‘Cause the cop don’t need you and man, they expect the same
As Observatório da Imprensa observes of the regional press, there are still parts of Brazil where the the most organized crime going is the cops,who are ready and willing to kill your ass if you object to the status quo. I translate
On January 9 the daily O Popular, of Goiânia, kicked off a series of reports titled “Where Are They?”, dealing with people who have disappeared in the Center-Western state after being pulledover by police. The journal found that that more persons have disappeared in the state since redemocratization than disappeared under the dictatorship: 29 disappearances between 2000 abd 2010 compared with 15 state residents disappared during the dicatorship. The paper ran a high-impact headline that day: “More disappeared under democracy than under dictators”. Later, O Popular ran another series about suspected death squad activity by police, revealing that 117 pessoas were killed by state military police between 2003 and 2005.
On February 14, the Federal Police began Operation Sixth Commandment (thou shalt not kill, in the Bible translation used by protestants) and arrested 19 PMs accused of murdering or “disappearing” at least 40 persons in Goiás. The feds got involved after one of the crimes attributed to the group took place in Torixoréu, in Mato Grosso, giving the feds the right to asseert jurisdiction.
I think this may be because the area is an indigenous zone, but I am not sure. I suspect Torixoréu is not the liveliest or most urbane of Brazilian cities.
The operation was ordered by the federal justice ministry and begain in April 2010. A federal agent from Brasilia was assigned to Goiânia. After eight months of wiretapping and investigation, the vice-commander of the state PM of Goiás, Coronel Carlos César Macário, was arrested, as were Lt. Col. Ricardo Rocha, ex-commander of Rotam, the Ostensive Metropolitian Patrol squad, and 17 other policeman.
In São Paulo, it is ROTA you want to watch out for, and Força Tática. Unless, of course, you happen to be the whitest man in Brazil, like me.
Rocha ran for the state assembly in 2010 and was recorded conversing with former treasury and public safety secretaries about campaign donations and promoting fellow police for political office. O Popular revealed that many of the PMs presos had been promoted for “mérito” at the end of that year.
The feds are maintaining the investigation under seal. Last week, O Popular had access to one case file and to te wiretaps. The content of these reveal that violence is so widespread as to be banal, and that many PMs previously arrested by state judicial police for these same crimes enjoyed privileges in jail or in the disciplinary barracs. For these reason the federal coutrts allowed these PMs to be transferred to the maximum security prison in Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul. This provoked the indignation of fellow policement. A policeman turned state legislator, Major Araújo (PRB), coordinated a movement in solidarity with the jailed policeman supported by all the police union and six ex-state commanders. The former commanders ran a note in the newspaper expressing their solidarity.
Led by Major Araújo, a delegation of four state lawmakers visited the prisoners this week in Campo Grande to check on the conditions of their imprisonment and how they were being treated. They found them in excellent surrounding. As this was going on, O Popular was publishing the report “I kill for the thrill”, along with the dramatic contents of the wiretaps. The same day, a Rotam contingent arrived at the headquartrers of the Jaime Câmara Organiztion, where the newspaper is produced [there were eight cars and 30 men, parading in front of the building with their sirens turned on; the Globo primetime newscast that evening ran video of the event.
Two more paragraphs to go. Expectations are that recent crackdowns on police corruption at very high levels of the bureaucracy will continue to emerge in Rio — and that the feds will get around to São Paulo one of these days as well.
Essa ação da Rotam foi a parte visível de um processo de medo que existe nas instituições democráticas goianas. Juízes, promotores e até mesmo policiais federais trabalham nos inquéritos em sigilo, temendo represálias. Nenhum concede entrevista sobre o assunto. A reação do governo de Goiás ao destituir o comandante da Rotam, na mesma quinta-feira, foi uma tentativa de garantir a preservação das instituições democráticas, inclusive da liberdade da imprensa.
A PM goiana é uma instituição séria, com mais de 150 anos, e formada majoritariamente por policiais honestos e conscientes de seu papel de defesa da sociedade. O Popular tem respeito pela instituição e por seus membros. Mas é zeloso de seu papel de informar à sociedade sobre as ações dos agentes públicos, o que vem fazendo nesta série de coberturas. A ação isolada de cerca de 30 policiais da Rotam interpretada como tentativa de intimidação do jornal e de seus profissionais não vai desviar O Popular de sua missão de bem informar a população.