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Rio | Militias In An Election Year

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Above: A Rio van service van is discovered with 10 black-clad, combat boot-wearing anonymous corpses, ca. 2007

Folhapress. reports.

SÃO PAULO, SP, 30 August (Folhapress) –  Marcelo Freixo, PSOL mayoral candidate in Rio de Janeiro, said today that the sitting mayor, Eduardo Paes (PMDB) has members of militia groups among his base of support.

According to Freixo, municipal legislators in Paes’s base of support have ties to these groups. In Freixo’s view, the militia, unlike the drug trade, is the only form of organized crime able to translate teritorial domination into political gains.

“I have a photo of the mayor with various van service owners, many of them now under indictment, in prison, or dead. There are a number of city aldermen allied with the mayor who have militia ties. Just look at what parties these people run for office under,”  Freixo said during an elections interview with Folha/ UOL.

One of the most dramatic cases in recent years was the falling out among militias tied to the DEM-PFL and others tied to the PMDB in the Western Zone of Rio.

A top aide to the state judicial police commissioner was assassinated, and fingers pointed to a city alderman known for his ties to a militia called the Justice League — a bent cop called Batman its heaviest hitter

At the same time, the struggle for control of van routes led to such incidents as a VW van stuffed with black-clad corpses.

See

Freixo says that alternative transportation, which is regulated by the city, is essentially dominated by cooperatives with ties to the militias.

His proposal is to end contracts for van lines celebrated with the coops and to start licensing them individually.

“It is a delusion to believe that security is an issue exclusively at the state level. Alternate transportation is a fundamental economic pillar of the militias. We will not allow areas controlled by militias to bid on behalf of cooperatives,” he said..