Latin America & Caribbean

Three detained in Rio de Janeiro over Ipanema mob killing

Ipanema beach, September 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Residents say unauthorised beach parties can attract large crowds and often end in trouble

Police in Brazil have been questioning three people over an alleged mob killing in one of Rio de Janeiro's most exclusive neighbourhoods.

The three men were part of of group of some 10 people who chased, kicked and punched the victim - a 33-year-old who sold ice in the area.

Their lawyer said they acted in self-defence.

CCTV footage shows the ice vendor hurling a metal bar at two women after an overnight party at Ipanema beach.

The dead man, named as Fabiano Machado da Silva, harassed one of the women at the party and became aggressive when they rejected his advances, lawyer Pierre Virgilio told O Dia newspaper.

"They didn't intend to kill. In fact they were the victims," said Mr Virgilio.

Passers-by, who were unaware of the circumstances, apparently joined in with the beating of Mr Silva in the early hours of Sunday.

He died on the spot next to General Osorio Square, where an arts and crafts market popular with tourists is held every Sunday.

'Act of savagery'

Mr Silva's family says his five-year-old son has not been told of his father's death and has been kept away from any news of the incident.

Relatives say they received a last voice message from him at 03:27 (05:27 GMT).

"We believe he was drunk," said his sister, Hosana dos Santos Machado. "We could tell by his voice."

"You could hear loud music and the sea breeze in the background," she told O Globo newspaper. "He said there were many beautiful women at the party."

The mobile phone was stolen by one of the aggressors, his family said.

Hours after the incident, relatives received several messages saying Mr Silva had "got what he deserved".

His brother-in-law said the family expected justice to be done.

"This was an act of savagery," said Eraldo Nunes da Silva.

"Nothing that he could have done justifies that."

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