Friday, May 22, 2015

military operations against tier 1 and tier 2 threats unequivocally social cleansing...,

NYTimes |  In much of Brazil, proponents of harsh policing tactics are growing stronger.

Responding to widespread fears in a crime-weary country with more homicides than any other — 50,108 in 2012, according to the United Nations — conservative politicians with law enforcement backgrounds and tough talk on crime collected huge vote counts in recent state and federal elections, bolstering what is often called Brazil’s “bullet caucus” in Congress.

Some bullet caucus members openly celebrate the number of people they killed while patrolling the streets. One rising political star, Paulo Telhada, boasted of killing more than 30 people as a police officer in São Paulo, saying in a recent interview he felt “no pity for thugs.”

“There are parts of the middle class that accept killings by the police as a legitimate practice,” said Ivan C. Marques, director of Instituto Sou da Paz, a group that tracks police issues.

In the state of Rio alone, the police killed at least 563 people in 2014, a 35 percent increase from the year before, according to the state’s Institute of Public Security.

That is significantly more than the F.B.I. recorded for the entire United States, which has a population about 20 times as large as that of Rio State.

Researchers say the reasons for the large numbers of police killings are varied. To begin with, poorly trained and poorly paid police forces in crime-plagued slums are often imbued with a shoot-first instinct stemming from a mixture of fear, paranoia and a sense of impunity.

Some elite units, like the Police Special Operations Battalion in Rio, openly advertise, and even glorify, their lethality. The unit’s symbol is a skull and crossed pistols.

But analysts say such squads are merely the sharp end of larger policing systems in which criminals, or people perceived to be criminals, are considered undesirable elements who cannot be reformed.
As drug gangs control many prisons in Brazil, arresting criminals and sending them to jail is viewed by some police officers as feeding the growth of crime, not reducing it.

Many cases involving the police are registered as “resistance killings” or “deaths in police confrontation,” though rights groups say that the episodes often amount to summary executions.