Rio’s police face reality check in un-pacified favela

Julia Michaels – InSight Crime, 10/26/2011

(InSight Crime)

Brazil’s elite military police are trying to build ties with communities and undo the harm done by officers who allegedly abused residents in Complexo da Mare, a favela which has not yet come under police control, reports blogger Julia Michaels.

Since the 2008 start of Rio’s new public safety policy, BOPE, the military police elite squad, has met with community members, but never like this.

First of all, the cops weren’t even invited. “When we saw you coming in, the first thing we thought was, ‘They’re going to prevent us from meeting’,” said Rubens Casara, a judge active on human rights issues. “The second was, ‘They’re going to try to keep people from making accusations about police behavior’,” he told three elite squad members who came, it turned out, to actually listen and respond to residents.

Read more…

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