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Rio Real Estate | With Militia, No Middle Man

Source: O Dia Topic: Militias of Rio

Militias — police, ex-police, ex-soldiers and firemen mainly — are diversified protection rackets whose economic activities range from taxes on black-market vans and motorcycle cabs to GatoNet — pirated cable and satellite TV and broadband. Water and cooking gas are exploited in this way as well. As the state government is rethinking its UPP community policing program, the most emblematic of the groups is Rio das Pedras, about which I blogged quite a bit during a gangland blitzkrieg in 2008. It was even pointed to as a model for the Globo soap opera Duas Caras.Fast on the draw and fast to build. Rapid progess of construction works under the control of the militia of Rio das Pedras, in Jacarepaguá (RJ). The latest building erected in the community is proceeding full speed ahead; after 54 days of work, construction workers have finished three floor of what is to be a four-story building. It is quite close to being done, complete with interior design. Unusual flexibility in all the engineering standards.  And as for the tax authority… warned by local residents when the builders were still laying the foundation … they never arrived to inspect the paperwork on the building. The building, planned for eight apartments and two shops, is located on the Via Light, by the entryway to the community, and lacks a building license from the city. The speed of this project is such that, even before completion, the units are already on sale. As in the case of legal construction projects, buyers can buy the property “at the blueprint stage” (without registering with the notary’s office or the city government). The certainty that the property will never suffer inspection is explained when buyers are told that the property lacks a license. “This here is community. You know how it is, right?  There are no documents, but the residents association does record building sales. That is what counts, it serves as our registry office,” the young man says, introducing himself as the manager of [Real Estate Now], which handles real estate sales. “There is no need to pay the broker anything. I just put ‘broker’ on the signs so it will look nice, go up in price, but there is no brokerage at all,” he says. The owner of the project could not be found. Residents say the area belongs to military police lieutenant (ret) Maurício Silva da Costa, aka Mauríção. He is under investigation for homicide and has been found guilty of criminal conspiracy and money laundering.

The Rio das Pedras gang was busted in February of 2013.

Mauríção is ‘the Sheriff’ of the militia and no construction is undertaken without his okay. The ‘broker’ points to a man known as  Cabeludo who is supposed to be in charge of building work.

Chronology of the Claim

Workers had already driving the first pilings when L. called City Hall, on November 6, and reported an irregular building. A case was opened and the whistleblower was told to expect an inspection in up to 15 days. Time passed. Nothing

The Portal of Citizen Services (1746) says the complaint was forwarded to the Urban Planning secretary, which after seven days passed the complaint to the tax authority in the Rio district of Barra. By Friday a visit to the site was labelled “awaiting action.” The city did not explain the slow service. On December 4, a team from O Dia discovered that works were underway on the second floor and that the shops were nearly finished. Two weeks later, O Dia photographed the construction, now with four floors.

After a team from O Dia was kidnapped by in 2008 and tortured, it takes a lot of courage to leave the newsroom and head for the hills with tape recorder in hand. See

Shop costs R$ 140,000

The price of the building units provides some idea of the profits to be made from real estate sales in communities beset with militias. A shop measuring 36 square meters goes for R$ 140,000, but the price may be lowered slightly if the buyer wants to negotiate for both shops. Payment in full must be made in cash.

No Brokerage Fees

“The apartments cost R$ 80,000 each. The price for a buyer of two units is discounted to R$ 140 mil. We have not even finished the second floor, but I have already closed a deal with someone who lives in Golden Green — a very high class condominium in Barra da Tijuca —, the seller says, trying to impress. During the conversation, the “broker” stated the guarantees of the project. “We built 73 apartments in Pinheiro (a location in Rio das Pedras) and right now we are finishing up another project there: three six-story buildings. The best deal is to invest here. Your return on investment is guaranteed. Rent on any smaller apartments is R$ 1,000 per month,” he says.