The death of militia member Adriano da Nóbrega during an exchange of fire with the Bahia police in February 2020 was shrouded in mystery. Although the Public Security Secretariat of Bahia informed that the investigation carried out after the shooting did not reveal any evidence that he had been executed or a victim of torture, the explanations never supported the thesis that there was file burning. The fact is that the former BOPE member known as Captain Adriano took to his grave secrets with the potential to bring the businesses of the militias of Rio das Pedras and Muzema and the Crime Office —a group of gunmen he commanded — closer to the Republic , in view of its proximity to the family of president Jair Bolsonaro, more specifically to son 01, senator Flávio (Patriota-RJ). But now part of the story can be revealed thanks to an award-winning whistleblower agreement negotiated by his widow with the Public Ministry of Rio.
Júlia Lotufo, 29, had a relationship with Adriano for 10 years. Currently, the young woman, who was once a fugitive from justice, is under house arrest. The target of a lawsuit for money laundering and criminal organization, she is identified as the heir to the assets of the dead militia member. The information that the widow is in talks with the Court for a possible collaboration was disclosed by columnist Guilherme Amado, from the website metropolises. Júlia’s lawyer is former senator, impeached in 2012, Demosthenes Torres. The report tried unsuccessfully to get in touch with him throughout the day, and the MP-RJ has not wanted to comment so far. According to the column, negotiations for an agreement are already advanced, and involve, among other facts, information about a series of murders committed in Rio de Janeiro by criminal organizations.
What can be revealed from the denunciation? Bruno Manso, researcher and author of the book The Republic of Militias – From the death squads to the Bolsonaro era (Editora However, 2020), points out some points that may come to light if the agreement is finalized. “A possible consequence of this complaint would be to shed light on Adriano’s relationship with Fabrício Queiroz, including the role of Flávio’s former advisor [Bolsonaro] in the captain’s escape. A better understanding of this point also helps to understand Adriano’s participation in the split scheme in the then state deputy’s office”, he says. The president’s son 01 denies irregularities, but the clan acted as they could to stop the investigation of the case, which investigates the misappropriation by the senator of civil servants’ salaries, in various spheres of justice – amid the investigations, Bolsonaro even changed the head of the Federal Police in Rio.
The relationship between Adriano and the Bolsonaro family is of a financial and family nature. His mother and ex-wife were employees — possibly ghosts — in Flávio’s office. Prosecutors of the MP who investigated the case of the confiscation of part of the salary of son 01’s team (a practice known as “rachadinha”) suspect that the militia member himself benefited from the scheme, in view of the messages exchanged between him and his ex-partner in the WhatsaApp application in which Adriano says he “counts” on the money passed on by her to Queiroz, accused of being the operator of the scheme. In 2005, Flávio also awarded the militia member the Tiradentes Medal, one of the highest honors granted by the Legislative Assembly of Rio. Detail: at the time, Captain Adriano was serving a prison sentence for the murder of a car guard who denounced him for extortion — later the officer was acquitted.
Also in the financial aspect, Júlia’s collaboration “is important to know Adriano’s patrimony, who, from what we have seen, is a millionaire, with investments and many assets”, says Manso. According to the investigations, an estate emerged that includes gas stations, cars, rural properties and even race horses. “It is necessary to map these values.” The militiaman’s widow, who had telematic confidentiality broken after her partner’s death during an investigation by the MP-RJ’s Special Action Group in Combating Organized Crime, was responsible for at least part of the accounting for Adriano’s illicit activities. Proceeds came from different sources: in May 2019, it registered entries of almost 2 million reais, as a result of irregular property rentals, debt collections and vehicle consortia.
Support news production like this. Subscribe to EL PAÍS for 30 days for 1 US$
There may also be news regarding the murder of councilwoman Marielle Franco and her driver Anderson Gomes in 2018. So far, the perpetrators of the crime have not been identified by the authorities. On the same day they were both killed, Adriano’s right-hand man, Leonardo Corrêa da Silva, alias Mad, shot and killed Marcelo Diotti da Mata. “It is necessary to find out if these crimes are related. Diotti was married to the ex-wife of former councilor Cristiano Girão, who was even investigated for the death of Marielle [e já cumpriu pena por outro homicídio]. It is known that ex-PM Ronnie Lessa, arrested for shooting Marielle, was close to Girão, there is even a suspicion that he would be the administrator of the congressman’s illicit assets”, says Manso.
From the animal game (in 2014 he was expelled from the corporation for his “informal work” such as murders and security services for offenders) to the militias, from Rio das Pedras to the Rio Assembly, the militia was the witness and author of a story written with blood. And it can spill onto the Plateau.
Support our journalism. Subscribe to EL PAÍS by clicking here
sign up on here to receive the daily newsletter of EL PAÍS Brasil: reports, analyses, exclusive interviews and the main information of the day in your e-mail, from Monday to Friday. sign up also to receive our weekly newsletter on Saturdays, with highlights of coverage for the week.