Rio de Janeiro police

A new academic study found that over half of those surveyed are dissatisfied with police performance in Brazil, a perception likely influenced by the force's long history of corruption and extrajudicial killings.

According to the study, published by the Getulio Vargas Foundation's Law School in São Paulo, 63 percent of Brazilians are unsatisfied with police performance in Brazil, reported Folha de São Paulo.

Brazil's judicial system also fared poorly, with 90 percent of survey respondents stating that justice is slow in the country and 64 percent claiming the judiciary is dishonest. 

The study found that Brazilians view the armed forces more favorably: 75 percent of those surveyed said that the military is Brazil's most trusted security institution.

InSight Crime Analysis

Part of this public distrust towards the police is likely explained by police officers' routine use of lethal force. A 2009 report by Human Rights Watch found that in 2008, police in Rio de Janeiro killed one person for every 23 arrests, while São Paulo police killed one for every 348. In comparison, police in the United States killed one person for every 37,000 arrests.

Compounding this problem are corrupt elements in the police who are complicit in gang networks throughout the country. Earlier this month, 60 police agents in Rio de Janeiro were arrested for allegedly taking weekly bribes ranging between $700 to $1,200, in exchange for allowing gangs to continue trafficking drugs in favelas around the city.

In a move praised by Human Rights WatchBrazil's Human Rights Defense Council recently issued a resolution that lays out standard homicide investigation procedures that all state level police should follow, to ensure that police killings are properly investigated. Providing the resolution is followed it could go some way in helping restore public confidence in the police force, although it remains to be seen just how legally binding the nature of this resolution is.

The release of the Getulio Vargas Foundation's report comes at a time when São Paulo state's police are particularly embattled: 100 police officers in the state have been killed this year, many as a result of violence attributed to fighting between the police and the First Capital Command (PCC) prison gang.

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Prev Next

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Honduras does not produce weapons,[1] but weapons are trafficked into the country in numerous ways. These vary depending on weapon availability in neighboring countries, demand in Honduras, government controls and other factors. They do not appear to obey a single strategic logic, other than that of evading...

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Estimates vary widely as to how many legal and illegal weapons are circulating in Honduras. There are many reasons for this. The government does not have a centralized database that tracks arms seizures, purchases, sales and other matters concerning arms possession, availability and merchandising. The laws surrounding...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network.

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

The weapons trade within Honduras is difficult to monitor. This is largely because the military, the country's sole importer, and the Armory, the sole salesmen of weapons, do not release information to the public. The lack of transparency extends to private security companies, which do not have...

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

As set out in this report, the legal structure around Honduras' arms trade is deeply flawed. The legislation is inconsistent and unclear as to the roles of different institutions, while the regulatory system is insufficiently funded, anachronistic and administered by officials who are overworked or susceptible to...

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power.

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy.