Altamira Children Trial: Defence of sect leader andrade requests her release

The defence lawyers of Valentina Andrade, primary accused for the crimes committed against the ‘Children of Altamira’, called for her release for health reasons. Clovis Martins and Artemio Leal presented the request to Judge Ronaldo Valle for her release from the CRF (Female Recuperation Centre) of Belém, where the woman is held in preventive detention in attendance of her trial, set for September 22. According to the two lawyers, the woman suffers from hypertension and is in a state of depression since she was arrested September 4, after being caught at the San Paolo airport attempting to board a flight under a false identity for Buenos Aires. For evident risk of her escaping, the Judge ordered her preventive custody: Ms. Andrade was also visited by the head of the Health Department of the superintendence of penitentiaries that found her to have no pathologies. Meanwhile, with the guilty verdict issued yesterday against the doctor Césio Flávio Caldas Brandão concluded the first three hearings of the trial started at the end of August. Caldas Brandão, like his colleague Anísio Ferreira de Souza, the businessman Amaílton Madeira Gomes and former police officer Carlos Alberto dos Santos, were all respectively sentenced to 56, 77, 57 and 35 years in prison. They all faced charges of murder and the mutilation of Judirley da Cunha Chipaia, emasculated and assassinated in January 1992 at the age of 13; Jaenes da Silva Pessoa, raped, mutilated and found dead in October 1992 also 13-yrs-old; Flavio Lopes da Silva, tortured and killed in March of 1993 at the age of 10. As also the attempted murder of Otoniel Costa and Wandiclei Pinheiro, two boys who miraculously survived their captors and whose courageous testimony was determinant. The prosecution believes that the ‘mind’ behind the long series of crimes inflicted between 1989 and 1993 on 19 children of Altamira, is in fact Andrade, founder of an obscure religious sect called LUS (‘Superior Universal Language’), which considers boys born after 1981 “ominous and damaging to the cosmic equilibrium”.