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Despite 94 Deaths and 100 Buses Burned Brazil Is Not in Civil War

Gunther Rudzit, who has a Ph.D. in political science and has worked at Brazil’s Ministry of Defense, says that the present wave of attacks by criminal elements in the state of São Paulo cannot be called a "civil war."

Even though there have now been 94 deaths since Friday night (May 12), and public transportation, banks and police stations continue to be attacked (close to 100 buses were burned down), Rudzit says "A civil war is when a large part of the population participates in an uprising against the government. That is not what is happening in São Paulo. What we have here is a public security problem."

Rudzit goes on to say that the violence should not last very long. "These are criminals who have their economic base in drug traffic. The present level of violence is very bad for business."

Asked about the need for federal assistance in dealing with the problem, Rudzit says it is not certain that federal forces would make a difference because São Paulo has a police force of 100,000 men. "But this is something that could be exploited politically," he said.

In conclusion, Rudzit pointed out that the criminal group, First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital) (PCC), which is being blamed for the attacks may not be behind all the violence. Authorities have not confirmed that the PCC is leading the attacks.

ABr

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  • Show Comments (5)

  • Ana Kissed

    Political or Criminal?
    Having lived in Sao Paulo and thinking of moving back next year, I’m interested to know if this is just criminal or are the PCC also political?

    It doesn’t matter where you are in the world if the “State” treats its people like animals and uses violence towards its people they will eventually fight back.

    Is this really just Gang violence, I ask that simple question as many of the youth I know from the Favelas have felt they are under attack and victims of daily violence from the forces of the state.

  • Guest

    an outsiders view
    I have been to Sao Paulo countless times. I will continue to go back at least twice a year.
    What shook me, was the massive scale of this uprising and blatant show of force by the criminal underground.
    I think the point about the haves and the have nots is good. Where is the true working middle class.
    It seems to jump from the depths of poverty to an educated upper class to the rich. But no real working middle class. Am I right in that assumption?

  • Guest

    Antonia
    Yesterday, I was feeling insecure and scared. There were no buses to get back home and it was very hard for all of us to face all this crimianl wave. We are still scared. Where is the security? We are taxpayers, we are citizens, where is the government?

  • Guest

    Help the Poor
    So long as something is not done to alleviate the situation of the poor who dwell in Favelas, Brazillians must brace for more violence. This is not a crime issue, it is a civil rights issue.

  • Guest

    Good point
    As one who lives here in Sao Paulo, I can attest that nobody here feels that there is a civil war. We look forward to a restoration of normal life, but it is clear that a criminal element is leading this, not the general citizenry of the city.

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