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Indian Chief Dies After Being Set Afire

Tue., April 22, 1997

Playing what they said was “a joke,” five teenagers set fire to a Brazilian Indian chief sleeping on a bench and burned him to death.

Galdino Jesus dos Santos, leader of the Pataxo tribe, died early Monday at the Asa Norte hospital with burns over 95 percent of his body.

Dos Santos was sleeping on a bus-stop bench early Sunday because he had stayed late at a party marking National Indian Day and had been locked out of his boarding house, police said.

The youths, ages 17 to 19, squirted a flammable liquid on dos Santos and set him on fire, police chief Marco Aurelio Martins said.

Marcos Euclides, a passing motorist, saw the man on fire and the teenagers speeding away in a car. He jotted down the license plate number and raced back to help douse the flames, then notified police.

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