Rio police find 8 bodies in clandestine grave

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian authorities have found eight bodies, some dismembered, in what appears to be a clandestine graveyard in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro.

Rio state prosecutors said Wednesday they believe the corpses were victims of paramilitary groups that operate in the area about 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of the city center.

Prosecutors say they found the site after receiving an anonymous tip, which also tied the bodies to the paramilitary group New Aurora Militia. They say one of the group’s leaders was arrested under homicide charges last week.

Local authorities estimate militias control about one-quarter of the territory of Rio de Janeiro state. Security experts say militias are increasingly involved in extortion, illicit businesses and murder.

Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has vowed to combat epidemic violence.