Latin America

Gunmen shoot Spanish convict dead in front of his home in Brazil

Galician Anxo Antono Valiño had been convicted of murdering a businessman in 2007

Anxo Anton Valiño, 51, of Ferrol, was shot dead on Thursday in Brazil.
Anxo Anton Valiño, 51, of Ferrol, was shot dead on Thursday in Brazil.Vlademir Alexandre.

A 51-year-old Spaniard who was convicted for the 2004 murder of a Brazilian businessman was shot dead on Thursday on the streets of São Gonçalo do Amarante, a city in Rio Grande do Norte state in northeast Brazil.

Anxo Antono Valiño had been allowed to serve his 19-year murder sentence in an open prison around six years ago.

Investigators believe that Valiño’s killing was related to a drug-trafficking deal and not the 2004 murder

The native of Ferrol, Galicia was arriving at his home on a motorcycle when two men on another scooter ambushed him. Valiño died at the doorstep of his home.

Quoting police sources, the local press said that investigators didn’t think that Valiño’s killing was related to the 2004 murder but was instead linked to a drug-trafficking deal.

Authorities found a small amount of marijuana and 484 reales (about €120) in his underwear.

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In 2010, Valiño was arrested in a drug sweep in Macau, Rio Grande do Norte, according to EFE news agency.

He was convicted in 2007 in the high-profile murder case of Paulo Ubarana, who had disappeared three years before after dining with Valiño and his wife, Brazilian dancer Patricia Maria da Silva.

The businessman’s body was found a week later with two gunshot wounds to the head at a beach in the southern part of the state.

During the trial, prosecutors charged that Ubarana and Valiño had argued about the debts the Spaniard owed the Brazilian businessman, who was his partner.

Urbarana had threatened to turn Valiño over to police for residing in Brazil without a residency permit, the prosecutors said in court.

The case and subsequent trial generated a lot of media attention.

Valiño had proclaimed his innocence throughout the trial and told local reporters that he was forced to confess to the crime after he was tortured by police.

Valiño, who became somewhat of a local celebrity, told the regional press that he feared for his life

A jury found Valiño and his wife guilty and they were given 19- and 16-year prison terms, respectively.

In February 2009, two years after he was sentenced, he was allowed to complete the rest of his term in an open prison. At the time, he told a regional daily about his experiences in jail, including an incident where he witnessed the decapitation of a fellow inmate.

Valiño became somewhat of a local celebrity, with the press religiously following all the legal stages of his case. But at the same time, the Galicia native had told reporters that he feared for his life.

“Now I get scared every time someone looks at me,” he said, explaining why he never revealed the exact location of his home.

Eight years ago, Valiño appeared in a Brazilian court to answer fraud charges that had been filed against him in Barcelona.

The plaintiff, Carmen Siestas López, accused Valiño of taking her money, which he had planned on investing in Brazil.

Lawyers for Ubarana’s family said that Valiño used similar tactics to deceive the murdered businessman.