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From The Centro do Mundo » The Camp Follower


“The only good cop is a dead cop”

Source:  Diário do Centro do Mundo | Diary of the Center of the Earth


The beret of the Rio elite troop, BOPE, I think.

“Man in black, what is your mission?

“I enter the favelas and leave corpses on the ground.”

“Man in black, what is it that you do?”

“I do things even the Devil would hesitate to do ….”


Illustrations are thanks to the encyclopedic Tips on Tattooing, a site that discusses at length what is and is not acceptable in tattoos worn by military police.

Sao Paulo is a city of tats and graffiti and the smell of the Tiete River.

The coordinating body of the Rio de Janeiro Pacification Police program — the UPP — is investigating police offers responsible for handing over their weapons so that a young woman could take erotic photos with them. The young woman, 23, has come to be known as  UPP Maria. Police avoided identifying the dark-skinned girl but did reveal that she hung around UPP bases looking to seduce the troops.


The dark-skinned girl went so far as to tattoo the UPP symbol on her body. She posed with the pistol of a military police trooper and a wristwatch on her belly.

According to police officials, the woman was not bothered when she posed photos taken after she had sexual relations with the PMs.

The woman put on a PM uniform and wielded an assault rifle.

The troopers responsible for the game risk being discharged.


The death-dealing imagery of many such police tattoos achieve a permanent menace, an enduring, walking, talking shock effect.

Until 2004, the E.M. (esquadrao de morte) of the celebrated detective LeCoq of the 1940s and 190s was reflected on the roster of legitimate commercial and non-commercial entities. It argued that the initials E.M. stood for something else, I forget what.


The death of a neighbor here last year in what was called a marijuana stop and bust was a serious wake-up call. The shooting took part literally 20 meters down the street. Eight rounds were fired and three struck home.

As Neuza observed, troopers from the near-by barracks –23rd Police Battalion — have been seen openly intimidating the man’s wife: Only a modest cross and a white bouquet are allowed.

The wife tried organizing online to create a rallying point, but in the end was effectively silenced.

Many cop tats reflect an odd, romantic vision of the United States and its civilian police forces, or they evoke the camaraderie of soldiers in the Vietnam War.