Brian Winter – Reuters, 11/07/2012
A policeman searches a motorcyclist at a checkpoint in Sao Paulo October 8, 2012. Credit: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker/Files
The murder of a female police officer in front of her daughter in Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city and financial capital, has increased pressure on President Dilma Rousseff and local authorities to halt a drug-related crime wave in which dozens of police have died.
Marta Umbelina da Silva, 44, was opening the garage in her home Saturday night when two assailants shot her ten times in the back, throat and abdomen, police said. Her 11-year-old daughter screamed for help and Silva, a mother of three, was taken to a nearby hospital, but she could not be revived.
More than half of the 90 police murders this year in greater Sao Paulo have occurred in similar execution-style fashion.
Simon Romero – The New York Times, 10/02/2012
The sun had just begun to rise here one morning in September as André Peres de Carvalho, an officer in a special-operations police squad, prepared to leave his home. Two masked gunmen lurking outside the door did their work quickly, killing him before disappearing by motorcycle into the crazy quilt of São Paulo’s sprawl.
He was one of more than 70 police officers killed this year in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest and most powerful state. The sharp increase in murders of police officers, up almost 40 percent since last year, has raised fears of a resurgence of the First Capital Command, a criminal organization that carried out a harrowing four-day uprising here in 2006 during which almost 200 people were killed.
São Paulo officials have tried to play down the suspected role of the criminal group in this year’s police killings, calling it a violent reaction by a variety of criminals to tougher policing strategies. But security analysts and some members of São Paulo’s own state police force have characterized the killings as deliberate reprisals by the gang, commonly referred to as the P.C.C., or Primeiro Comando da Capital in Portuguese.
Human Rights Watch released a new report on police brutality in Brazil.
Click here to see the full report.
See their press release below:
Police officers in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo routinely resort to lethal force, often committing extrajudicial executions and exacerbating violence in both states, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.
The 122-page report, “Lethal Force: Police Violence and Public Security in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo,” examined 51 cases in which police appeared to have executed alleged criminal suspects and then reported the victims had died in shootouts while resisting arrest.
Rio and São Paulo police together kill more than 1,000 people every year in such alleged confrontations. While some of these “resistance” killings by police are legitimate acts of self-defense, many others are extrajudicial executions, the report found. Continue reading “Brazil: Curb Police Violence in Rio, São Paulo Extrajudicial Killings Undermine Public Security”