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Brazilian police arrest 11 on suspicion of election fraud
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14:08, August 30, 2008

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Brazil's federal police on Friday arrested at least 11 people on suspicion of fraud in the run-up to the City Council election in October.

A "Free Vote" operation was launched in the morning, when some 230 police officers took action to nab the suspects, including an election candidate and six local policemen.

The arrestees are connected to an illegal militia group known as Justice League, which operates in several slums in western Rio de Janeiro. They coerced the residents to vote on candidate CarmenGloria Guinancio Guimaraes, said federal police.

The candidate is the daughter of a former city councilman who was arrested in December 2007 for criminal association. The woman, as well as the niece of former State Representative Natalino Guimaraes who was arrested in July, were reportedly the leading members of the Justice League group.

Police said 20 masked men armed with weapons harassed the Barbante slum on Aug. 19 and shot at people randomly. They were allegedly militia of the group that intends to scare local residents into voting for their own candidate.

Authorities have issued a total of 22 arrest warrants and the 11 arrestees will be transferred to the Catanduva Federal Prison in the southern Parana state.

Source: Xinhua

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