English translation of article, “UPPs provocam aumento de prisões e denuncias fora do Rio.” From R7, published June 21, 2011.
UPPs Provoke Increase in Arrests and Denunciations Outside of Rio
In two years, arrests rose 125% in Duque de Caxias and 80% in São Gonçalo.
With the installation of 17 UPPs (Police Pacification Units) in the city of Rio de Janeiro, traffickers migrated to the metropolitan region and interior of Rio de Janeiro. R7 discovered, based in data from ISP (Public Security Institute), organ of the Public Security Secretary, and from Disque-Denúncia [anonymous tip hotline] show that the reflex to this movement is the rise in the number of arrests throughout the areas surrounding the capital in the last two years.
Meanwhile, in the city of Rio, the number of arrests increased 35% in the first three months of this year in relation to the same period in 2009 (pre-UPP period), the total number of detentions in Duque de Caxias, in the Baixada Fluminense, increased 125%, from 168 to 379. In São João de Meriti, in the baixada, arrests increased 117% (from 41 to 89); in São Gonçalo, the increase was 80%; in Niterói, 52%—both in the metropolitan region—and, in Nova Iguaçu in the baixada, 22%.
The report from R7 took into consideration the period of January, February and March 2009, because, at that point only two of the 17 UPPs had been installed in the capital. During the same period in 2011, 16 UPPs had been installed.
What one takes into consideration the quantity of information received by Disque-Denúncia, the criminal migration becomes even more evident. While in the capital, denunciations increased 15% during the period of analysis, in São Gonçalo, for example, the increase was 70%, from 1,660 to 2,831.
In the neighboring city of Itaboraí, denunciations increased 74% from 192 to 335. There has also been an increase in the transfer of information about crimes in Niterói (54%), Maricá (53%), Duque de Caxias (26%, Nova Iguaçu (12%), São João de Meriti (20%), Belford Roxo (18%), and Macaé (63%).
Four of the cities that had high indexes of arrests and denunciations—Duque de Caxias, Niterói, São Gonçalo, and Itaboraí—have many favelas dominated by the largest criminal faction in Rio, Who lost territory in 12 of the 17 UPPs already installed.
Post UPP: The Traffic’s Adaptation
Professor at the Institute of Political Sciences at Cândido Mendes University, and ex-captain of BOPE, Paulo Storani, said that to deny the migration of criminals as a result of the UPPs would be to “deny the obvious.”
“The migration is something natural. If a criminal loses space and doesn’t want to leave crime, He needs to procure another place to act. The reduction in crime in pacified communities is a positive effect, but whoever planned the UPPs certainly didn’t expect this migration. So, since the traffic adapted, the police need to adapt.”
For Storani, the increase in arrests and denunciations in the researched regions is owed to the vulnerability of the criminals outside of their turf.
“When a criminal goes to another region, he is easily recognized by the people who live in these locations. He acts in a different manner and becomes very vulnerable. The people estrange themselves and denounce him, proving Disque-Denúncia to be an important people in combating crime.
Ex-chief of the Civil Police, State Congressman Zaqueu Teixeira (PT) believes that, even though it’s successful, the UPP policy needs adjustments. For him, the increase in crimes in the regions where traffickers have migrated is a question of time.
“The implantation of the UPPs has not been accompanied by arrests, whether they be traffic leaders or not. It is necessary to use a certain tactic before the occupation of these territories, beyond intelligence work, with information and interceptions to monitor and apprehend people. The increase in arrests has a direct relation to this migration. The indexes of crime still have not increased in these locations, because it takes time for these criminals to establish themselves
The Public Security Secretary said “he is following the displacement of fugitives from areas occupied by UPPs and that there is not sufficient information to prove the migration of criminals from pacified areas to a specific place in the state.” He added, “The increase in the number of arrests is a result of an increase in police activity.”
According to the secretary, more than 200 traffickers from Complexo do Alemão were arrested in other regions since the occupation last November. “We have identified that they did not flee en masse for one place, but are distributed for a few regions where their gang still maintains control. They do not organize to take over an area and act there, but are demoted and Begin to integrate into the structure that already existed in other community where drug trafficking still dominates.”
Recently, in a public audience at Alerj (the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro), Secretary José Mariano Beltrame admitted that the gang leaders migrate because they still enjoy a high standing in the group, but affirmed that the majority of the people connected to the traffic remain in the pacified communities.