Colonel Mário Sérgio Duarte and Federal Deputy Benedita da Silva at Rio Para Todos debate. Photo credit: Rio Para Todos.
Last Thursday, May 31st, Military Police Commander Mário Sérgio Duarte participated in a debate hosted by Rio Para Todos alongside former governor and current Federal Deputy Benedita da Silva and filmmaker Rodrigo Felha. The debate’s open-ended theme “Favela or Community? Inequalities and Opportunities” generated lively discussions of favela urbanization, the changing perception of favelas in the media, and the failures and successes of the UPP program.
Col. Duarte, who resigned last September after a Military Police battalion commander was implicated in the murder of Judge Patrícia Acioli, fielded questions on all aspects of UPP policy, from the desperate need for more policing in Nova Iguaçu to the lack of recreation facilities for young people in pacified communities. He was careful to emphasize the difference between UPP and UPP Social, though he acknowledged the importance of both: “The police are no longer so naive as to think that their presence in the community is enough; it must be accompanied by social programs.”
At one point, Col. Duarte admitted that the police invaded the Complexo do Alemão before they were fully prepared, and were forced to lean heavily on the Army. The invasion was made possible by reinforcements sent from other states, and the Army remained in the area much longer than expected. Duarte stated that pacification must take place during a “window of opportunity”, and that the police seized such an opportunity in Alemão.
The UPP program’s dependence on the Army to secure the favelas in the North Zone drew closer to an end last week, as the Pacification Force in the Complexo da Penha ceded control of the area to BOPE and the Shock Battalion. Military Police officers replaced soldiers in the communities Morro da Fé, Chatuba, Caixa d’Água and Morro do Sereno. Vila Cruzeiro, the largest community in Penha, will remain under Army control until the second stage of the police operation.
Posted in News, Rio de Janeiro, UPP
Tagged Batalhão do Choque, BOPE, Colonel Mário Sérgio Duarte, Comando Vermelho, Complexo da Maré, Complexo da Penha, Complexo do Alemão, Força de Pacificação, Polícia Militar, Rocinha
View of Rio's North Zone
Security Secretary José Mariano Beltrame faced a series of situations in 2011 that shook public confidence in law enforcement: Numerous instances of police corruption came to light. Judge Patrícia Acioli was murdered at the order of a Military Police officer; this revelation led to the resignation of the PM commander. The Military Police’s elite force, BOPE, has been accused of human rights violations. The past year will also be remembered for Beltrame’s successes, most notably the peaceful invasion of Rocinha. Five UPPs were installed, two of them in the large favelas of São Carlos and Mangueira. Three of Rio’s most wanted drug traffickers, Polegar, Marcelinho Niterói, and Nem da Rocinha, were arrested or killed.
Security Secretary Beltrame
In the following interview, Beltrame discusses anti-corruption strategies, pacifying Rio’s North Zone, and gambling rings.
Translation of article “‘A Zone Norte é a bola da vez: Jacarezinho, Maré, e Manguinhos’, diz Beltrame.” Published by O Dia on December 24, 2011.
O Dia - How was 2011, secretary? It started poorly and ended well, with the occupation of Rocinha.
Beltrame - I am very skeptical of victories. I always believe that things are better than they were, but what comes next is what matters.
Posted in Crime, Interview, José Mariano Beltrame, Rio de Janeiro, UPP
Tagged BOPE, Colonel Mário Sérgio Duarte, Complexo da Maré, Jacarezinho, jogo do bicho, José Mariano Beltrame, Manguinhos, Patricia Acioli, police corruption, Polícia Civil, Polícia Federal, Polícia Militar, Rocinha, Santa Teresa, UPP
Shock Battalion vehicle at entrance to Morro do Fogueteiro, photo credit: O Globo
Translation of article “Batalhão de Choque e Bope vão ficar por tempo indeterminado em três favelas de Santa Teresa; comandante e PMs de unidade são afastados.” From O Globo, published September 11, 2011.
RIO – For the first time, Rio’s Military Police (PMERJ) are intervening in an already pacified favela by indefinitely installing units from the Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE) and Shock Battalion–which will remain in the communities for an indeterminate length of time–and by removing the commander, deputy, and several officers of a Police Pacification Unit (UPP). The target of these measures is the UPP Coroa, Fallet, and Fogueteiro, inaugurated just six months ago in Santa Teresa. The changes were announced on Sunday by the commander of the Military Police, Colonel Mário Sérgio Duarte, and by the chief of the Pacification Police Command, Col. Robson Rodrigues. The PM avoided using the word “intervention,” and affirmed that the actions are “adjustments” and do not represent a setback for the pacification project. The UPP’s commander and deputy commander, Captain Elton Costa and Lieutenant Rafael Medeiros, are under investigation.
Commander of the Eastern Military Command, Gen. Adriano Pereira Júnior, and state Security Secretary José Mariano Beltrame at a news conference on Wednesday, photo credit: O Globo
Translation of article “Secretário admite que traficantes voltaram ao Alemão, onde military acharam bomba não detonada.” From O Globo, published September 7, 2011.
Secretary Admits that Traffickers Have Returned to Alemão, Where the Military Found an Unexploded Bomb
RIO – After the third night of clashes between Army soldiers and drug traffickers in Complexo do Alemão, the region had its security reinforced on Wednesday. With over one hundred men, the Military Police decided to indefinitely occupy two neighboring hills—Baiana and Adeus. And this afternoon, Army soldiers will execute a large operation at the access points to the Complexo in two Urutu armored vehicles.
At a news conference, the state Security Secretary, José Mariano Beltrame, confirmed that traffickers entered Alemão last night. Beltrame would not reveal the number of bandits or where they came from, though he says that the Secretariat’s intelligence division has this information.
Posted in Crime, News, Rio de Janeiro
Tagged Colonel Mário Sérgio Duarte, Complexo da Penha, Complexo do Alemão, Fuzileiros Navais, General Adriano Pereira Junior, José Mariano Beltrame, Marcelo Freixo, Pacification Force, shoot-out