The Decaying of Brazil

Discussion in 'Politics' started by version77, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Has anyone noticed or even cared how bad the crime in Brazil is getting?

    I don't even think foreigners visit there anymore it has gotten so bad!...:eek:
  2. 2006-07-05 11:11:48 Xinhua

    Brazilian police said that they found eight dead bodies, all of them partially or completely naked, in two trucks in Brazil's southeastern city of Rio on Tuesday morning.

    The dead were allegedly killed in a drug-related crime. Of them, only two could be identified with documents: Alexsander de Jesus, 19, and William Santos, 22, both residents of the slum Morro de Sao Carlos in downtown Rio.

    They were suspected to have involved with the drug trafficking activities and had not been seen since Sunday when they left home to hide in another slum, Morro dos Macacos.

    Drug lord gangs, who traditionally use these impoverished neighborhoods as centers for drug distribution, began a fight in Rio a week ago to control some of the city's slums, also known as favelas, killing six others.

    In a separate move, police found two other unidentified bodies in Canal do Mangue, a canal dividing downtown Presidente Vargas Avenue, one of the city's most important avenues.

    Medical examiners were examining the bodies on the spot to determine whether they were the result of the drug-related war.
  3. Jeez Wally, how is the Prison system doing in Brazil? This article
    below is from 1998. You can bet your mother's arse it has only
    gotten worse...

    Violence and Abuse Endemic in Brazil's Prison System

    (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, December 15, 1998 ) -- Beatings, torture and even summary executions are commonplace in the Brazilian penal system, according to a Human Rights Watch report released today.

    The 150-page report, Behind Bars in Brazil, says that severe overcrowding and institutionalized violence are chronic and widespread in Brazilian prisons and police stations.

    "The prison guards and police officers who torture and murder have to be brought to justice,"said Joanne Mariner, Associate Counsel of Human Rights Watch and the author of the report. "The Brazilian Government has let this problem fester for too long."

    Among the most severe instances of abuse documented by Human Rights Watch researchers were several police-led killings: a massacre of eight prisoners in the Roger prison in Paraíba in July 1997, the killing of eight inmates (including at least two summary executions) in the aftermath of a prison riot on December 24 and 25, 1997, near Fortaleza, Ceará, and the suspect shooting of seven escapees (six riddled with dozens of bullets fired from behind, the seventh executed with a single shot fired at point-blank range) from the João Chaves Penitentiary in Natal in February 1998. None of these incidents has resulted in the conviction of any of the police officers involved.

    The report examines the chronic overcrowding that plagues Brazil's penitentiaries--often filled to twice their capacity--and the use of police lockups as makeshift prisons. "Some of these lock-ups are holding several times as many people as they were designed to hold," said Mariner. "That's a serious human rights abuse, and a violation of Brazil's international obligations." These lockups, designed as places of short-term detention for newly arrested criminal suspects or those transferred for court appearances, hold inmates for long periods, even years in many Brazilian states.

    The long-term detention of prisoners in police lockups aggravates the serious problem of police torture. The Human Rights Watch report recounts interviews with scores of prisoners who credibly described being tortured in police precincts. Inmates were typically stripped naked, hung from a "parrot's perch," and subjected to beatings, electrical shocks, and near-drownings. Many detainees remained for long periods in the precincts where they suffered the abuse, enduring continuing contact with their torturers. In both prisons and lockups, official violence is common. "We found very serious kinds of violence were common: beatings with sticks or metal bars and forcing prisoners to run naked through gauntlets where they're kicked and whipped, said Mariner. The idea is evidently to humiliate these prisoners in order to control them," said Mariner.

    Human Rights Watch also encountered rampant prisoner on prisoner violence, which is often left unchecked or even encouraged by prison authorities and staff throughout Brazil. In the most dangerous prisons and lock-ups, powerful inmates kill others with impunity, while even in relatively secure detention facilities extortion and lesser forms of mistreatment are common. A number of factors combine to cause such abuses, among them, the prisons' harsh conditions, lack of effective supervision, abundance of weapons, lack of leisure activities, and, perhaps most importantly, the lack of inmate classification.

    Indeed, violent recidivists and persons held for first-time petty offenses often share the same cell in Brazil. The Dr. João Chaves Penitentiary, in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte--where ten prisoners were killed between March 1997 and February 1998--presents a particularly chilling example of this problem. Another gruesome episode was the May 1998 gang clash at the Professor Barreto Campelo Prison, in Pernambuco, which left at least twenty-two inmates dead.

    The report also brings to light the lack of health care in the lock-ups, jails and prisons. In most facilities, qualified medical staff are few and medicines are difficult to obtain. The situation is particularly bad in police lockups, where severely ill and even dying prisoners may remain crowded together with other inmates. Potentially lethal diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS have reached epidemic levels among Brazilian inmates. Given prisoners' many connections to the community outside the prisons, and their eventual return to this community, the unchecked spread of disease among inmates represents a serious public health risk.

    Human Rights Watch called upon Brazilian policy-makers to implement a number of reforms to address the urgent and systemic problems with the penal system. Among the recommendations are the following:

    End the impunity which protects prison guards and police who torture and murder, through the implementation of more aggressive investigation and prosecution, greater independence for the coroner's office and ballistics experts, and the use of professional, highly trained, civilian prison guards.

    Police lock-ups must not be used as substitutes for prisons. Inmates should be transferred out of police hands into public jails under the authority of state justice secretariats within no more than a few days of their arrest.

    Overcrowding should be reduced through the increased use of alternatives to prison time for lesser offenses, and the creation of lower security institutions for non-violent offenders.

    Dangerous and violent inmates must be separated from their less-dangerous counterparts to reduce the incidence of prisoner on prisoner violence.

    While recognizing that some steps have been taken to address the issue of overcrowding, the report questions the feasibility of the current governmental effort to address the failings of the system primarily through the construction of new prisons. "Plans to build more facilities, apparently the main focus of the current reform effort, will not alone resolve the chronic ills of the prison system, such as the appalling problem of custodial violence," said José Miguel Vivanco, executive director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch. "Current prison construction will almost certainly fail to alleviate even overcrowding, given the continuous growth of the inmate population" Vivanco added.

    In response to widespread reports of official violence, and in light of the enormity of the Brazilian penal system, Human Rights Watch conducted its most exhaustive prisons investigation in any country. Researchers visited some forty prisons, jails, and police lockups from September 1997 through March 1998, in the states of Amazonas, Ceará, Minas Gerais, Paraíba, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, Sao Paulo, and in Brasília, interviewing hundreds of prisoners, prison authorities, prison staff, judges, lawyers, prosecutors, legislators, academics, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations.

    For Further Information:
    In New York: Carroll Bogert or Joanne Mariner (1-212) 216-1218
    In Washington D.C.: José Miguel Vivanco (1-202) 371-6592, x. 145
    In Rio de Janeiro: James Cavallaro (55-21) 549-9174; (5521) 9987-6541
  4. This can't possibly be true! SA wouldn't criticize the US' treatment of prisoners if Brazil had much, much worse problems, would he? I
  5. Gosh Beev, I have heard that the violence in Brazil is really bad.

    Anyone who reads this article will be able to see just how the
    Brazilian way of life is getting worse and falling apart at the seams...
    Granted this article is from 2001, but you know it is getting worse...

    February 2001

    The violence contained in fictitious budgets, like those of so many
    of the social programs, is not normally reported in the media,
    but the effects are just as noxious as the practices of Nazi Germany.

    Hamilton Octavio de Souza

    Violence caused by elites, their governments, and their public policies devoid of basic rights, causing economic and social exclusion, has truly left Brazil in a state of dissolution. Some even say a state of war. Not a conventional war, formally declared with all sides neatly defined, organized armies, and politically and publicly defined objectives. But a brutal war, nonetheless, with just as many victims. The number of murders in the cities and countryside, the crimes committed by the police force, the deaths related to malnutrition, curable diseases, lack of medical attention and government neglect are too alarming for this country to be considered in a state of peace.

    Two reports recently released, one by the CPT (The Brazilian Catholic Church's Pastoral Land Commission) and the other by the University of São Paulo's Violence Research Center—both regarding violence in the country—alarming in themselves, only touch the surface of the reality with which we live. Besides these reports, another released by Representative Nilmario Miranda and the Human Rights Commission reveals yet another drama being played out in the country: in the last three years 2,500 people were murdered by so-called death squads.

    Brazil is the 10th largest economy in the world, but it has one of the poorest income distributions and is in 79th place in the UN's ranking of quality of life. On average a Brazilian is worse off than any of his/her neighbors in the Mercosul countries, and even worse off than those who live in Colombia, a country which has had armed conflict for 30 years.

    According to studies done by Fluminense Federal University in 1999, violence was the biggest factor which has reduced life expectancy in Brazil: on average, each Brazilian loses 2.71 years due exclusively to violence. This is not counting the violence camouflaged by political and economic structures that are directly responsible for the hunger and misery which causes so much death. Such violence and death is rarely attributed to governmental decisions and choices.


    Currently Brazil is third in the world in terms of absolute numbers unemployed. With nearly 8 million people without jobs, the country is third only to Russia and India in unemployment. Part of the responsibility for this kind of violence must be laid at the door of BNDES (the National Development Bank), which uses public monies for loans given to national and foreign companies even when such companies do not generate jobs. Various studies have already proven that in a country like Brazil where there is no system of social protection and where 40 million live below the poverty line, unemployment is a major cause for unequal distribution of wealth, benefits and social services.

    Such disparities grew rapidly in the 90's after the elites of the country bought into programs of neoliberalism and globalization as promulgated by rich nations. Such programs have brought on dependency and controversy around payment of external debt. In short, they have caused more and more violence. The distance between the minority rich and majority poor, in terms of opportunities and possessions, is so great that when the two meet there is generally conflict if for no other reason than lack of a language for effective communication.

    Further, the privatization of many public services, from education and health to public transportation, electricity and telephone services, has squeezed out a great part of the population further augmenting the distance between the rich and the poor. One can see evidence of this in the national scholastic exam: the average scores of the rich students are twice as high as those of students from poor families.


    In a report released by Unicef recently, Brazil ranked 105th in the world in infant mortality with 42 per 1,000 live births. The principal cause is lack of basic sanitation for more than 30 percent of the Brazilian urban population. In rural areas, the situation is worse. Further, INESC (the Institute of Socio-Economic Studies) revealed that only 6.19 percent of the $358 million in the government's budget for sanitation was released that year.

    The violence contained in fictitious budgets, like those of so many of the social programs, is not normally reported in the media, but the effects are just as noxious as the genocide in Bosnia, Cambodia or the practices of Nazi Germany. How many adults or children died or had their health permanently damaged in the dry Northeast during the drought of 1999 after the federal government stopped distributing food and delayed payment to workers for more than five months?

    In an interview with Adunicamp, journalist Aloysious Biondi commented "It is the first time that I've seen a government that has the audacity to swindle drought victims out of money." This violence, deliberate and calculated, certainly is not counted on the list of other violations committed by the state. Nonetheless, it exists and is practiced every day. Just as the police use a revolver to repress people searching for food or occupying land and abandoned buildings, so a golden pen somewhere is being used to sign documents which bring on just as much violence.


    In the capital of São Paulo this month, two million youths had to stop their studies because of lack of money. These same youths were not able to find jobs. Without an occupation or hopes of one, they usually become entrenched in urban violence fed by organized crime, contraband and drug trafficking. Statistics from the São Paulo police department show that 51 percent of victims of police violence were between 18 and 25 years old. Eleven percent were younger than 18, the age group that should be in school.

    According to official statistics, in November of last year, the metropolitan area of São Paulo had an all time record of homicides, with 505, an average of 16.8 deaths per day. From January to December of last year another record was broken: the number of people shot and killed by São Paulo police at 593 deaths.

    Already in January of this year there have been 10 shootouts with a total of 38 deaths. This type of crime has been increasing in the main capitals of the country and usually happen among gangs and vigilante groups, the latter of whom are generally made up of off-duty police officers and paid by businesses.

    The police force, which ought to be looking out for the good of society, has served to protect properties, owners, to defend privileges, and to control low-income populations. In fact the major battles that have occurred in São Paulo and other urban centers have been between the police and street vendors, tax drivers without permits, the homeless, and other such groups who are struggling to eke out an existence.

    In the countryside conflicts related to the struggle for land continue to increase, demonstrating that the current government is not effectively handling agrarian reform. It seems that agrarian reform only happens when there are illegal occupations of land.

    All of these facts suggest that if the state, institutions and organized sectors of society do not immediately create bridges between the rich and the poor, policies of income distribution, investments in public services, and plans to promote social solidarity, then it will become more and more difficult to create a climate of peace for the next generations.

    This article was originally published in Revista Sem Terra
  6. SA is the biggest hypocrite the world has ever seen... LOL...:p
  7. This is from May 17, 2006

    Brazil Crime Group Once Again Bares Claws

    Brazil Crime Group Unleashes Unprecedented Crime Wave That's Left Dozens of People Dead


    SAO PAULO, Brazil May 17, 2006 (AP)— Less than a year ago, a top Sao Paulo law enforcement officer boasted that police had all but destroyed one of Brazil's most notorious crime groups.

    "The PCC's days are numbered," Godofredo Bittencourt, head of the Sao Paulo police's organized crime unit, said in July after announcing the arrest of 11 members of the group widely known by those initials.

    But this week, the PCC proved him deadly wrong, unleashing an unprecedented crime wave that has left scores dead, among them 40 police officers.

    Scattered violence broke out again around Brazil's largest city early Wednesday, with reports that police killed at least seven more suspected criminals in addition to the 133 people already slain in violence that began Friday night.

    Officials did not immediately confirm the new deaths.

    From inside Sao Paulo state penitentiaries, the PCC used cell phones to order its "soldiers" to attack bars, banks and police stations with machine guns, grenades and molotov cocktails and set buses on fire. The gang also orchestrated uprisings in more than 70 prisons across the state.

    The violence came in response to the transfer of eight imprisoned PCC leaders to a high security facility in an attempt to sever their ties to gang members on the outside. But the attacks were also the PCC's way of "baring its claws to intimidate authorities and society," said Guaracy Mingardi, a former Sao Paulo police inspector and current U.N. adviser on crime.

    "Using guerrilla tactics, the PCC periodically strikes out to let everyone know they are alive and well and that they are still a force to be reckoned with," he said.

    The PCC was founded in 1993 by hardened criminals at the Taubate Penitentiary in Sao Paulo but remained a relatively obscure group until February 2001, when a wave of rebellions at 29 prisons across the state left 19 inmates dead.

    At the time, it was the biggest prison uprising in Brazil's history and took police 27 hours to crush.

    Experts say that while the PCC and similar gangs were originally formed to pressure authorities to improve prison conditions, they quickly abandoned that objective and began using their power inside the state's prisons to direct drug dealing and extortion operations on the outside.

    The PCC used violence to rapidly dominate other prison gangs and became the most powerful organized crime group inside and outside Sao Paulo's prison system.

    "It won't be easy to dismantle the PCC because there is no central command to be destroyed," Mingardi said. "It is structured in such a way that if its top leadership is killed or completely isolated, someone else will take over."

    There are no official numbers on the size of the PCC, but Mingardi estimated its membership comprises some 10,000 people in and out of prison who are involved in drug and arms trafficking, bank holdups, kidnappings, extortion and killings.

    Petty criminals who are indebted to the PCC and those wanting to join the group are forced to take part in attacks against police targets like the ones that have taken place this week, Mingardi said.

    The PCC stages spectacular attacks to "intimidate society and demoralize authorities," said Walter Fanganiello Maierovitch, an expert on organized crime and Brazil's former drug czar.

    The purpose, he said, is to force authorities to negotiate with the group so it can obtain benefits like longer visiting hours, better food, conjugal visits and television sets that give it more power and prestige behind bars.

    This week's attacks against buses and banks show that the PCC, which normally aims its wrath against police, has now included civilians on its hit list, Maierovitch said. He fears this means the group will one day begin targeting such individuals as judges, journalists and politicians.

    Mingardi disagrees.

    "I think the PCC will think twice before going after civilians because it doesn't want to risk attracting the hatred of residents in the poverty stricken suburbs of Sao Paulo where they recruit their new members young boys and girls with no future ahead of them," he said.

    The PCC is an extremely dangerous group because its leadership is made up of young, violent criminals who are more intelligent than ordinary criminals, Maierovitch said.

    "Marcos Willians Herbas Camacho, the top leader of the PCC, is an extremely bright person," he said. "He has even read 'Dante's Inferno' so he knows very well how to turn our lives into a veritable hell."
  8. Brazil murder rate similar to war zone, data shows

    BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) - More than 150 Brazilians were murdered each day last year on average, putting Brazil on a par with some war zones in terms of its homicide rate, the Justice Ministry said on Monday.

    Some 55,000 Brazilians died of homicide in 2005 -- a few thousand more civilians than in three years of war in Iraq, according to leading estimates.

    Brazil, a continent-sized nation of 185 million people starkly divided into rich and poor, has had notoriously high crime rates for years. Millions of poor live in urban slums and unpoliced rural areas where guns are easy to come by. {more at url}
  9. Report of Crime in Brazil for the US State Dept

    CRIME: Crime throughout Brazil has reached very high levels. The Brazilian police and the Brazilian press report that the rate of crime continues to rise, especially in the major urban centers – though it is also spreading in rural areas. Brazil’s murder rate is four times higher than that of the U.S. Rates for other crimes are similarly high. The majority of crimes are not solved.

    Street crime remains a problem for visitors and local residents alike, especially in the evenings and late at night. Caution is advised with regard to nighttime travel through more rural areas and satellite cities due to reported incidents of roadside robberies that randomly target passing vehicles. Robbery and “quicknapping” outside of banks and ATM machines are common. In a “quicknapping,” criminals abduct victims for a short time in order to receive a quick payoff from the family, business or the victim’s ATM card.

    The incidence of crime against tourists is greater in areas surrounding beaches, hotels, discotheques, bars, nightclubs, and other similar establishments that cater to visitors. This type of crime is especially prevalent during Carnaval (Brazilian Mardi Gras). While the risk is greater at dusk and during the evening hours, street crime can occur both day and night, and even safer areas of cities are not immune. Incidents of theft on city buses are frequent and visitors should avoid such transportation. Several Brazilian cities have established specialized tourist police units to patrol areas frequented by tourists. In Rio de Janeiro, by jailed drug lords to exert influence over the city have led to a violent backlash against local authorities and businesses (see separate section on Rio de Janeiro).

    At airports, hotel lobbies, bus stations and other public places, incidents of pick pocketing, theft of hand carried luggage, and laptop computers are common. Travelers should "dress down" when outside and avoid carrying valuables or wearing jewelry or expensive watches. "Good Samaritan" scams are common. If a tourist looks lost or seems to be having trouble communicating, a seemingly innocent bystander offering help may victimize them. Care should be taken at and around banks and internationally connected automatic teller machines that take U.S. credit or debit cards. Very poor neighborhoods known as "favelas," such as those located on steep hillsides in Rio de Janeiro, are found throughout Brazil. These areas are sites of uncontrolled criminal activity and are often not patrolled by police. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid these unsafe areas. Carjacking is on the increase in Sao Paulo, Recife and other cities.

    While the ability of Brazilian police to help recover stolen property is limited, it is nevertheless strongly advised to obtain a "boletim de ocorrencia" (police report) at a "delegacia" (police station) whenever any possessions are lost or stolen. This will facilitate the traveler's exit from Brazil and insurance claims.

    BRASILIA: Once spared the crime rates of other Brazilian cities, Brasilia now has significant crime problems. Armed robberies of homes and vehicles (which are sometimes violent) and street crime are commonplace. Following the citywide trend of previous years, reports of residential burglaries continue to occur in the generally affluent residential sections of the city. Public transportation, hotel sectors and tourist areas are still the locations with the highest crime rates, though statistics show that incidents can happen anywhere and at anytime. A significant number of criminals now use lethal weapons in the course of carrying out their criminal activities and the level of gratuitous violence is on the increase. The majority of kidnappings in Brasilia continue to be the “quicknappings.”

    RIO DE JANEIRO: The city continues to experience a high incidence of crime. Tourists are particularly vulnerable to street thefts and robberies on and in areas adjacent to the main beaches in the city. Walking on the beaches is very dangerous at night. Efforts of incarcerated drug lords to exert their power outside of their jail cells have resulted in serious disruptions in the city, violence directed at the authorities and incidents of crimes against property, including, in 2003 , after-hours shootings and explosions set off outside hotels and restaurants frequented by tourists. While these occurrences have not resulted in any injuries to U.S. citizens, visitors and residents alike should be aware that inconveniences such as closed shops and disrupted municipal services are likely. In Rio de Janeiro City, motorists are allowed to treat stoplights as stop signs between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. to protect against holdups at intersections. All incidents should be reported to the tourist police, who can be reached at 3399-7170/71/72/73.

    SAO PAULO: While similar incidents may occur elsewhere, all areas of Sao Paulo have a high rate of armed robbery of pedestrians at stoplights. There is a particularly high incidence of robberies and pick pocketing in the Praca da Se section of Sao Paulo and in the eastern part of the city. As is true of "red light districts" in other cities, the areas of Sao Paulo on Rua Augusta north of Avenida Paulista and the Estacao de Luz metro area are especially dangerous. There are regular reports of young women slipping knockout drops in men's drinks and robbing them of all their belongings while they are unconscious. Armed holdups of pedestrians and motorists by young men on motorcycles (“motoboys”) are an increasingly common occurrence in some parts of Sao Paulo. Victims who resist risk being shot.
  10. Artie21


    Brasil is known as the superpower of tomorrow. And it always will be!:D
    #10     Sep 28, 2006