The number of explosives found yesterday in Araçatuba, 519 km from São Paulo, was the highest in the country’s history, according to an unprecedented survey carried out by the Mato Grosso Association for the Promotion and Development of Security, at the request of UOL.
The organization was created to study criminal actions committed by heavily armed groups that terrorize municipalities in the interior, with assaults on bank agencies and financial institutions, which became known as the “new cangaço”. The PM-SP (Military Police of São Paulo) says that the occurrence had the highest number of detonators installed by criminals in the state.
The robbery in Araçatuba, which left at least three people dead and another four injured on Monday morning (30), is considered the most violent of its kind in the last two years by the Brazilian Forum on Public Security.
One of the explosives was even triggered, leading to the amputation of both feet of a man passing by on a bicycle. After more than 24 hours, military police located and disarmed 98 detonators scattered along public streets, vehicles and a bank branch in the city. Searches ended yesterday (31) afternoon. As of today, public school classes and vaccination against covid-19 will be resumed.
Motion sensor and remote activation
Lt. Col. Lucélio Ferreira Martins Faria França, president of Association Mato Grosso for the Promotion and Development of Security, highlighted the improvement of the technology used by criminals in the installation of explosive devices.
According to him, some of the detonators had a motion sensor and even a cell phone coupled for remote activation.
“The method used by criminals was more sophisticated. I had never seen a police team mobilized for so long to disarm explosives. This demonstrates the evolution of the planning of the group involved in the action,” he said.
Attack on Araçatuba
‘The damage could have been great,’ says Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant Colonel Valmor Saraiva Racorti, commander of the Special Operations Battalion of São Paulo, which coordinated the actions to neutralize the explosives in Araçatuba, was surprised by the boldness and technology used by the criminals.
We found metal containers used for rock blasting with high explosive potential. There were also explosives with LED flashlights to cause a psychological effect on the population and with the possibility of remote triggering. The damage could have been great. I hope that 9/11 does not need to take place here for the security forces to act in an integrated manner.
Lieutenant Colonel Valmor Saraiva Racorti
“What worries is the large amount of explosives. It was the biggest seizure in the history of the São Paulo Military Police of explosives installed by criminals in these actions cataloged as ‘domain of cities’. If it happened in Araçatuba, it is because we are already late,” he added .
The officer was called immediately after the action in Araçatuba, starting an operation with displacement by road and by aircraft. A group of 35 police officers took part in the action — seven of them were explosives specialists.
The operation also had the support of snipers, who ensured the safety of agents focused on deactivating around 100 kg of detonators scattered throughout the city.
Wanted by UOL, the Federal Police, which is investigating the case, did not give details about the equipment used by the criminal group.