'Mass rape' video on social media shocks Brazil

Videos and pictures of the gang rape of a teenager, published to Twitter, have led to a police hunt for more than 30 men suspected of participating in it.

Police said the girl told them more than 30 men had assaulted her, but they could not yet confirm how many took part in the alleged rape, as they are still investigating. The incident occurred in a Rio de Janeiro slum over the weekend.

Video of the test was posted Tuesday, 24 May, on the site of Rio state transport department, but took place Sunday.

The person who broke this piece of news is a man using the Twitter account @michelbrazil7. The sports broadcaster has said it will offer its cable, satellite and telco distribution partners 4K coverage of select events on a one-day delay.

Though sexual crimes are not uncommon in the favelas where armed gangs operate and often target their unsuspecting victims, the brutality of this assault has completely shaken the country.

The Brazilian Centre for Latin American Studies found that more than 92,000 women were killed in gender-related crimes, including rape and domestic abuse, from 1980 to 2010.

Rio's police chief, Fernando Veloso, said that if images had not been posted online, the authorities might not have learned of the attack. Twitter has been trending with hashtags like #EstuproNao√ČCulpaDaVitima - Portuguese for "rape is not the victim's fault".

The video has horrified a country not unused to violent crime, and highlighted its deep-rooted problem of violence against women.

The victim told police she arrived at her boyfriend's home last Saturday.

"It's absurd that in the 21st century we have to live with barbarous crimes like this", Temer said in a statement, via the Associated Press. The incident came to light when accused boasted about it by posting an online video of the victim.

Police and public prosecutors are now investigating the case.

In another case, a group of at least five men are reported to have drugged and raped a 17-year-old girl in the northeastern state of Piaui. The forum estimates that only 35 percent of rape cases are reported.

According to data from the 2014 Brazilian Public Security Report, a rape is committed every 11 minutes in Brazil.

News of the assault has sparked a campaign against what campaigners say is a culture of rape in Brazil, and campaigners have called for protests over the coming days.

Suspended President Dilma Rousseff, the first woman elected to the top job in Brazil, and Interim President Michel Temer have spoken up about the crime.

Related news