International Court Rules Against Brazil’s Police Indiscriminate Killings

    Police drag protester in Rio - Photo by Pedro Prado

    Amnesty International lambasted “impunity” for Brazilian police who kill suspects during operations, after a regional rights court ruled against Brazil in a spate of slayings in the 1990s.

    The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has just ruled that Brazil must reopen investigations into the killings of 26 people in a Rio de Janeiro favela two decades ago and should provide compensation.

    “This judgment shines a long overdue light on the appalling human rights violations perpetrated by Rio’s police force against young, poor, black individuals who were unarmed,” said Jurema Werneck, executive director of Amnesty International Brazil.

    Marisa Vassamon, head of campaigns for Amnesty in Brazil, called the court ruling “a victory in the context of police violence in Brazil. It’s been more than 20 years of impunity.”

    The shootings, as well as the rape of three women, took place in October 1994 and May 1995 in the Complexo do Alemão favela, a sprawling slum of alleys inhabited by working class Brazilians and partly ruled over by powerful narco gangs.

    To this day, heavily armed Rio police remain locked in confrontation with the gangs. Shootouts between the two sides often lead to injuries and deaths among bystanders, while Amnesty and other human rights organizations accuse police of continuing to use extrajudicial killings and torture.

    More than 60 police officers have died in Rio de Janeiro state already this year in what officers describe as an undeclared war. Amnesty said that Rio police had killed 920 people last year, up from 416 in 2013.

    “Police violence is still a reality in favelas and marginalized areas of Brazil. We hope this judgment will go some way towards stemming the horrific violence that seems to have become embedded in Brazil’s police operations,” Werneck said.

    Vassamon says that the deadly violence is a nationwide phenomenon, noting that a quarter of homicides across the country in 2015 were the result of police action.

    “This court decision could change the strategy for fighting this violence here, because it creates a precedent for pressuring the state and different governments to set targets for reducing homicides,” Vassamon added.

    Mercopress

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Jair Bolsonaro, the moment he is hit by a knife

    Brazil’s Right-Wing Presidential Frontrunner Survives Assassination Attempt

    The dramatic stabbing of firebrand right-wing politician Jair Bolsonaro was caught on video and ...

    Brazil has never signed the UN convention against cluster munitions - © DanChurchAid

    Made-in-Brazil Banned Cluster Bombs Are Maiming and Killing in the Middle East

    On 15 February 2017, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fired Brazilian-manufactured cluster munitions on three ...

    From the film Onã, CRUA (Coletivo de Rua)

    Brazil’s Genocide Project for Blacks: 70% of Those Murdered Are Black

    African-descendants in Brazil are 23.5 percent more likely to be killed than any other ...

    Getting vaccinated against yellow fever

    WHO Comes to the Rescue of Brazil with 3.5 Million Doses of Yellow Fever Vaccine

    In response to the yellow fever outbreak currently on-going in Brazil some 3.5 million ...

    Eduardo Cunha gives a press conference - Lula Marques/AGPT

    Brazil’s Ex-speaker Should Feel the Full Weight of the Law, Says Transparency International

    Transparency International released a note welcoming the decision by the Brazilian House of Representatives ...

    Justice statue in front of the Supreme Court building in Brasília - Photo: SCO/STF

    Defiant, Brazil’s President Charged with Corruption Vows Not to Resign

    Brazil’s President Michel Temer says nothing will destroy him, as he faces suspension and ...

    Protesters clash with police during Brazil's general strike - Tomaz Silva/ABr

    The 35 Million-Strong General Strike that Stopped Brazil in Its Tracks

    Amid record levels of unemployment and a terribly unpopular government, unions and citizens from ...

    Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara, who died in 1999, was an advocate for Liberation Theology. He was the Archbishop of Olinda and Recife

    What the World Can Learn from a Moribund Liberation Theology

    This June saw the passing of two of our generation’s most fascinating and controversial ...