Rio Police Most Corrupt in Brazil: Govt Survey

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Police in the state of Rio de Janeiro are the most corrupt in Brazil, according to a government study into police extortion, underscoring the urgent need for police reform as part of the state’s security policies. 

According to the National Victimization Survey carried out by the Ministry of Justice, 7.2 percent of those surveyed in Rio said they had been forced to pay bribes to police officials, far above the national average of 2.6 percent.

Some 30.2 percent of Brazilians who reported having been extorted by military police, and 17.2 percent of those who said they had been extorted by civil police, were from Rio de Janeiro.

In the state of São Paulo the percentage of people saying they had paid police bribes was below the national average, at 1.8 percent. The state accounted for the second highest number of people reporting military police extortion, at 18.2 percent, and the highest percentage of civil police extortion victims, at 28.6 percent.

InSight Crime Analysis

Police corruption is a serious problem throughout Brazil, where over 60 percent of the population distrusts the police. Rio police are among the worst offenders, with some current and former members working in vigilante militia groups linked to extortion and contract killing.

In December 2012 alone, some 59 Rio military police were arrested over an alleged drug ring, while five active police officers were accused of running an extortion ring. 

Recent arrests, as well as a 2011 anti-corruption operation leading to the arrest of 30 officers, suggest that there is a will on the part of the Rio government to clean up the police force, through the survey underlines the extent of the corruption.

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