HomeNewsBriefDomestic Military Deployments Could Lead to Corruption, Politicization: Brazil Army Chief
BRIEF

Domestic Military Deployments Could Lead to Corruption, Politicization: Brazil Army Chief

BRAZIL / 15 JAN 2018 BY ANGELIKA ALBALADEJO EN

The commander of Brazil’s army has expressed concerns over the potential for corruption and politicization of the military as it is deployed for anti-crime efforts, casting further doubt on the increasing reliance on the force amid a nationwide security crisis.

In a recent interview with Brazilian news outlet Estadão, General Eduardo Villas Bôas strongly warned against the frequent use of the country’s military in public security efforts to combat organized crime. Villas Bôas cited concerns that the armed forces could become more vulnerable to corruption by organized crime groups and politicization linked to the country’s upcoming 2018 elections.

“There are concerns over contamination of the troops, and for this reason we want to avoid frequent use of the armed forces,” Villas Bôas told Estadão. Although corruption does not yet appear to be a “systemic or institutional problem,” Villas Bôas said, several recent cases accusing low-ranking soldiers in the city of Rio de Janeiro of ties to organized crime “raise concerns.”

Villas Bôas added that Brazil’s state governments have been “negligent” in their use of the military, explaining that the “simple deployment of the armed forces does not have the capacity, in and of itself, to resolve the public security issues [the country] is experiencing.”

Villas Bôas also warned that ahead of a general election scheduled for later this year, many state governments may resort to the “political use” of federal military interventions as a “convenient” and politically expedient solution to mounting security concerns among the public.

As InSight Crime has recently reported, Brazil’s military is increasingly being tasked with domestic policing functions amid the country’s deteriorating security crisis and ongoing political and economic instability.

InSight Crime Analysis

The high-level warning over the increasing use of the military in public security roles, including the rising potential for the forces’ corruption and politicization, should be considered a wake up call for a shift in the country’s approach to rising insecurity.

Across Latin America, the trend toward militarization of citizen security efforts has proven ineffective at reducing organized crime activities and has often lead to increases in human rights abuses and corruption.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Security Policy

In 2016, the commander of Mexico’s armed forces expressed similar concerns over the corruption and politicization of the military when the body is called to fill in the gaps of failing civilian policing. General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda said that sending “soldiers prepared for war” to “enter fully into combat against drug traffickers” has caused “serious problems” in Mexico, including exacerbating criminal fragmentation and contributing to spiraling violence.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLECTIVOS / 19 JAN 2017

Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro announced a new package of anti-crime measures that includes giving arms to civilians and charging…

EL SALVADOR / 10 NOV 2016

Government figures indicate a significant decrease in El Salvador's homicide rate this year, but the conflict between gangs and security…

BRAZIL / 12 FEB 2020

Over the last few years, the PCC’s continued expansion into Paraguay has seen Brazil's most powerful criminal group leave behind…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…