A Brazilian congresswoman and gospel singer has been accused of killing her pastor husband. Police believe that Flordelis dos Santos, 59, masterminded the killing of her husband Anderson Do Carmo, who was murdered last June after being shot 30 times.
At the time, Flordelis claimed that armed robbers and gunned down her husband outside their home, but a subsequent investigation has led police to believe one of the singer's sons killed him on her orders - investigators believe that at least ten of the couple’s children were involved in the plot. Flordelis later became known for having a vast number of adopted children, often from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds - the singer grew up in a Rio de Janeiro favela.
Do Carmo was adopted in 1998 when he was 14 and Flordelis was 30. They later became romantically involved and got married.
"The conclusion reached by the investigation was this: she planned this cowardly murder,” said homicide chief Antônio Ricardo Lima Nunes. “The motive was that she was unhappy with the way in which pastor Anderson lived his life and handled the family finances.”
Due to being a congresswoman since 2018, Flordelis is immune from prosecution, though prosecutors are calling on congress to change the rules. In an official letter the speaker of the lower house on Tuesday, congressman and former police officer Léo Motta requested that she be stripped of her political position.
"Given the avalanche of evidence against congresswoman Flordelis, it is clear she cannot remain in the position to which she was elected,” he wrote.
"It’s worth stressing that the congresswoman always sought to project the image of a Christian woman, committed to raising her adopted children and concerned about the family, while simultaneously exhibiting behaviour which – if the police inquiry’s claims prove true – suggests a perverse, crime-inclined heart.
“That alone constitutes a violation of parliamentary decorum."
The authorities believe that the killing may have been as a result of a marital rift about their church’s finances, and say there is evidence Flordelis had tried to poison her husband on six previous occasions.
Police commissioner Allan Duarte said that the investigation revealed "that this image of altruism and decency was just a front to obtain a political and economic position".
Through her lawyer, the congresswoman insisted that she "never ordered this savage crime".