December 19, 2014
Layne Vandenberg – Brazil Institute, 12/18/2014
Widespread protests against police violence and racism have recently scattered the United States after the release of the Ferguson (Michael Brown) and Eric Garner grand jury decisions. While Americans grapple with the reality of police violence, other countries live deeply entrenched in this reality. Scholar Ignácio Cano says there is “a Ferguson every day” in Brazil, and the state of Rio de Janeiro has been trying out a new policing strategy in hopes of improving community-police relations in its slums, called favelas.
Between 2009 and 2013, Brazilian police killed more than 11,000 people, or about six people per day. The 2014 edition of the Brazil Public Security Yearbook also found that 53,646 homicides occurred in 2013, or one person every 10 minutes.
With the highest per capita rate of killing of any Brazilian state and 6,826 homicides per year between 1991 and 2007, the state of Rio de Janeiro is “comparable with urban areas of countries in civil war.” But Rio needed a quick solution for its violent reputation among the international crowd. Rio is home to Maracanã stadium, where several 2014 FIFA World Cup matches, including the final, were held and the city is the host of the upcoming 2016 Olympic games. So how do you change the face of a city and a state in time for the world’s two largest sporting events?
The Rio state government’s solution: pacification.
Read the rest of this entry »
November 26, 2014
Atila Roque – Live Wire, 11/26/2014
Earlier this week, many people around the world waited with bated breath for a grand jury’s decision in a case where a police officer shot dead an unarmed young black man on the street. While the 9 August shooting of Michael Brown took place in the US suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, the case has a deep resonance here in Brazil. The tragic course of events leading up to the teenager’s death could just as easily have played out on the streets of our cities orfavelas.
Of the 56,000 homicides in Brazil every year, 30,000 are young people aged 15 to 29. That means that, at this very moment, a young person is most likely being killed in Brazil. By the time you go to bed, 82 will have died today. It’s like a small airplane full of young people crashing every two days, with no survivors. This would be shocking enough by itself, but it’s even more scandalous that 77 per cent of these young people are black.
Since 1980, more than 1 million people have been murdered in Brazil. According to Global Burden of Armed Violence 2008, in the period from 2004 to 2007, more people were killed here than in the 12 main wars worldwide. However the violence doesn’t impact Brazilian society equally. Murders are rampant in poor and marginalized communities. Prejudice and negative stereotypes associated with the favelas and city outskirts have a key role in perpetrating this violence.
October 10, 2013
Thirteen inmates have been killed and at least 30 injured in a fight between rival gangs in a prison in Brazil.
Riot police say they have regained control of Pedrinhas prison in Sao Luis, in the state of Maranhao, and are searching the jail for illegal weapons.
Prison guards said fighting had broken out after they discovered inmates digging an escape tunnel.
June 13, 2013
Juan Pablo Spinetto & Christiana Sciaudone – Bloomberg, 06/12/2013
Paranapanema SA (PMAM3), Brazil’s biggest refined copper producer and best stock in the past year, is switching to ships from trucks. While the change almost triples transport times, it cuts costs by 21 percent by eliminating a threat found on Brazilian roads: Thieves.
Paranapanema is transporting 65 percent of its domestic deliveries by ship this year; last year it sent nothing by sea. The Dias D’Avila, Brazil-based company plans to move 80 percent by water at year’s end after 15 loads were hijacked along roads in 2012, interim Chief Executive Officer Edson Monteiro said.
“There are a lot of trucks stolen, a lot of violence — we invest a lot in security,” he said in an interview in Rio de Janeiro. “Nothing has been done in the past 10 years to improve transportation by roads. Brazil is very weak on this issue.”
December 27, 2012
Juan Forero – The Washington Post, 12/26/2012
Glassy-eyed, rail-thin and filthy, hundreds of addicts emerged from doorways and alleys as dusk came to the once-grand Luz district in the heart of this city.
After quick transactions with crack dealers, they scrambled for a little privacy to light up their pipes and inhale tiny, highly addictive rocks that go for about $5 each. The image was reminiscent of Washington or New York in the 1980s, when crack cocaine engulfed whole neighborhoods and sparked a dizzying cycle of violence.
But this time, the crack epidemic is happening in Brazil, alarming officials and tarnishing the country’s carefully cultivated image ahead of two major sporting events to be staged here: soccer’s 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.