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21 items
  1. Drug policy and incarceration in São Paulo, Brazil

    • Juliana de Oliveira Carlos
    14 June 2015

    This briefing paper analyses the impact of drug policy on incarceration in São Paulo (Brazil). This research is expected to inform and assess some of the consequences of the current Brazilian drug policy, taking into account its impacts on prisoners’rights and on the criminal justice system as a whole.

  2. Why is Rio de Janeiro so dangerous?

    18 February 2015
    Other news

    While Brazil has the dubious honor of having the highest homicide rate in the world – with 56,337 killings reported in 2013 – Rio has the most number of murders committed by police than any other Brazilian state. The mayor points to the widely held belief in the city that successful drug traffickers need to control a territory. "There is cocaine and marijuana in every western capital. But that crazy idea of thinking that traffickers need to dominate an area is one of our peculiarities [...]."

  3. Is São Paulo's drug treatment program working?

    21 January 2015
    Other news

    Authorities say crack use has dropped 80 percent in São Paulo's notorious "Crackland" district since the implementation of With Open Arms ("De Braços Abertos"), a government-sponsored drug treatment program initiated in January 2014, reported a municipal government office in São Paulo. But there are reasons to doubt the initiative's reported success.

  4. Fixing a broken system

    • Juan Carlos Garzón Vergara
    30 December 2014
    Report

    Despite efforts by governments in Latin America, illicit drugs continue to provide one of the largest incomes for criminal organizations, enabling them to penetrate and corrupt political and social institutions.

  5. Consertando um sistema falido

    • Juan Carlos Garzón Vergara
    28 December 2014
    Policy briefing

    Apesar dos esforços dos governos latino-americanos, as drogas ilícitas continuam a representar uma das maiores fontes de receita para as organizações criminosas, lhes permitindo penetrar instituições políticas e sociais corruptas. As organizações criminosas exploram as vulnerabilidades do Estado e tiram proveito da incapacidade dos governos de garantir a segurança de seus cidadãos. Com poucas exceções, a fraca capacidade dos governos latino-americanos se reflete em altos índices de homicídios, níveis notórios de impunidade, e o sentimento de desconfiança que os cidadãos alimentam sobre as instituições judiciárias e policiais.

  6. Why do Brazilian police kill?

    20 November 2013
    Other news

    An average of five people were killed by police every day in Brazil last year, according to an annual security report, revealing an entrenched culture of violence within the country's security forces. Brazil's Forum of Public Security joined forces with US non-governmental organization (NGO) Open Society Foundations to conduct an in-depth study of police killings as part of its annual report, concluding that the country's security forces are beset by a "culture of violence."

  7. Whither Rio de Janeiro’s Police Pacification Units?

    18 November 2013
    Other news

    Rio de Janeiro’s Pacification Police Units (UPP) are celebrating their fifth year in 2013. They do so with generally positive approval ratings from the media and society as a whole. A recent study by Instituto Data Favela indicates that 75% of favelas inhabitants approve of the UPPs. Notwithstanding major crises and criticism, the UPP constitute the single most important public security initiative in the state. And yet the persistent informality of the UPP may eventually undermine its sustainability. (See also: Rio slum pacification police accused of torture, murder)

  8. UN concerned by arbitrary arrests in Brazil

    27 March 2013
    Other news

    The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention voiced concern about the rising number of arbitrary arrests in Brazil, which has one of the highest prison populations in the world with around 550,000 persons, 217,000 (about 40%) of whom are in pre-trial detention. They also expressed serious concerns regarding the arrests and compulsory confinement of drug addicts due to forthcoming major events such as the Soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016. (See: Prison overcrowding in Brazil)

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    Ex-comandante de UPP do Rio é condenado por associação ao tráfico

    17 March 2013
    Other news

    O ex-comandante da UPP (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora) do Morro de São Carlos, na região central do Rio, foi condenado a seis anos de prisão, em regime fechado, por associação ao tráfico de drogas. Investigações da Polícia Federal descobriram que o então capitão da Polícia Militar recebia R$ 15 mil por semana dos traficantes para facilitar o comércio ilegal de drogas.

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    Agentes da lei defendem legalização das drogas

    16 December 2012
    Other news

    leap-brasil‘Quem morre na guerra contra as drogas não é o usuário: é o policial e o traficante’. A frase, dita pelo ex-chefe do Estado-Maior da PM, coronel Jorge da Silva, resume bem a ideia de um movimento que vem ganhando corpo entre os profissionais responsáveis por aplicar a lei no Brasil: a guerra contra as drogas está perdida.

  11. Q&A: “Pacification of favelas not a real public policy yet”

    17 September 2012
    Other news

    The "pacification" of the favelas in this Brazilian city, aimed at driving out armed groups and fighting drug trafficking, has not yet become a fully effective public policy, says Eliana Sousa Silva, who has lived in one of Rio’s shantytowns for nearly 30 years. The pacification process begins when elite military police battalions are sent in to crack down on drug trafficking gangs. Once the drug mafias have been run out of the favela, permanent "Police Pacification Units" (UPPs) are installed to carry out community policing.

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    La ocupación de Rocinha

    Eric Nepomuceno
    17 November 2011
    Other news

    rocinha-pacificationEs innegable que el tráfico viene sufriendo fuerte impacto con la ocupación de los cerros y la posterior implantación de las UPP, las Unidades de Policía Pacificadora. Sin verdaderas reformas estructurales las medidas serán inevitablemente limitadas. Además, existe otro fenómeno de violenta criminalidad que apenas es mencionado por las autoridades de Río: las milicias, es decir, los grupos paramilitares integrados por policías y por bomberos que controlan la mitad de las favelas locales. Por más que sea cierto que muchos “milicianos” están presos, no se ha visto ninguna acción concreta sobre los territorios que controlan y someten con una ferocidad por lo menos similar a la de los narcotraficantes.

  13. ‘Pacification’ of favelas not just a media circus

    16 November 2011
    Other news

    The "take-over" of Rocinha, one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas, by heavily armed police and military units was seen by some as a media spectacle and by others as part of a successful strategy of regaining state control over an area ruled by armed drug gangs. Less than three hours after 3,000 police and soldiers occupied the favela or in the south of the city, Rio de Janeiro state Secretary of Public Security José Mariano Beltrame announced the "recovery of the territory" by the state.

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    El paraíso está lejos

    Eric Nepomuceno
    14 November 2011
    Other news

    Para terminar con el control de vastas áreas de Rio de Janeiro dominadas por pandillas de narcotraficantes, nada mejor que realizar una ocupación militar que expulse a los criminales, restablezca el orden y la ley, y luego facilite programas sociales bien estructurados, que van de la apertura de campos de deporte a puestos de salud y guarderías, además de otros instrumentos de rescate de la ciudadanía. En cada cerro ocupado se instala una Unidad de Policía Pacificadora, que convivirá con los habitantes dentro de las reglas mínimas de respeto mutuo, sin violencia, sin atentar contra la dignidad de las gentes y respetando los derechos básicos de cada uno.

  15. From war on drugs to community policing in Rio

    01 June 2011
    Other news

    Four decades after Washington declared its "war on drugs" and began to spread the doctrine south of the U.S. border, the government of the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro decided to shift away from that approach towards a strategy focused on community policing. The new focus has already produced results in some of the city’s favelas or shanty towns, which were long off-limits to outsiders, including police. The process began in 2009 with the installation of "Police Pacification Units" (UPPs) in the favelas.

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    Taller de expertos en reducción de daños en relación con la oferta

    20 May 2011 - Event

    La Oficina en Washington para Asuntos Latinoamericanos (WOLA) y el Transnational Institute (TNI) invitó a un grupo de 20 expertos a participar en una mesa redonda en la oficina de WOLA en Washington. El tema principal de la mesa fue: ¿Puede el concepto de "reducción del daño" aplicarse a los problemas relacionados con la oferta con el fin de abordar mejor los daños asociados con la producción de drogas ilícitas y su distribución, así como para reducir al mínimo los daños que se derivan de la fiscalización de drogas propiamente dicha?

  17. Police occupation hurts improved relations with favelas

    30 November 2010
    Other news

    Reports of human rights abuses committed during the police and military occupation of several favelas in this Brazilian city are jeopardising local residents’ newfound support for the security forces and posing challenges within the police. "I have never felt so humiliated," a local woman who takes in people’s laundry for a living told IPS. Asking to be identified merely as "D", she talked about what happened during the massive joint police and armed forces incursion in the Complexo do Alemão, a series of favelas or shantytowns on the north side of Rio de Janeiro.

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    Para socióloga, Rio tem UPPs, mas não política de segurança

    25 November 2010
    Other news

    julita-lemgruberA socióloga e ex-diretora do Sistema Penitenciário Julita Lemgruber, que está lançando o livro "A Dona das Chaves - Uma mulher no comando das prisões do Rio", afirma que "legislar sob pânico" não é adequado para momentos de crise ("não é o tamanho da pena que reduz a criminalidade, mas a certeza da punição") e diz que o Rio tem política de UPPs (Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora), mas não política de segurança ('a polícia do Rio soluciona 8% dos homicídios contra 60% de São Paulo na capital').

  19. Militias in Rio de Janeiro

    Tom Blickman
    05 November 2010
    Article

    Last month the film Tropa de Elite 2 (Elite Squad 2) was released in Brazil. It is a sequel to the very successful 2007 film Elite Squad, a semi-fictional account of the BOPE – special heavily armed police units that invade the slums in Rio de Janeiro going after the drug trafficking gangs. In the new sequel the BOPE have a new enemy: paramilitary groups known as 'milícias' in stead of the usual suspects, the drug gangs of Rio.

  20. Saturation policing criminalises poverty, activists say

    02 June 2010
    Other news

    The policy of a saturation police presence in the favelas or shantytowns that are home to around 20 percent of the population of Rio de Jnaeiro is merely a means of criminalising poverty, because it does nothing to address the underlying question of social exclusion, which drives the violence, human rights groups complain. A year and a half ago, State Governor Sergio Cabral began to send Pacification Police Units (UPPs), made up of members of the military police, into the slums to wrest control from drug gangs. The UPPs "are just one more way to exercise control over the poor," said Patricia Oliveira, a member of the Community Network Against Violence.

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