Água Branca Case: Justice to hear defendants and massacre’s witnesses in AM

Police approach was recorded on video (Reproduction/Internet)
Adrisa De Góes – Cenarium Magazine

MANAUS (AM) – The Justice of the Amazon will hear, starting next Tuesday, 27, witnesses and defendants of the massacre of the branch Água Branca, located at kilometer 32 of the AM-010 highway in Manaus, in a hearing of instruction. In all, 16 military police officers of the Rondas Ostensivas Cândido Mariano (Rocam) are accused of possible involvement in the deaths of two men and two women, on December 21, 2022.

The hearings will last four days and will take place at the Forum Minister Henoch Reis, in the neighborhood Aleixo, south-central zone of Manaus. The suspects of the murders are arrested at the Rocam Battalion, in the Dom Pedro neighborhood, Midwest Zone, since December. Of these, four had their imprisonment decreed in February.

In March this year, the Court of Justice of the Amazon (TJAM) accepted the complaint of the Public Ministry of Amazonas (MP-AM) and the accused became defendants. According to the MP-AM, the public servants may answer for the crime of aggravated murder, committed with the impossibility of defending the victims. In addition, the repercussion of the case, the violence and the dynamics of the facts were considered.


“We must consider the social impact with the general repercussion by the media, given that it is a crime allegedly committed by public officials, who strictly speaking have a duty to serve and protect, being rigorously maintain the order of precautionary arrest, even more so when you consider that there have been no changes in factual and infirm the considerations of the application”, said at the time, the Judge of Law Fabio Alfaia, the 2nd Jury Court of Manaus.

Sixteen Rocam police officers were arrested while awaiting trial (Reproduction)

The crime

The 16 policemen from Rocam are accused by MP-AM of the deaths of siblings Diego Máximo Gemaque, 33, and Lilian Daiane Máximo Gemaque, 31, and the couple Alexandre do Nascimento Melo, 29, and Valéria Pacheco da Silva, 22. The victims were shot to death, found inside an Ônix model car, with their hands tied and their faces covered by balaclava – a piece of mesh that covers the head up to the neck, opening only to the eyes.

Moments before, the Rocam’s approach to the victims still alive was filmed and disseminated, after the repercussion of the crime, on social networks. In the images recorded on Portland Street, New City neighborhood, North Zone of Manaus, the police appear searching the victims and searching the vehicle in which they were.

At another time, on the way to the AM-010 highway, security cameras of the Amazonas Department of Public Safety (SSP-AM), spread throughout the city, recorded two cars escorting the vehicle that, later, was found with the dead.

SSP-AM security cameras recorded Rocam vehicles escorting the car in which the victims were found (Reproduction)


According to prosecutor Armando Gurgel, evidence, witnesses and materials show the group’s involvement in the crime. He also states that the police officers’ long guns and rifles were collected for examination.

The vehicles used, according to Gurgel, were washed during the change of duty and, therefore, it was not possible to have them examined. Thus, any trace of evidence was erased. However, the prosecutor pointed out that the balaclavas were strong evidence of the military’s participation in the crime.

“Obviously, the victims didn’t dress in balaclavas because they preferred to die that way, but someone put the balaclavas on them. And they probably forgot to take them off, because they could have worn them, killed them, and then taken them off, but they stayed on”, the prosecutor pointed out.

Massacre victims were found at the Água Branca branch road (Reproduction)


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