Months before Rio Olympics, murder rate rises in Brazil

Kenneth Rapoza – Forbes, 01/29/2016

Brazil just cannot — cannot — get a break. If it’s not their Banana Republic-esque politicians and oligarchs, commodity deflation, inflation and pesky mosquitoes spreading the zica virus to the world, its violent crime. A new report out this month has Brazilian cities dominating a list of the 50 murder capitals of the world.

The report by Mexico City based Center for Public Security And Criminal Justice shows clearly that no country in the Americas has more cities plagued by violent crime than Brazil. It could be because the country is so large. But then again, the U.S. is just as big and has just four cities on the list, including some like St. Louis that are more violent than Rio de Janeiro in terms of homicide rates. Mexico, the second largest country in Latin America, has five cities on the list, down from last year’s 12.

But when it comes to mortal gunshot wounds, Brazil takes the cake. Out of the 50 cities with high per capita homicide rates, the “country of the future”, where God is a registered voter, according to local lore, has a whopping 22 cities on the list. Even clean-and-green Curitiba and homogenous Porto Alegre are on it.

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Migrant crisis: Middle East refugees who chose Brazil over Europe

Wyre Davies – BBC News, 9/16/2015

When Ibrahim landed in Brazil he spent three days sleeping on the floor and wandering around aimlessly at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos airport.

“I couldn’t speak the language and I didn’t know where I could find help. I was alone,” says Ibrahim, who asks me not to use his family name because of fears for the safety of his relatives still in Syria.

But the 20 year old has no regrets and is glad that rather than facing a perilous journey by sea, as many Syrian refugees are forced to undertake, he chose the safer option of flying to Brazil. It was also probably a lot cheaper.

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Brazil investigating possible police-revenge theory in rash of killings

John Lyons – The Wall Street Journal, 8/14/2015

Authorities in Brazil are investigating whether vigilantes seeking revenge for the deaths of two police officers were behind a bloody night of killings that left at least 19 dead in greater São Paulo late Thursday, refocusing attention on Brazil’s history of police violence.

In one incident, captured in a chilling two-minute video, shooters in ski-masks and windbreakers entered a bar on a western outskirt, selected several patrons, calmly lined them up against a wall and shot them, leaving eight dead.

Minutes later, a similar shooting nearby left two more dead, authorities said. All told, shootings took place at eight locations in about two hours.

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Brazil police ‘killed hundreds’ in Rio – Amnesty

BBC, 8/3/2015

Amnesty says it has found evidence that police killings were often illegal, with officers shooting suspects who had surrendered or had been wounded.

There has been no response so far from Brazil’s military police.
Police unions earlier said the number of officers killed was also very high.In Rio de Janeiro alone, 114 police were killed in 2014, according to the civilian police union Sindpol.

Police officers have in the past denied being “trigger happy”, saying they act in self defence when they come under fire from drug dealers in Rio’s sprawling favelas.

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Child marriage accepted in Brazil to escape abuse at home: researchers

Anastasia Moloney – Reuters, 7/15/2015

Child marriage is widely accepted in Brazil, where girls seek older husbands to escape from sexual and other violence in the home, or because of teenage pregnancies or the lack of job opportunities, according to new research.

There has been scant research in Brazil on child marriage, and little has been done to tackle it, researchers from Plan International, Brazil’s Federal University of Para and the gender equality charity Promundo said.

“Child marriage in Brazil is very normalized and accepted,” said Alice Taylor, lead author of the report, whose researchers say it is the first study of its kind in Brazil.

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Brazil: man’s lynching compared to slave flogging

Emmanuelle Saliba – NBC News, 7/10/2015

A shocking newspaper cover – comparing a recent lynching to the treatment of slaves – has gone viral in Brazil.

“From trunk to pole,” declared the cover headline of the newspaper “Extra,” comparing a 200-year-old public slave flogging to the lynching Monday of Cleidenilson Pereira da Silva.

According to reports, residents took matters into their own hands in São Luís, a city located in northern Brazil, after da Silva, 29, and a teenager attempted to rob a bar. Silva was caught, stripped naked, tied to a pole and beaten to death, the O Estado newspaper reported. Angry residents also threw a variety of objects at him, including stones and bottles. The teenager was brutally beaten.

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Lava Jato Investigations will continue, as painful as it may be

Eliane Cantanhêde and Andreza Matais – O Estado de S.Paulo, 7/04/2015

Andre Dusek/Estadao

Photo by Andre Dusek/Estadao

A man of few words, the director-general of the Federal Brazilian Police, Leandro Daiello came out of anonymity to state, in an interview to Estado that no one will be exempt from the law. The ongoing investigations will proceed even if they lead to President Rousseff or former President Lula, he said. “We investigate facts, not people. Where those facts take us is a consequence of the investigation itself, as painful as it may be”.

Originally from the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, Daiello has been and director-general of the Brazilian equivalent to the FBI since 2011. He used the expression “as painful as it may be” three times during the interview, to make clear that the Federal Police is an independent institution with solid rules of conduct, and that investigations are to continue “with or without José Eduardo Cardozo as justice minister, and with or without Daiello leading the Federal Police”.

Continue reading “Lava Jato Investigations will continue, as painful as it may be”