Rio de Janeiro

Report: Violence rises five months into military intervention in Rio

Results achieved by law enforcement after military intervention are meager, Intervention Observatory report points out

Soldiers conduct operation in Nova Holanda, Maré slum complex; report shows operations are ineffective / Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil

Five months into the military intervention in Rio de Janeiro, the numbers show yet again that, without intelligence-based strategies and investigations, violence in the state is likely to worsen. The latest report released by the Intervention Observatory shows the number of shootings skyrocketed to 4,005, compared to 2,924 in the months preceding the intervention, a 37 percent increase.

The report includes data about one of the most brutal operations of the intervention, which took place on June 20th in the Maré slum complex, when police officers in a helicopter left more than 160 bullet marks on the streets of the community. In the same police operation, 14-year-old student Marcos Vinícius was killed on his way to school. The police had 23 arrest warrants to execute that day, but, despite the shootings and civil casualties, there is no record of anyone being arrested.

Another alarming data in the report is regarding lacking information. The police have been disclosing less and less information about its operations since federal forces took over public security in Rio, which makes it harder for society to monitor military activities in the state.

The operations, according to the Intervention Office, can deploy up to 5,000 officers. They create fear, lead to more deaths, and achieve very few positive outcomes, according to the survey. Five months into the intervention, law enforcement seized only 92 large caliber weapons, while 145 large caliber guns had been seized in the same period last year.

Human rights violations

Evidence shows human rights violations are increasing proportionally to the number of operations.

The report highlights two episodes. One was a beating in the Cidade de Deus neighborhood on the night of June 29th, caught on camera by residents. The authorities promised to investigate the case, but no results have been disclosed.

Another episode happened on July 11th, when a Cidade de Deus page on social media posted photos of a resident who was beaten by special police officers when he asked them to clear his house’s terrace.

Edition: Jaqueline Deister | Translated by Aline Scátola