A riot police officer, November 24, 2019 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). - Daniel RAMALHO / AFP
A record. In Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, the police killed 1,810 people in 2019. This is 18% more than the previous year in this state which is a high place of tourism in the country.
Figures released late Tuesday by the Public Security Institute of the Rio government (ISP) also show that intentional homicides (excluding police violence) fell by 19% in this state, with 3,995 cases, against 4,950 in 2018.
A far-right governor
These data correspond to the first year in office of the new governor of Rio Wilson Witzel, elected largely because of his alignment with the security policy of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro. Wilson Witzel notably recommended upon his entry into office the use of snipers to shoot at a distance suspects equipped with an assault rifle.
"When we see that the police are responsible for more than a third of violent deaths, it shows how our security model is marked by police violence," said AFP specialist Silva Ramos. Security and Citizenship Research Center (Cesec) at Candido Mendes University. “In Rio, major police operations have become in recent years the main form of intervention by the police. It is a policy focused on confrontation and not enough on intelligence and planning, ”she deplores.
Children among the victims
PSI figures show, however, that the number of people killed by the police gradually decreased during the second half of the year (196 in July, 173 in August, 154 in September, 144 in October, 135 in November and 124 in December). .
According to Silvia Ramos, Governor Witzel "started his term with a very aggressive speech, but the collateral effects, especially the children killed by stray bullets, had such an impact that he had to change course". She alludes in particular to the case of the little Agatha, eight years old, killed in a favela last September, a drama which had shocked the whole country. The public prosecutor's office requested the indictment of a police officer in December, the investigation having shown that the bullet had been fired from his weapon.
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- Police violence