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11/23/2005

BBC: Police shootings out of control in Brazil?

new evidence suggests that many of the shootings are cold-blooded executions conducted by the police.

Former police ombudsman Professor Julita Lemgruber has told BBC World Service's Assignment programme that, in the state of Rio alone, the police killed 983 people last year. The figure is similar for Sao Paulo.

"The federal government should be challenging the various state governments in Brazil about the hundreds of people that the police kill in this country," she says.

Victims

As a former ombudsman, Professor Lemgruber was responsible for investigating the police as part of a previous crack down on corruption.

In the past five years, the number of fatal police shootings has more than doubled. Based on her experience as a government official, Professor Lemgruber says she believes the police are free to act with impunity.


Thanks to JM for sending this to me. As he noted to me, "If the government were wanting the people completely disarmed, one wonders if this is why, were some of the people having the pluck to fight back?"

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