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Brazil: Family Feud May Have Led To At Least 95 Murders

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BRAZIL FAMILY FEUD
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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Brazilian authorities are trying to extinguish a 60-year-old family feud they say has led to at least 95 murders.

Police say they sent 130 lawmen into six rural communities in northeastern Brazil to make arrests meant to end the bloodshed involving the Oliveira, Veras and Suassuna families.

Cristiano Jacques, police chief in the town of Patos, told a news conference on Tuesday that the families are suspected of killing 64 members of rival clans as well as 31 people in their own families. Police did not describe the origin of the conflict.

"All their crimes are planned in advance, with clear-cut tasks handed out among members of the organization. There are those who plan, finance, recruit gunmen, and execute," he said.

Investigators told police the families have been fighting for more than 60 years, but the violence has increased in the last decade.

The head of security for Rio Grande do Norte state, Aldair da Rocha, said law enforcement moved in now because police in Paraiba learned there were plans to commit another murder during the weekend.

The families have committed eight murders between them this year, officials said.

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