20% of the 48,000 Brazilians Murdered Every Year Are Killed by the Police

Brazil police at Complexo do AlemΓ£o shantytown The police of Brazil are responsible for a significant proportion of the 48,000 murders committed every year in the country, a United Nations human rights expert said Monday, September 15, in a report heavily criticizing law enforcement in the South American country.

The report finds that on-duty police routinely resort to deadly violence and that a large number of off-duty police take part in death squads and other forms of organized crimes.

"In Rio de Janeiro, the police kill three people everyday," said Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

"They are responsible for one out of every five killings," Mr. Alston added in a press statement announcing his report of a fact-finding mission last year in Brazil, where he met with Government officials, including police commanders and senior ministers, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and over 40 witnesses to human rights abuses.

Mr. Alston was especially critical of the "mega-operations" strategy involving hundreds of police assaulting gang-controlled neighborhoods, which is increasingly popular in Rio de Janeiro.

"Local officials claim that these impressive sounding mega-operations are protecting residents from drug gangs, but the operations have hurt ordinary people far more than they have hurt the drug gangs," Mr. Alston said.

A June 2007 operation in the impoverished Complexo do AlemΓ£o favela, near Rio de Janeiro, involved over 1,450 police and killed 19 people, but only resulted in the capture of two machine guns, six handguns, one sub-machine gun and 300 kilograms of drugs. Independent experts concluded that a number of the dead had most likely been summarily executed.

Mr. Alston reported that there has been little public outcry at police violence in Brazil because of widespread skepticism over normal law enforcement measures used to combat drug gangs.

"A remarkable number of police lead double lives," said Mr. Alston, "While on duty, they fight the drug gangs, but on their days off, they work as foot soldiers of organized crime."

Some 70% of homicides in the northeastern state of Pernambuco are committed by death squads, many of which are comprised of either current or former police officers. The squads are typically contracted to murder business, political or personal rivals to drug gangs and to suppress indigenous and land-worker activism, according to the report.

Although Mr. Alston praised Pernambuco's new governor's efforts to rid the region's death squads, he concluded that the hundreds of people arrested so far only "represent the tip of the iceberg."

The most significant of the many factors leading to police participation in organized crime and in unlawful killings is the low conviction rate even in regular murder cases. In SΓ£o Paulo, only about 10% of homicides are tried in the courts and only half of those result in convictions, according to the report.

"Clearly, the institutions for holding police accountable are broke, but they are not beyond repair," said Mr. Alston.

"My hope is that the detailed recommendations in my report will provide a starting point for undertaking the necessary reforms."


  • Show Comments (5)

  • forrest allen brown

    yes have even seen there handy work i to citys in brazil .

    but when children are just dumped on the streets like wild dogs to
    fend for themselves by any means and i do mean any .
    from open street begging , selling of drugs , stealing , robing ,
    underage prostition, by booth sexes , and i most cases working for the police
    or another brazilian thats takes there money .
    being killed by cars as they run across the roads ,
    diying of SIDS.
    beat to death by others
    or even being beat by resturant owners when they beg for food .
    not much of a life if you can call it that .

    but in brazi there is no punshment for thoes who just dump
    there unwanted children on the roads
    and public that does not care.
    women will open there legs in brazil for fun , food , money , love .
    why not there harts to there kids .
    men i brazil like to brag how many kids they have by so many women .
    but they are just sperm donors not men .
    the men i know are RESPONSABLE FOR THERE ACTIONS

    so yes they are better off dead than living a life like that

  • CH.C.

    If you dont like how the police are dealing with this invidious cancer than do more than rant. I have to laugh at you,
    Dear junkie AES,
    Why dont you first re-read your own “smart” comments on many threads ?
    Let me thus return FIRST your question !!!!!!

    Ohhhhh…by the the way…are you not the junkie who pretended YOU sold GOLD at $ 820 or so when the price NEVER EVER
    came close to to that “virtual” price that was in your imagination…but wrong ????
    You cheated by around $ 100.-
    How could you have sold Gold at $ 820.- when its previous 12 months peak was at the $ 740.- level ?????
    Yesss it reached the $ 820.- level but nearly 20 years…EARLIER !!!!
    Cant you read accurately a chart, when you want to lie and cheat ?

    Funny that you had quit the forum for many months.
    IN JAIL ? And now…free again !!!!

    You are great AES ! A great IDIOT !

    Keep laughing as much as I do…about YOUUUUUUUU !!!!!!

    πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰

  • AES

    Ch.c you should join the police, the federal police, with your critical wit you should have everbody whipped into typical Vatican Swiss Guards. If you dont like how the police are dealing with this invidious cancer than do more than rant. I have to laugh at you, with justice being what it is in Brazil, than there are other forms of law and order. Its easy to use words like murder kill, only found a machine gun and pistols. . .support the police, the army, the federal police, they are the only thing standing between you and those that would eat your liver, between order and anarchy. The police need to get better at what they do, they need better intelligence, better salaries. . .who is going to stand for you Ch.c, certainly not yourself, do you hunt moose, do you carry a weapon, do you own a weapon. . .if you want great police move to San Jose California, starting salary for a police officer is $60,000 and you need a college degree. . .if you want a tough police force go to L.A. or N.Y. I think you are a romantic and think being a murdering drug desperado is somehow more noble than soldiers fighting a war. You might not how they are fighting the war, but you are able to sleep in your warm bed at night because they are standing watch in harms way. Odd there is no death penalty in Brazil, there is so much of it, well the statistics say 48,000 murders, there are lies, lies and then statistics. Who says the statistics have anything to do reality. . .who says they are statistics, did you see the bodies, then your opinion is not experiential. It is something you read in the rabid media. . .fear mongering people like yourself.

  • CH.C.

    Forrest…wait a second !!!!
    Have you never heard of the death squads ? They are mostly cops not on duty…who also kill INNOCENT CHILDREN !!!

    “”A remarkable number of police lead double lives,” said Mr. Alston, “While on duty, they fight the drug gangs, but on their days off, they work as foot soldiers of organized crime.”

    “Alston praised Pernambuco’s new governor’s efforts to rid the region’s death squads, he concluded that the hundreds of people arrested so far only “represent the tip of the iceberg.”

    But let me laugh on : “”My hope is that the detailed recommendations in my report will provide a starting point for undertaking the necessary reforms.” …as if NO ONE BEFORE HIM KNEW WHAT HAPPENS !!!!

    And feel free to translate the following that was included in the report, but was “omitted” to be re-produced in the above article :
    “Dans l’Etat de Pernambuco, dans le nord-est du BrΓ€Ζ’Β©sil, environ 70% de tous les homicides sont commis par des escadrons de la mort, composΓ€Ζ’Β©s souvent d’anciens policiers, soucieux d’arrondir leurs fins de mois.”

    BRAZIL IS A SHAME TO HUMANITY, A HUMAN TRAGEDY that Robin The Crook and his gang are responsible…to do very very little. So that the various corrupted to the roots administrations, politicians, bureaucracy with red tape at all levels, cops, army, state controlled or owned companies can better reign !

    Straight translation of….TO REIGN BETTER, DIVIDE YOUR PEOPLE !!!!!

    And like the Romans said….to keep your people satisifed, provide them with a loaf of bred, and fights in arenas !
    Well in Brazil they provide a loaf of bred and…. futbol !

  • forrest allen brown

    but did they need killing ???????
    i have met many of brazilians that need killing ,
    there are tons of them in the US also .

    how many cops are killed in brazil while on duty ????
    how many women

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