Note from BW of Brazil: So it seems that the Brazilian government wants to turn up the heat in a Rio de Janeiro that’s already hot as hell. Recently, the government voted in favor of
military federal intervention on the streets throughout the entire state. There is no doubt that Rio, specifically the capital city, can be particularly hazardous to your health depending on what area you live in, but the question would be, would an even more militarized presence secure the realm or actually increase the violence and the feeling of insecurity among citizens? Well, if you’ve read anything that I’ve posted over the past several years, you should already know where I stand on this issue.
The sounds of gunfire, citizens hitting the ground for their own safety, stray bullets taking the lives of innocent people and harsh stop and frisk routines are already a regular part of the lives of Rio citizens. Add that to the sight of high tech military equipment, hundreds of men dressed in army gear, strapped with assault rifles and tanks rolling down community streets doesn’t make me feel safe at all. And now they’re taking this to a whole other level for the “safety” of the people? I’m calling it now for what it will be: a DISASTER! It will be a nightmare for the black and poor communities of that state that will give the military an open slate to “shoot to kill”. They’ve taken this approach towards the population for years as it is, so should we realistically expect anything less than that?
Road open for intervention in Rio
Courtesy of Terra
Team that will work under the command of the general Walter Souza Braga Netto has endorsement of the Congress to begin operations in the state. The Senate approved, with 55 votes in favor, 13 against and one abstention, the decree of the government that determines a federal intervention in the public safety of Rio de Janeiro. With the approval in the National Congress, the measure decreed by President Michel Temer, last Friday, is made official.
This is the first time that the Union has intervened in a state since 1988, when the federal constitution was enacted. Requests for federal intervention in public security were made by the Federal District in 2010, by the state of Espírito Santo in 2002 and by the state of Pará in 1989, but all requests were blocked by the Supreme Court of Justice (STF).
With the approval of the presidential decree, the public safety of the state of Rio de Janeiro is in the hands of the Exército brasileiro (Brazilian Army) until the end of this year. The intervention gives the military the task of ending the wave of violence that has hit the state for months and that last year caused 6,731 deaths, including more than 100 police officers and 10 children who were victims of stray bullets.
After the first military mega-operation, which began on Monday, episodes of violence were repeated on Tuesday in Rio: an Army sergeant was murdered, victim of an attempted assault, and in another joint action, 11 suspects were arrested in a community of the North Zone of the city.
“Intervention is federal, not military”
The command of the intervention in Rio de Janeiro will be of the general Walter Souza Braga Netto. In a note issued by the Military Command of the East (CML), he requested sacrifice of the society of Rio de Janeiro, in the name of social peace and security.
The CML note also says that there will be continuity of the Law and Order Guarantee (GLO) operations in Rio de Janeiro; that the team that will work with the controller is being formed and will be released in the next few days; and he also rejected that the intervention in the security of the Rio is of military character.
“It is emphasized that the intervention is federal, it’s not military. The military nature of the position, to which the decree refers, is due solely to the fact that the intervener is a general officer of the active Brazilian Army,” says the document. The CML note further states that joint federal and state action will be increasingly perceived, and then calls for support and sacrifice from the population.
“The intervener stresses the need for the participation of Rio de Janeiro society in this joint effort. The process will demand, from each and every one, some sacrifice and collaboration, in the name of social peace and the sense of security desired,” the text emphasizes.
General Braga Netto, who turns 61 on March 11, is at the top of his active career. He entered the Academia das Agulhas Negras (Academy of the Black Agulhas) in 1975 and therefore has 43 years of military service. The Minas Gerais native holds a doctorate in politics and strategy and served as a UN military observer in East Timor.
The four-star general was assigned to oversee the safety work for the 2016 Olympic Games. Braga Netto led several operations in Rio de Janeiro and is well aware of the violence in the city. In 1984, his brother – also a military man – was killed in an assault near the Rio-Niterói bridge.
In August, during a lecture at the Centro Cultural da Justiça Federal, Braga Netto said he saw with reservations the use of military personnel in urban operations and justified his reservations alleging legal uncertainty and psychological consequences to the troops. On the other hand, he defended the outcome of military interventions and admitted that they were untenable in the face of the degradation of security in many states.