Extra (Rio de Janeiro) runs a really surprising headline today (above, white belly-band in the middle of the page): “State Assembly votes to legalize militias; only three votes against.”
Sure enough, the Web site of the Assembléia Legislativa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro registered the approval of “legislative suggestion” No. 214 on April 10, calling on the state governor to send down a bill creating a “community police” force of retired police officers. (Which it seems unlikely he will do, on the face of it: He and his public security secretary have promised a crackdown on militias, the jogo do bicho, and other manifestations of “parallel power,” and seem to mean it.)
- Rio’s Justice League: City Councilman Arrested on Death-Squad Charge
- Rio: “With Batman in the Can, It Hits the Fan”
- Rio de Janeiro Justice Leaguer to Commissioner Gordon: No, YOU Are!
- Rio: “Batman Planned to Whack Commissioner Gordon”
- In Memoriam, Inspector Tostes
Militias are heavily armed bands of retired, defrocked and moonlighting active-duty cops and firemen who run protection rackets and other black-market businesses — not necessarily excluding Bolivian marching powder, and apparently including illegal gambling and prostitution and “vote Quimby or my friend here will blow your brains out” political consultancies — in the favelas of Rio.
Aside from the informal van service, the struggle for the control of which has left quite an impressive pile of corpses lately — See Rio: “Whacking a Major Pain For the Man With the Van Was Planned” — one of the more interesting sidelines these armed entrepreneurs are engaged in is the black-market cable TV (and broadband Internet?) service known as GatoNet.
I would really like to write a feature article on that one of these days. When and if the hot lead stops flying.
- “A History of Death Squads in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo”
- Rio: “In the Favelas, A New Dictatorship”
- Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss: A History Lesson for O Globo
- Rio: “Armed Groups Interfere With Freedom of Association”
I do not quite understand the parliamentary procedure involved here, but I believe what was authorized was dispatching an invitation to the governor to use his power to initiate legislation to send down a bill with something like the following provisions.
DISPÕE SOBRE A CRIAÇÃO DA POLÍCIA COMUNITÁRIA NO ESTADO DO RIO DE JANEIRO.
The creation of the Community Police in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Art. 1º Fica o Poder Executivo autorizado a criar a Polícia Comunitária com a finalidade de atuar auxiliando a Polícia Civil e a Polícia Militar.
Article 1: The Chief Executive is authorized to create the Community Police for the purposes of acting in support of the state judicial and military police.