Nun-killer arrested for link to three new killings in Brazil

Nun-killer arrested for link to three new killings in Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO - A man convicted of killing a US Amazon activist who was also a nun, was re-arrested in Brazil Saturday on suspicion of involvement in three new murders.

Rayfran das Neves Sales, who confessed to shooting US nun Dorothy Stang in 2005 on her way back from a meeting with landless peasants, served only eight of his 27-year sentence before granted parole.

Police in the Amazonian state of Para said Neves Sales had been captured again for alleged involvement in a September incident in which three people were killed and a fourth was left with bullet wounds.

The victims were part of an international drug trafficking network, and had been tasked with moving 50 kilos of cocaine from Bolivia to Para state, in an operation allegedly coordinated by Neves Sales.

A phone message sent by one of the victims to his father, in which he warned he was with the convicted killer should anything happen to him, led police to Neves Sales.

Under the conditions of the parole, Neves Sales was required to be home at certain times of the day and appear in court monthly.

Stang, 73, was shot to death on February 12, 2005 in the town of Anapu, 700 kilometers (450 miles) from the Para state capital of Belem after meeting with peasants on an ecological project.

Local ranchers accused her at the time of inciting landless farmers to invade their lands.

Neves Sales confessed and was jailed two days after the murder, and two ranchers were also sentenced to prison for ordering her death.

The Stang case grabbed headlines in Brazil and became a symbol of the end of impunity for the killing of landless squatter farmers who have often clashed with big landowners, especially in the country's remote rural areas.

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