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Militia in the Volta Redonda


Source: Diário do Vale, a regional newspaper for a portion of the Vale do Paraíba.

On the occasion of his swearing in, the newly appointed federal police official for Volta Redonda, Elias Escobar, promised to combat the militia in the region.

Escobar said that criminal organizations composed of bad cops are to be found everywhere in Rio de Janeiro state, and that they  tend to engage in such black-market businesses as illegal gambling and pirate Internet access and cable TV.

— I am going after the militias. We fear no one and we will spare no one. Although these groups operate discreetly, I believe their crimes are worse than those of common criminals, because these are groups of men with law enforcement credentials and a state-issued weapon. These are to be used to defend citizens, but somewhere along the line these cops went bad,” said Escobar.

Escobar added that Macaé, where he worked before this reassignment, was already taking action against militia organizations.

— We conducted Operation Roubo S.A in 2009 and arrested 32 policemen — he said. Roubo S.A. was carried out in September 2009 and sought to combat bank robberies and load jacking.

This action received zero googleable search results and only a desultory mention on the public affairs site of the DPF.

Along with the militias, Escobar, 56, with 17 years in the service of the PF, intends to go after financial crimes such as embezzling federal funds from the budgets of federal aid recipients, as well as to crack down on the market for drugs and weapons. To this end, Escobar says he will work jointly with other institutions.

— We will work more closely with the judiciary and the public prosecutor, and we will avail ourselves of synergies with other law enforcement agencies, such as the military and state judicial police, the Municipal Guard, the Federal Highway Patrol, and municipal secretaries of public safety and order,” he said..


Escobar says he means to procure more human resources, mostly in the area of intelligence. The Volta Redonda office currently houses 20 federal police agents.

Escobar also says he intends to raise funds to erect a new building for the office. The feds currently occupy a rented building, but the land needed to build the force a headquarters of its own has already been acquired.

The superintendent of the Polícia Federal in Rio de Janeiro state, Valdir Lemos, says that personnel transfers within the organization are common.

— Our goal is to give the office a thorough airing out. Escobar, born here in the Sul Fluminense and knowledgeable about the region, is being moved out of Macaé to replace Carla de Melo Dolinski in Volta Redonda. Our objective is to assure the continuity of our case work,”  Lemos said.

In October of last year — election season — Rio governor Cabral warned of the expansion of militia groups outside their traditional -quasi urban milieux .

 Sérgio Cabral (PMDB) said he was extremely concerned about the runoff round in Rio, which takes place on Sunday.  Cabral says that persons from the  Baixada Fluminense, with ties to militia groups, are coming to the city to work as canvassers.

Cabral said he had already alerted the state secretary of public safety to what was going on. Cabral’s remarks came during a visit to Volta Redonda, accompanied by  federal vice-president Temer and Rio mayor Eduardo Paes. All three announced their support for the reelections of mayor Antônio Francisco Neto (PMDB).

— I am very concerned. One hand I have support of Neto, Temer, president Dilma, ex-president Lula. On the other hand, ex-governor Anthony Garotinho is running for mayor after making a hash out of his time in lower house of congress, despite his complete lack of skills for such a job.

Garotinho is bringing in people from Baixada Fluminense to serve as whips and canvassers. These are professionals at what they do, and include persons with militia involvement.

During the election, the election authority ordered law enforcement to be vigilant for signs of illegal conduct.  The item dates from July 17, 2012.

Security is being tightened for the elections so that candidates that are not well regard [sic] by paramilitary groups will not be prevented from campaigning in certain areas of the city. .

Another objective is to prevent attacks on candidates like state deputy and would-mayor Marcelo Freixo (PSOL). Freixo presided over the state legislative commission of inquiry into the militia phenomenon and inspired the character of an engaged  politician  in the film “Elite Squad II.”

The order was ratified in a meeting between justices of the elections tribunal and representatives of federal police forces, the Army, the elections prosecutor and the state public safety secretary.

Volta Redonda is a crossroads city, connecting Sampa to Rio along the Vale de Paraíba, among other connections.