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Amigos S.A. | The New Sheriff in Western Zone Shantytown

FANFARRÃO 2

Col. Alexandre Fontenelle Ribeiro de Oliveira, CEO of the death-dealing COE

In September, Rio de Janeiro’s Secretary of Public Security (SSP) released something of a bombshell for Brazil crime analysts: the city’s infamous militia groups have expanded dramatically over the past decade. —Insight Crime

Source:  EL PAÍS (Brazil edition).

An item for my clipping file on the death-dealing police. WordPress is misbehaving at the moment, however, which is very frustrating.

The story translated here dates back to mid-September, with a fresh round of warrants in early November.

As the state government of Rio de Janeiro tries with all its might to recover the trust of the public in the state military police, investing enormous sums in Pacification Police Units (UPP) in order to win over shantytown dwellers, the cancer of corruption appears to remain alive at the very heart of the police force.

The arrest this week [September 20, 2014] of Col. Alexandre Fontenelle Ribeiro de Oliveira, third in seniority in the ranks of the PM-RJ and commander of the Special Operations Command – which includes the Special Operations Battalion, the Air and Sea Group and the Shock Troops, three of the most respected elite units in the Rio police, confirms that the mafias continue to operate from within the ranks of the Rio police and that the problem is far from being solved.

Fontenelle and 24 other troopers, among them five officers, were arrested during Operation Amigos S.A., accused of forming a criminal conspiracy that demanded large sums of money from shopkeepers, motorcycle taxi drivers, truck drivers and the drivers of irregular passenger vans in exchange for turning a blind eye to irregular activity.

The operation represents a new blow to the credibility of the Rio police. It may be recalled that six years ago, Fontenelle  joined a group of 24 police who sued to prevent the exhibition of the prize-winning film Elite Troop (Tropa de Elite) in which the moral bankruptcy of the Rio police is presented in all its crudity.

As the state government of Rio de Janeiro tries with all its might to recover the trust of the public in the state military police, investing enormous sums in Pacification Police Units (UPP) in order to win over shantytown dwellers, the cancer of corruption appears to remain alive at the very heart of the police force.

The arrest this week [September 20, 2014] of Col. Alexandre Fontenelle Ribeiro de Oliveira, third in seniority in the ranks of the PM-RJ and commander of the Special Operations Command – which includes the Special Operations Battalion, the Air and Sea Group and the Shock Troops, three of the most respected elite units in the Rio police, confirms that the mafias continue to operate from within the ranks of the Rio police and that the problem is far from being solved. Fontenelle and 24 other troopers, among them five officers, were arrested during Operation Amigos S.A., accused of forming a criminal conspiracy that demanded large sums of money from shopkeepers, motorcycle taxi drivers, truck drivers and the drivers of irregular passenger vans in exchange for turning a blind eye to irregular activity. The operation represents a new blow to the credibility of the Rio police.

The same policeman who in times past constantly boasted of the decency and professional ethics of the PM-RJ was escorted last Monday through the front door of hisThe arrest this week [September 20, 2014] of Col. Alexandre Fontenelle Ribeiro de Oliveira, third in seniority in the ranks of the PM-RJ and commander of the Special Operations Command – which includes the Special Operations Battalion, the Air and Sea Group and the Shock Troops, three of the most respected elite units in the Rio police, confirms that the mafias continue to operate from within the ranks of the Rio police and that the problem is far from being solved. Fontenelle and 24 other troopers, among them five officers

The story dates back to mid-September, with a fresh round of warrants in early November. It has been even longer since the lads from the local battalion pumped eight bullets into a close neighbor of ours during a traffic stop gone bad. His wife has erected a simple cross, not 50m from where I type this, but we have observed police personnel gathered around her in an intimidating manner as she tends to it. A pitiful graffiti tag, already almost washed away, declares that the police murdered a man on this spot.ficers, were arrested during Operation Amigos S.A., accused of forming a criminal conspiracy that demanded large sums of money from shopkeepers, motorcycle taxi drivers, truck drivers and the drivers of irregular passenger vans in exchange for turning a blind eye to irregular activity.

home in the wealthy neighborhood of Leme, escorted by several police agents amid a cloud of photographers who missed no detail of his impassive expression.

Operation Amigos S.A. was the culmination of months of investigation and telephone surveillance that led to the arrest of Fontenelle and 24 lesser accomplices. At the moment of the arrest, the officer was found in his apartment in the company of his wife and sister. Police sources say the interior was richly decorated. Fontenelle, wearing a sports shirt, had in his pocket a piece of paper with crudely handwritten notes which clearly represented the accounting and division of a bribe. “Me 10,000”, reads one line of the document.

Police also seized an office in a building in the glamorous coastal city of Búzios, registered in his name. According to the State Secretary of Public Security (SSP-RJ), the 25 suspects created obstacles to the work of police in the peripheral neighborhood of Bangu, “leaving the population unprotected.” The prosecutor states emphatically that the 14th BPM (military police battalion), which operates in Bangu, has become a “showcase of illegal dealings” and a “veritable corporation whose profits arise from the collection of bribes by various police teams responsible for patrolling the area.”

A large portion of the profits are used for what prosecutors call “Administration” – in plain terms, pay-offs to the ranking officers in charge of commanding the troops, who are supposed to be setting a positive example and maintaining peace and order in the impoverished area. Shop owners, truckers, mototaxi riders and black-market van service pay a weekly or monthly quantity of money that ranges from R$50 to R$10,000 in exchange for an unofficial license to continue their illegal activities.

What line of business do you think makes R$10,000 a month a reasonable amount?

From Operation Amigos S.A. we can draw three immediate conclusions: First, that the crusade against police corruption launched several years ago by the SSP-RJ, headed by José Mariano Beltrame, continues to operate. Despite his ups and downs,

Beltrame’s command of the Rio police leaves no doubt about his determination to clean up a force historically blemished by countless acts of corruption.

Secondly, the arrest of Fontenelle and his accomplices is bitter medicine, because it proves without a doubt that not even the senior echelons of the police are free from suspicion. Even so, Beltrame stated he would not make changes to the leadership of the PM-RJ, or at least not for the moment.

And finally, the assault of the police mafia in Bangu takes place three weeks from the October presidential and gubernatorial election, a fact that could be viewed as a gesture by the sitting governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão, to Rio voters, who are tired of frequent corruption cases and skittish in the face of constant insecurity.

According to the Institute of Public Security (ISP) in Rio, nearly all the indicators of criminal behavior have grown in comparison with 2013. The most significant increases are as follows: first degree murder (11.4%), attempted murder (31%), robbery (23.5%), muggings (40.3%) and auto theft (31%).

What line of business do you think makes R$10,000 a month a reasonable amount? There is a reason why Operation Car Wash refers to the use of businesses as fronts for money laundering. Globo asks the man to tell his story:

Business owner Jarbas Soster, partner in a Rio Branco gas station,  accuses  a group of PMs of negotiating and collection sums of money in cash to patrol the area and guarantee the security of the establishment. He says he has been obliged for four years now to pay a monthly fee of nearly R$ 10,000. About a month ago, the company decided to stop paying. The policeman in charge of the collection, Soster says, is Willington de Morais.  The policeman confirmed to  G1 that he performed the service, but denied any sort of intimidation.

Demolition in The Western Zone

45militia

FANFARRÃO 2

Col. Alexandre Fontenelle Ribeiro de Oliveira, CEO of the death-dealing COE

In September, Rio de Janeiro’s Secretary of Public Security (SSP) released something of a bombshell for Brazil crime analysts: the city’s infamous militia groups have expanded dramatically over the past decade. —Insight Crime

Source:  EL PAÍS (Brazil edition).

An item for my clipping file on the death-dealing police.

The story dates back to mid-September, with a fresh round of warrants in early November.

It has been even longer since the lads from the local battalion pumped eight bullets into a close neighbor of ours during a traffic stop gone bad. His wife has erected a simple cross, not 50m from where I type this,  but we have observed police personnel gathered around her in an intimidating manner as she tends to it. A pitiful graffiti tag, already almost washed away, declares that the police murdered a man on this spot.

As the state government of Rio de Janeiro tries with all its might to recover the trust of the public in the state military police, investing enormous sums in Pacification Police Units (UPP) in order to win over shantytown dwellers, the cancer of corruption appears to remain alive at the very heart of the police force.

The arrest this week [September 20, 2014] of Col. Alexandre Fontenelle Ribeiro de Oliveira, third in seniority in the ranks of the PM-RJ and commander of the Special Operations Command – which includes the Special Operations Battalion, the Air and Sea Group and the Shock Troops, three of the most respected elite units in the Rio police, confirms that the mafias continue to operate from within the ranks of the Rio police and that the problem is far from being solved. Fontenelle and 24 other troopers, among them five officers, were arrested during Operation Amigos S.A., accused of forming a criminal conspiracy that demanded large sums of money from shopkeepers, motorcycle taxi drivers, truck drivers and the drivers of irregular passenger vans in exchange for turning a blind eye to irregular activity. The operation represents a new blow to the credibility of the Rio police.

As the state government of Rio de Janeiro tries with all its might to recover the trust of the public in the state military police, investing enormous sums in Pacification Police Units (UPP) in order to win over shantytown dwellers, the cancer of corruption appears to remain alive at the very heart of the police force.

The arrest this week [September 20, 2014] of Col. Alexandre Fontenelle Ribeiro de Oliveira, third in seniority in the ranks of the PM-RJ and commander of the Special Operations Command – which includes the Special Operations Battalion, the Air and Sea Group and the Shock Troops, three of the most respected elite units in the Rio police, confirms that the mafias continue to operate from within the ranks of the Rio police and that the problem is far from being solved. Fontenelle and 24 other troopers, among them five officers, were arrested during Operation Amigos S.A., accused of forming a criminal conspiracy that demanded large sums of money from shopkeepers, motorcycle taxi drivers, truck drivers and the drivers of irregular passenger vans in exchange for turning a blind eye to irregular activity. It may be recalled that six years ago, Fontenelle joined a group of 24 police who sued to prevent the exhibition of the prize-winning film Elite Troop (Tropa de Elite) in which the moral bankruptcy of the Rio police is presented in all its crudity.

The ex-commander of the COE argued that the feature film offended the honor and dignity of the institution. The complaint was rejected by a judge who ruled it unfounded.

The same policeman who in times past constantly boasted of the decency and professional ethics of the PM-RJ was escorted last Monday through the front door of his home in the wealthy neighborhood of Leme, escorted by several police agents amid a cloud of photographers who missed no detail of his impassive expression.

Operation Amigos S.A. was the culmination of months of investigation and telephone surveillance that led to the arrest of Fontenelle and 24 lesser accomplices. At the moment of the arrest, the officer was found in his apartment in the company of his wife and sister. Police sources say the interior was richly decorated. Fontenelle, wearing a sports shirt, had in his pocket a piece of paper with crudely handwritten notes which clearly represented the accounting and division of a bribe. “Me 10,000”, reads one line of the document.

Police also seized an office in a building in the glamorous coastal city of Búzios, registered in his name. According to the State Secretary of Public Security (SSP-RJ), the 25 suspects created obstacles to the work of police in the peripheral neighborhood of Bangu, “leaving the population unprotected.” The prosecutor states emphatically that the 14th BPM (military police battalion), which operates in Bangu, has become a “showcase of illegal dealings” and a “veritable corporation whose profits arise from the collection of bribes by various police teams responsible for patrolling the area.”

A large portion of the profits are used for what prosecutors call “Administration” – in plain terms, pay-offs to the ranking officers in charge of commanding the troops, who are supposed to be setting a positive example and maintaining peace and order in the impoverished area. Shop owners, truckers, mototaxi riders and black-market van service pay a weekly or monthly quantity of money that ranges from R$50 to R$10,000 in exchange for an unofficial license to continue their illegal activities.

What line of business do you think makes R$10,000 a month a reasonable amount?

From Operation Amigos S.A. we can draw three immediate conclusions: First, that the crusade against police corruption launched several years ago by the SSP-RJ, headed by José Mariano Beltrame, continues to operate. Despite his ups and downs,

Beltrame’s command of the Rio police leaves no doubt about his determination to clean up a force historically blemished by countless acts of corruption.

Secondly, the arrest of Fontenelle and his accomplices is bitter medicine, because it proves without a doubt that not even the senior echelons of the police are free from suspicion. Even so, Beltrame stated he would not make changes to the leadership of the PM-RJ, or at least not for the moment.

And finally, the assault of the police mafia in Bangu takes place three weeks from the October presidential and gubernatorial election, a fact that could be viewed as a gesture by the sitting governor, Luiz Fernando Pezão, to Rio voters, who are tired of frequent corruption cases and skittish in the face of constant insecurity.

According to the Institute of Public Security (ISP) in Rio, nearly all the indicators of criminal behavior have grown in comparison with 2013. The most significant increases are as follows: first degree murder (11.4%), attempted murder (31%), robbery (23.5%), muggings (40.3%) and auto theft (31%).

What line of business do you think makes R$10,000 a month a reasonable amount? Hint: There is a reason why the notorious Operation Car Wash refers to the use of businesses as fronts for money laundering. Globo asks the man to tell his story:

Business owner Jarbas Soster, partner in a Rio Branco gas station,  accuses  a group of PMs of negotiating and collection sums of money in cash to patrol the area and guarantee the security of the establishment. He says he has been obliged for four years now to pay a monthly fee of nearly R$ 10,000. About a month ago, the company decided to stop paying. The policeman in charge of the collection, Soster says, is Willington de Morais.  The policeman confirmed to  G1 that he performed the service, but denied any sort of intimidation.

Demolition in The Western Zone

45militia

The most recent activity in the the militia-ridden Western Zone was the demolition of a building belonging to the notorious gangster cops of Jacarepaguá — Batman and the  League of Justice and others. Source: Conexão Penedo:

Rio – Erected by the militia of Rio das Pedras, in Jacarepaguá, without authorization, a three-story building will be demolished this morning at 9 a.m. by the Secretary of Public Order. The property, located on Via Light, near the entrance to the community, lacks a license from the city of Rio. SEOP personnel and a police squad car from the 18th BPM (Jacarepaguá), will keep watch on the building this morning to avoid an occupation by residents or other militia.

The apartment block, with its 8 apartments and two commercial spaces, was interdicted yesterday by Civil Defense. During the action, there were no signs of reprisal. Built quickly, the building was fitted out with steel portals and Portuguese tiling. On the veranda, clothing that probably belonged to two stonemasons. The building was erected in less than two months, and units were already for sale. A fourth story was planned.