Story of reprisal for Alemão kidnapping isn’t true, says Public Safety Secretariat

Para Versão de represália por sequestro no Alemão não é verdade, diz Secretaria de Segurança Pública, clique aqui

According to the State Public Safety Secretariat, there’s no proof for an explanation given yesterday to journalists by residents and people who know the Complexo do Alemão, for Monday night’s attack on the Nova Brasília pacification police base. The investigative Civil Police have found no truth in the story (recounted in yesterday’s post) that drug traffickers supposedly attacked the base, killing a female police officer, in reprisal for the violent outcome of a trafficker’s wife’s kidnapping; the story is undergoing no investigation.

According to the Secretariat, this attack is part of a long-term intimidation strategy on the part of local traffickers. This past February, the Complexo saw 87 attacks, when the Army was still in charge of the area.

The Complexo de Alemão, invaded and occupied by the Army at the end of 2010, came under the control of the Pacification Forces, part of the Rio state Military Police, earlier this month.

If the kidnapping story is in fact false, whoever invented it was counting on Rio’s troubled police history as an element in his or her favor. And, in the context of pacification police arrests for corruption this year, it’s not hard to believe in conspiracy theories. These easily gain credence in Brazil, where a reasonable level of transparency and accountability is still lacking in so many spheres.

It’s worth ending this post with the reminder that pacification is a process. Traffickers, favela residentes, community leaders, police officers, inspectors and commanders, and even journalists– we are all learning and developing new behaviors, in a society undergoing an historic transition.

As the new study “‘Os donos do morrro’: uma avaliação exploratória do impacto das unidades de polícia pacificadora (UPPs) no Rio de Janeiro” [“‘The owners of the hill’: an exploratory impact evaluation of the police pacification units”], funded by the Development Bank of Latin America, coordinated by Ignacio Cano, concludes:

In general, the relationship between neighbors and police still carries a great deal of distrust, if not strongly negative mutual stereotypes, but it tends to improve with time. In fact, the police pacification units are the start of a long learning process on both sides, that on the one hand involves closer day-to-day shared experiences among police officers and residents of low-income areas, and on the other, the way in which the two sides deal with safety issues. While the residents need to learn to go to the police station to solve internal conflicts, for example, agents of the state need to switch from basically repressive actions to preventive work and mediation. From a symbolic standpoint, both sides evidence unsatisfied demands for greater respect from the other side, which compromises personal honor, and, for police, their professional identity. The terms of expected mutual respect must be renegotiated by way of interaction.

The wide-ranging study carefully examined and analyzed crime statistics. It also contains telling excerpts from interviews with favela residents and leaders, and with pacification police from different hierarchical levels.

To keep up with the transformation of Rio de Janeiro, follow the blog on Twitter by way of @riorealblog or on Facebook, or both.

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About Rio real

American journalist, writer, editor who's lived in Rio de Janeiro for 20 years.
This entry was posted in Brazil, Transformation of Rio de Janeiro / Transformação do Rio de Janeiro and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Story of reprisal for Alemão kidnapping isn’t true, says Public Safety Secretariat

  1. Pingback: Pacification Police Officer Killed in Complexo do Alemão | Rio Radar

  2. jimmychalk says:

    I spoke with a guy from Alemão last night who believes that it wasn’t a revenge killing, but rather that Fabiana was killed in a “friendly fire” incident; he says police factions fighting over the ransom $ shot at each other.

  3. Pingback: Pan-American Post July 26-Aug 3 – Lead Stories and News Briefs | Inter-Faith Committee on Latin America

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