. Expelled from the Navy in 1964 as a result of Institutional Act No. 1, he had left political militancy since returning from exile in 1968.
Still, the former marine entered the authorities’ radar after having his name mentioned in the testimony of José Anselmo dos Santos. Arrested days before Duarte, Corporal Anselmo was staying in the apartment of his former colleague from the Navy and would become an undercover agent of the law enforcement agencies, under the supervision of Carlos Alberto Augusto. Duarte could be a threat to the clandestine activities of the collaborator if he found him again, suspected the circumstances of his release and revealed to others his suspicions about the partnership between Anselmo and the military.
Augusto, known at the time as “Carlinhos Metralha”, participated directly in the action that resulted in Duarte’s arrest and his referral to DOI-Codi. The detention was maintained without judicial notice for the next two years. During this period, the victim was successively transferred between the unit commanded by Ustra and Deops/SP, where Augusto and Singillo were part of Fleury’s team. Duarte was last seen by witnesses in June 1973.
According to the MPF, this is one of the few cases related to crimes of the dictatorship that have gone through the courts. Most of the more than 50 criminal actions proposed by the MPF in recent years have been rejected or are paralyzed in federal courts across the country, in breach of international norms and decisions that oblige Brazil to investigate and punish those who acted in the extermination of political activists between 1964 and 1985.
The procedural number is 0011580-69.2012.4.03.6181.