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Antiterror | Alckmin’s Praetorian Guards

Alckmin creates second antiterror unit, but government blocks press and public access

Alckmin creates second antiterror unit, but government blocks press and public access

Source: Rede Brasil Atual

Alckmin creates second antiterror batallion, but government withholds information from the press ..

São Paulo – Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) published in the Official Diary today a decree that creates BAEP, a Special Actions Police Battalion, whose assignment will be “acting to control civil disturbances and combat terrorism.”

The Second BAEP will be based in the port city of Santos. In January of this year, the state government created the First BAEP, based in Campinas, some 84 km from the state capital. Manned by 413 officers of the Força Tática from Campinas, Valinhos, Paulínia, Indaiatuba  Vinhedo, the First BAEP has 52 Toyota Hiluxes and provides special training for “shock police.”

Rede Brasil Atual contacted the SSP — state public security secretary — to request information on the Second BAEP, including its officers and command structure, as well as a performance evaluation of the First BAEP over the past several months.

One question RBA had was whether the antiterror battalion had been  used in the public demonstrations that have sprung up in São Paulo since January, all of which have been violently dispersed by the military police.

This information was not forthcoming.  “What do you want that document for?” asked the lady from PR, who added that our questions would not be answered. “I am not just some go-between, I am the press officer. If you want this information, I need to know the ‘slant’ of  your article,” she insisted, when reminded that the public had a right to the information.

The press office suggested that we hold off until the official announcement (a text distributed to journalists prior to the official announcement) to be published on the SSP Web site and obtain the information that way.

The official site, however, has been off the air since June 5 of this year, pursuant to a decision by the Alckmin camp to refrain from publishing online any material that might be understood as electoral propaganda — including press releases.

The page invites journalists to access content in a restricted area, but RBA has waited for a login and password since 3:00 p.m. this Friday. No response.

The last resort in debates over the legality of obtaining information has been that the Information Access  Law, which since 2011 has promoted oversight of the condition of documents and information from the administration, which confers public interest in all the data requested. “I am not working in a private sector company, I work for CDN,” the spokeswoman concluded.”

CDN is … what is CDN?

A private-sector call center operator, I believe, specializing in automobile marketing and support.

In the meantime, do a search on the Web site of the Imprensa Oficial and you can follow the thread of personnel announcements. I will try that now.

In terms of transparency and usability, DO is a throwback to the Flintstones. Here is what the site returned in response to a search on BAEP that turned up a specific name.

DIOFIC

What good is a fine-looking Web site that, queried,  returns a badly scanned PDF page bearing the information you wish to find? In this technocratic day and age! There is not reason not to offer plain-text responses to plain-text questions.