Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2018

Little has changed in Rio de Janeiro since thousands of army troops were sent to patrol shantytowns and slums considered high risk. The military has been in the streets since the decision by President Michel Temer’s, but it has failed to control the violence and fear that many poor communities in the city experience—and it may even be adding fuel to the fire.

Encounters between traffickers, militias and the military police are a daily occurrence in many neighbourhoods. Data from the app Fogo Cruzado (Crossfire), which aggregates information on shootings based on user-submitted content, points to the astoundingnumber of 16 shootings a day in 2017– 5,817 throughout the year. In 2018, the average increased, reaching 22 shootings per day.

Violence in Rio de Janeiro is not new, nor is the presence of soldiers on the streets. The official pretext of militarizing security to guarantee the security of the population often serves as cover for the interests of a certain class or the government. These hidden interests came to light during the World Cup and the Olympics, when presidents Dilma Rousseff and Temer, respectively, deployed army forces to Rio de Janeiro to ensure security for the event and its participants, without concern for the safety and rights of the local population. While attempting to preserve Brazil’s image abroad, the initial results of the intervention were an increase in human rights violations, burglary and murder among the population the troops were supposed to be protecting.

Full article at The Americas Program’s website. Date of publication: 20/04/2018

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