January 28, 2013
Simon Romero – The New York Times, 01/27/2013
A fire ignited by a flare from a band’s pyrotechnics spectacle swept through a nightclub filled with hundreds of university students early on Sunday morning in Santa Maria, a city in southern Brazil, killing at least 233 people, officials said.
Health workers hauled bodies from the club, called Kiss, to hospitals in Santa Maria all through Sunday morning. Some of the survivors were taken to the nearby city of Porto Alegre to be treated for burns. Valdeci Oliveira, a local legislator, told reporters that he saw piles of bodies in the nightclub’s bathrooms.
Col. Guido Pedroso de Melo, the commander of the city’s Fire Department, said in televised remarks that security guards had blocked the exit, which intensified the panic as people in the club stampeded to the doors.
January 14, 2013
Officials in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo are to begin making people addicted to crack cocaine get treatment.
A new law allows mandatory treatment for drug users in “advanced stages of addiction” and at risk of death. Social services, not police, will identify potential patients on the streets, the state government says.
A similar policy already targets addicted minors living on the streets of Rio de Janeiro.
January 11, 2013
Rodrigo Viga Gaier – Reuters/NBC News, 01/10/2013
A 10-year-old Brazilian boy was hit by a car and killed on Thursday as he fled a drug sweep by police and social workers, reigniting debate over the government’s tough response to a surge in crack cocaine use.
The incident occurred around 4 a.m. on one of the main thoroughfares in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s main tourist destination, the city’s social welfare department said in a statement.
The boy, whose name was not released, was part of a large cluster of crack users who scattered as police and social workers approached.
January 10, 2013
Fox News/AP, 01/09/2012
Police in Brazil’s most populous state can no longer give first aid to victims injured in violent crimes or in shootouts with law enforcement officers.
Sao Paulo State Public Safety Department says in a statement posted on its website that as of Wednesday only emergency response teams and paramedics can provide treatment to victims at the scene of the crime or shootout with police.
Department head Fernando Grella Vieira said the state government enacted the measure “to safeguard the health of victims and guarantee the preservation of the crime scene for forensic investigations.”
July 13, 2011
Associated Press/Miami Herald, 07/10/2011
Rio de Janeiro’s public defenders’ department says the Brazilian state has accumulated more than 60,000 unsolved murders in the last 10 years.
The department investigated the matter for the federal Ministry of Justice as part of a national plan to improve public safety.
The survey shows that 24,000 of the victims haven’t even been identified.
June 30, 2011
Ronan Graham – InSight, 06/30/2011
Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota and his Paraguayan counterpart, Jorge Lara Castro, signed a number of bilateral agreements yesterday at the first day of a Mercosur summit held in the Paraguayan capital, Asuncion.
The two countries agreed to improve their methods of exchanging information, and committed to share and co-ordinate research and technology related to drug trafficking.
The agreement also focuses on improving “public safety,” with the two countries committing to coordinating their efforts on preventing drug abuse and dealing with crimes connected to drug trade.