Yellow had raped a 13-year-old girl in a nearby village, and her father had hired Santana’s uncle, a professional hitman, to kill him. Julio knew that in the sprawling and lawless Amazon, locals had taken the law into their own hands for hundreds of years. Still, he was shocked to find out that his favorite uncle — a military policeman — was also an assassin-for-hire. And now he was passing on his latest assignment to his nephew, hoping to recruit him as a contract killer.
Santana was reluctant, fearing that he would go to hell for killing another human being, but when his uncle, Cicero, explained how Yellow had tricked the girl, promising to take her to see the pink dolphins on the Tocantins River before raping her in his canoe, Julio began to change his mind.
To seal the deal, Cicero, too sick with malaria to do the hit on his own, told his nephew God would look the other way. All it took was 10 Hail Marys and 20 Our Fathers after the murder, he said.
“That way I guarantee you will be forgiven,” said Cicero.