Only Cooperation Will Solve Security Crisis in Brazil, Says Justice Minister

The Brazilian Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, affirmed yesterday, May 18, that the security crisis that has taken hold of Brazil in the past week does not constitute a widely diffused phenomenon that government authorities seem impotent to handle.

"We are witnessing the end of an institutional cycle," the minister declared.

According to Bastos, "the country must reorganize all its republican institutions, specifically those institutions in charge of security and social control."

He pointed out that, when it took office in 2003, the current Administration presented a plan to ensure public safety and combat violence. The plan, which was drafted by the Citizenship Institute, is being implemented with adaptations to the reality of the country and course corrections.

The minister says that the objective is to build a unified Brazilian public safety system, directed and managed in an integrated manner in every state, with partnership and collaboration.

Bastos also informed that at the end of this year the Ministry of Justice will sponsor the 4th Strategy to Combat Money-Laundering. This is an annual meeting involving 30 federal government agencies, as well as municipal and state organs, to outline goals for the future. This year, too, the government will inaugurate four prisons, and another one is expected to start functioning early next year.

Bastos also said this morning (May 19) that public safety issues must be discussed objectively and that the debate cannot be transformed into an "electoral war" or "political dispute."

He participated in a seminar on judicial reform at the University of São Paulo (USP) Law School.

"What reduces crime is not the length of the sentence but the certainty of punishment. We are experiencing a crisis of violence, which is another reason that judicial reform is essential," he declared.

Agência Brasil

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