Bullet hole in the window of the UPP in Nova Brasília. Photo credit: Jornal do Brasil
On the night of Monday, July 23rd, residents of the Complexo do Alemão were alarmed to hear gunfire and an explosion near the Itararé gondola station. Police claim that twelve men armed with assault rifles attacked the Nova Brasília Police Pacification Unit (UPP); the subsequent firefight lasted forty minutes and left one resident wounded and one police officer dead. Fabiana Aparecida de Souza was shot while returning to the UPP after her break; a bullet pierced her bulletproof vest. She is the first UPP officer to be killed in the line of duty in a pacified favela.
Officer Fabiana Aparecida de Souza. Photo credit: Veja
On Tuesday the Special Police Operations Battalion and the Canine Unit patrolled Nova Brasília and the surrounding communities. Three suspects were arrested in connection with the attack, and a backpack containing drug paraphernalia and homemade grenade was confiscated.
Posted in Crime, José Mariano Beltrame, News, Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral, UPP
Tagged BOPE, Complexo do Alemão, Disque-Denúncia, Força de Pacificação, Ignacio Cano, José Mariano Beltrame, Polícia Militar, Sergio Cabral, UPP
Abandoned building on the grounds of São Sebastião hospital occupied by displaced families. Photo credit: O Globo
São Sebastião Institute of Infectious Diseases was inaugurated in 1889 by Dom Pedro II, the last emperor of Brazil, just a few days before the Empire dissolved. It was the only medical facility in the city specializing in contagious diseases, as well as the first in Brazil to separate patients with different diseases. In 2002 the hospital handled a dengue outbreak, treating thousands of patients without a single fatality. It was shut down in 2008, partly due to violent conflicts in the area, and the research institute was moved to a smaller site.
The hospital located in Caju, a neighborhood in Rio’s Port Zone best known for São Francisco Xavier cemetery, the largest in the city. Caju is a peninsula cut off from the mainland by two major freeways, Avenida Brasil and Linha Vermelha. Like the rest of the Port Zone, it has been neglected by the government and is fairly rundown. São Sebastião is near the favelas São Sebastião, Parque Alegria, Parque Ladeira dos Funcionários, and Chatuba, all allegedly controlled by Amigos dos Amigos, one of the largest gangs in Rio. As traffic-related violence increased in the early 2000s, patients and staff alike were frightened to enter the region. Continue reading
Posted in Crime, Investment, News, Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral
Tagged Amigos dos Amigos, BOPE, Caju, Favela evictions, Polícia Militar, Sergio Cabral, Zona Portuária
Protest in Copacabana, January 29, photo credit: Jornal do Brasil
Rio de Janeiro’s Military Police are threatening a general strike in response to working conditions and low salaries. The movement is driven largely by Police Pacification Unit (UPP) officers who allege that they work more than seventy hours per week. The city’s firefighters and Civil Police may strike as well. The strike will begin on February 10th, a week before Carnaval, unless the city meets their demands, which include a meeting with Governor Sérgio Cabral and a monthly minimum wage of R$3,500 (approximately 2,000 USD). Military police officers throughout Rio de Janeiro state currently make between R$1,277 and R$1,471 (730 and 850 USD), the lowest salary in the country in this category. About 5,000 people turned out to support the strike at a protest in Copacabana on Sunday.
Protest sign reads: "UPP will stop"
According to an article in Terra, a Military Police strike this month is “inevitable,” and will leave the “without routine policing” during Carnaval. The article quotes Corporal João Carlos Soares Gurgel, one of the leaders of the movement:
“Our leaders…hide behind cowardly regulations that allow them to arrest us if we rebel. Today we live in conditions comparable to slavery.”
Posted in News, Rio de Janeiro, Sérgio Cabral, UPP
Tagged Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais, Batalhão do Choque, BOPE, Corpo de Bombeiros, Erir Ribeiro Costa Filho, Guarda Municipal, Polícia Civil, Polícia Militar, Sergio Cabral
UPP forces in Cidade de Deus
Republication of cable “Counter-Insurgency Doctrine Comes to Rio’s Favelas.” By Dennis W. Hearne in WikiLeaks, republished by mrkva. Published September, 30 2011.
WikiLeaks recently released this confidential State Department cable from September of 2009 summarizing the UPP program, and describing it as sharing “some characteristics with U.S. counter-insurgency doctrine and strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq” and emphasizes “significant economic interests at stake.” The author, Dennis W. Hearne, currently the consul general of Rio de Janeiro, previously spent two years as a political adviser in Afghanistan. Hearne concludes that if the UPP program continues past Rio’s 2009 Olympics bid and Sergio Cabral’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, it has serious potential to “remake the social and economic fabric of Rio de Janeiro,” noting the serious benefits of “reintegrating some one million favela residents into mainstream markets.”
US embassy cable – 09RIODEJANEIRO329
COUNTER-INSURGENCY DOCTRINE COMES TO RIO’S FAVELAS Continue reading
Posted in Crime, Rio de Janeiro, UPP
Tagged BOPE, Dennis W. Hearne, Eduardo Paes, José Mariano Beltrame, Olympics 2016, public security, Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, UPP, Washington DC, WikiLeaks
New UPP recruits celebrate at their graduation ceremony
English translation of article “Secretaria de Segurança reavalia política de pacificação em favelas; Cabral admite falhas.” From Rede Record (R7), publish September 6, 2011
Security Secretariat Will Reevaluate Favela Pacification Policy; Cabral Admits Failures
Governor participated in graduation ceremony for 489 new police officers
After a series of clashes involving the police and military in Rio de Janeiro’s communities occupied by security forces, Governor Sérgio Cabral admitted on Tuesday morning (6) “fragility” in the security policy adopted by the UPPs (Police Pacification Units). Cabral also announced that the UPPs will undergo a review process during a seminar next Thursday (8) and Friday (9), at the Public Security Secretariat’s headquarters at Central do Brasil, downtown.
Pres. Dilma Rousseff and Gov. Cabral pose with Army Pacification Forces during the inauguration of the new gondola lift system in Complexo do Alemão on July 7, 2011
English translation of article “Exército continua no Alemão e na Penha até junho de 2012, diz governo.” From O Globo (G1), published August 30, 2011.
Army will Remain in Alemão and Penha until June 2012, says Government
The government says the decision was a request to the Minister of Defense. The state plans to install eight UPPs in the area’s favelas.
The government of Rio de Janeiro reported, this Tuesday, August 30th, that Army troops will remain in the favela complexes of Alemão and Penha in the North Zone of Rio, until June 2012. The communities were occupied in late November 2010. The government says the measure was a request from governor Sergio Cabral to the the new national Defense Minister, Celso Amorim, who decided on Monday, August 29th, to extend the Army’s presence from October of this year until June of next year.
Posted in Interview, Opinion, Rio Radar, Video
Tagged Arma Branca, Cecília Olliveira, Eduardo Paes, Olympics 2016, Prefeitura, Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, World Cup 2014
Sérgio Côrtes, State Secretary of Health, RJ
English translation of article “Secretaria de Saúde do Rio pode estar usando artifício para reduzir número de homicídios no estado.” From Rio .40, published May 27, 2011.
Rio’s Health Secretary Might Be Artificially Reducing Homicide Statistics in the State
Untrustworthy data about violent deaths from the Health Secretary of Rio de Janeiro indicate government manipulation of information
Everyone who follows my blog knows my skeptical position relating to criminality statistics for the state of Rio de Janeiro produced by the Institute of Public Security (ISP) of the state government.
Since ISP data began to show a miraculous fall in the number of homicides—without any plausible explanation—I no longer believe in these statistics.
This week, I have become certain that the government data is not reliable. After analyzing violent death statistics from the State Health Department, which are then disseminated by the Health Ministry for consolidated states on national violent deaths, I have noticed that, since 2007 (the first year of Sérgio Cabral’s government), the number of deaths with “undetermined intent” [quotations added] shot up.
Posted in Crime, News, Rio de Janeiro
Tagged Homicide, Ignacio Cano, ISP, Laboratório de Análises da Violência, Ministério de Saúde, Rio .40, Rio de Janeiro, Secretaria de Estado de Saúde e Defesa Civil, Sergio Cabral, Sérgio Côrtes, Statistics, UERJ
Governor Sérgio Cabral Filho, photo credit: Alexandre Felipe
English translation of blog post: “Cabral vende imagem de Rio sem violência nos EUA. Ao mesmo tempo, uma criança era assasinada durante operação policial em favela sem UPP.” From Rio .40 by Vitor Abdala, originally published April 1, 2011.
Cabral sells picture of a Rio without violence in the USA. At the same time, a child was killed during a police operation in a favela without UPP.
While the “governor” of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, travels to the United Sates in an attempt to convince its business leaders that our state is a sea of roses (a tropical Garden of Eden) and see the image that Rio is a place free of crime due to the “miracle” of the Police Pacification Units (UPP), the REAL RIO continues to catch fire.
As much as Cabral would like to end crime by brainwashing the population, instead of attacking the true problems of public security, Rio de Janeiro continues to be a violent place.