RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian authorities said Tuesday they are investigating whether the victim of a gang rape was previously attacked by members of the same drug-dealing group.
The attack highlights the pervasive violence against women and girls in Latin America's largest nation just months after a 16-year-old girl was gang-raped.
The latest victim is a 34-year-old woman who police say was raped last week by men at a bar and on a street in Sao Goncalo suburb, part of larger Rio de Janeiro.
Investigator Debora Rodrigues says she is looking at another possible attack the victim says the same gang committed against her in 2013.
Police are seeking at least 10 men in the latest gang rape. Two teenagers were detained the night of the attack when police found the victim naked and crying outside the bar.
Brazil reported more than 47,000 rapes in 2014, according to a non-governmental group Public Safety Forum that compiles law enforcement data of each state. A recent study commissioned by the Brazilian federal government found that 147,691 women had to seek medical help in 2014 for domestic or sexual violence in 2014.
The gang rape of a 16-year-old girl caused much soul searching across the nation in May. Brazilians were especially shocked by videos spread on social media that showed men posing with the unconscious victim.
Brutal sexual assaults have recently sparked a spate of marches against gender violence across Latin America. Last week, tens of thousands of people protested in Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay under the slogan "Not one less" after the recent killing of a 16-year-old Argentine girl who was first drugged, raped and tortured.
A march protesting gender violence was scheduled to be held Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro.