Brazilian Police 13 Times More Likely to Be Killed than a Common Citizen

The president of the Rio de Janeiro Association of Military Police, Mequisedec Nascimento, plans to ask the Organization of American States (OAS) to issue a citation to the Brazilian government on the deaths of military policemen.

He will base his request on a Fiocruz study showing that the mortality rate among the Rio Military Police, which has more than 40 thousand members, is 13 times greater than that of the Brazilian population in general and 7 times greater than that of the residents of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

The Association hopes that, through this measure, the OAS will induce Brazil to take steps to reduce the mortality rate among members of the Military Police.

On the other hand the Brazilian police is often criticized for its violence. One of the main criticisms of Brazil appearing in the Amnesty International Report 2006 has to do with abuses, such as torture, mistreatment, and assassination, committed by the Brazilian police.

According to Amnesty, Federal and state police officers were involved in criminal and corrupt activities, as well as in murders committed by the so-called "death squad," which the international human rights organization says includes both active and retired police officers.

According to the report, records show that the police killed nine thousand people between 1999 and 2004.

"The investigation of these homicides remains minimal," the text states. The document underscores the campaign against torture launched by the federal government in December. Nevertheless, Amnesty says that in 2005 it received information about torture in juvenile detention centers administered by the São Paulo State Youth Welfare Foundation (FEBEM).

The international human rights organization also emphasizes the awful conditions in prisons when it comes to sanitary facilities and the lack of medical services. These conditions favor the outbreak of riots and the high degree of violence among inmates.

ABr

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