RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Police have arrested two men working for the rancher in Brazil's who allegedly ordered the killing of American nun Dorothy Stang, authorities said.
Cleone Santos and Magnaldo Santos, known as Negao, were taken into custody Saturday evening, accused of aiding the two gunmen who shot 73-year-old Stang on Feb. 12 in the small Amazon town of Anapu (search), about 1,250 miles north of Rio de Janeiro (search), police said on Sunday. Stang was trying to protect an area from logging that the rancher wanted to harvest.
Santos and Negao allegedly gave food and clothing to the gunmen while they hid in the jungle to ambush Stang, federal police investigator Ualame Machado told The Associated Press by telephone. Santos and Negao were expected to be charged with facilitation.
Both men were interrogated for nearly two hours Sunday in Altamira, about 80 miles from Anapu. Santos and Negao denied the accusation, police said.
Police had hoped to gather more details about the whereabouts of Vitalmiro Moura, who wanted to log the area Stang was trying to protect and whose ownership was being disputed in the courts.
The alleged gunmen, Clodoaldo Carlos Batista and Rayfran das Neves Sales, and the accused intermediary in the contract killing, Amair Freijoli da Cunha, were arrested a week ago.
Nearly 50 federal officers were in the lawless Amazon region searching for Moura. On Friday, three FBI (search) agents arrived to accompany the local investigation.
The FBI's presence had been requested shortly after the killing by the Congregation of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, an international Roman Catholic religious order which Stang was a member.
Stang, a naturalized Brazilian originally from near Dayton, Ohio, spent the last 23 years of her life in Brazil's lawless Para state, trying to protect the rain forest and peasants from loggers and ranchers vying for the area's rich natural resources.