Brazil gangrape
Brazil gangrapeReuters

UPDATE: 10:50 p.m. IST — The Rio de Janeiro police on Monday arrested two people in connection with the gang-rape of a 16-year-old girl by over 30 men in Brazil. The incident had garnered massive outrage nationally. Arrest warrants are pending for four others, Reuters reported.

Rai Souza, 22, one of the suspects in the gang rape, surrendered to the police on Monday, authorities were quoted by the agency as saying. Another suspect, 20-year-old Lucas Perdomo, a local professional soccer player, was arrested.

The police launched an investigation and raided a couple of slums on Sunday searching for suspects in the alleged gang rape. Over 70 officers used helicopters, armoured vehicles and dogs to enter the slums, but it's not clear whether any suspect had been captured in the operation, according to a Reuters report.

The agency quoted Cristiana Bento, the lead investigator, as saying she is certain drug gang members were involved in the gang rape and that the police have an arrest warrant for Sergio Silva, the local head of the Red Command gang in the slum.

"The rape is proven... What I want to do now is verify the extent of this rape and how many people took part," Bento said.

This is the first time police have definitively stated the girl was raped. Earlier, they had said there were indications that a rape had taken place but more proof was required.

Officials were quoted by the agency as saying that the girl is under state protection and intends to leave Rio along with her family.

Original Story —

Brazilian police have identified four of the over 30 men suspected to be involved in the alleged gangrape of a 16-year-old girl in Rio de Janeiro that strengthened public calls for stricter action against the endemic problem.

According to Al Jazeera, the arrest warrants were issued on Friday, days after the crime came to light when several men joked about it and posted graphic images and videos of the unconscious and naked teenager online.

A Reuters report stated that the video features a few men shamelessly insulting the teenager, while one man was heard saying "more than 30 impregnated her!" The Twitter handle on which this video was posted has been suspended.

CNN reported that the four suspects included the girl's boyfriend, a man who appeared in the video and two other men whose voices could be heard in the video. Besides allegations of rape, the police are also investigating possible violations of Brazil's internet laws.

The channel quoted state-run Agencia Brasil news agency as saying that a man had been taken into custody for questioning on Saturday and that 70 police officers were involved in locating the suspects. Drugs had also been seized.

Reuters quoted the police as saying that the teenager told them more than 30 men had raped her, but it could not be confirmed as to exactly how many took part in the alleged rape because the investigations are still ongoing.

The girl apparently went to her boyfriend's place on Saturday and woke up in a different place on Sunday, "with 33 men armed with rifles and guns," CNN reported.

"There are all the indications that this rape did in fact happen, but we still have to investigate further before we can absolutely confirm it," Fernando Veloso, head of Rio's civil police department, was quoted by the agency at a press conference on Friday.

"The extreme violence we're dealing (with) has shocked everyone. It even shocked the police," CNN quoted Veloso as saying.

"It's absurd that in the 21st century we have to live with barbarous crimes like this," Brazil's Interim President Michel Temer was quoted by Al Jazeera as saying. He called for an emergency meeting of security chiefs from all of Brazil's states on Tuesday and also promised to create a federal police force unit which would be given the responsibility of tackling crimes against women.

The incident has sparked public outrage with people demanding harsh punishment and stringent laws against the criminals.

Brazilians reportedly took to Twitter and Facebook to express their anger. Hashtags like #estuprocoletivo or #gangrape and #estupronaotemjustificativa or "rape can't be justified" were trending on social networking sites. Users posted slogans like "we need to talk about the culture of rape" and "It wasn't 30 against 1, it was 30 against all of us!" online.

Citizens reacted to memes and posts calling for an end to the country's "machista" culture and demanding justice for the alleged victim, CNN reported.