HomeNewsBriefBrazil Military Deployment in Rio Shows Past Failures of Militarization
BRIEF

Brazil Military Deployment in Rio Shows Past Failures of Militarization

BRAZIL / 31 JUL 2017 BY PARKER ASMANN AND MIKE LASUSA EN

Brazil’s defense minister has announced a new phase of security operations in Rio de Janeiro that will involve a massive military deployment, a strategy often used throughout Latin America that has repeatedly failed to produce long-term improvements.

In preparation for the second phase of Operation “Rio Wants Security and Peace” (“O Rio Quer Segurança e Paz”), Brazil Defense Minister Raul Jungmann announced on July 28 that some 8,500 military personnel will be joining the roughly 1,500 already deployed to Rio de Janeiro state in an effort to clamp down on rising insecurity.

“This operation aims to use intelligence to reach organized crime — its command chains and methods — to reduce its operational capacity and to strike at it,” Jungmann said according to a Defense Ministry press release.

However, Jungmann stated that unlike in 2015, when Brazil’s military police assumed control of various marginalized neighborhoods known as favelas amid growing violence, the military will not be occupying such areas this time around.

“We won’t have occupations, as we had in Maré,” the defense minister said, referring to the Complexo do Maré favela, which saw a military deployment in 2014. “We can have, eventually, patrols, but they will always occur and will be successively followed by other, more diverse operations.” 

SEE ALSO: Brazil News and Profiles

The day after the announcement, when making a presentation about the results of the first phase of the military operation, Jungmann reiterated his focus on intelligence gathering as key to the initiative’s success.

“Only intelligence will allow us to strike against organized crime and reduce its operational capacity,” he said according to a separate Defense Ministry press release.

Jungmann also stated that the new operations would seek to avoid past mistakes.

“We’re not going to repeat the previous strategy of long stays, doing patrols. We’re not going to occupy communities,” he said. “We’re going to continue in the same breath of surprise. We will not announce when we will start or finish phases of these operations, but I want to say that we are already preparing the next one.”

InSight Crime Analysis 

Rio de Janeiro has been experiencing a significant decline in security conditions recently. Crime is on the rise — in more ways than one — and security forces are struggling to contain growing insecurity. Police in Rio are both killing civilians and being killed themselves at record rates, though incidents of the former are much more common than the latter. And these issues have not been solved by militarized security deployments like those seen during last year’s Olympic Games and this year’s Carnival celebration, which put on stark display the security impacts of the city’s financial crisis brought on by Brazil’s overall economic slowdown.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Security Policy

But despite past failures and evidence from elsewhere in Latin America showing that increased militarization often does little to improve security in the long-term, authorities in Rio have once again turned to this strategy. Cecília Olliveira, a Brazil-based journalist who focuses on security issues, told InSight Crime that the fact that authorities are once again resorting to this flawed approach “clearly signifies” that there is “no strategic plan” to deal with the security situation.

The military deployment “is being used to contain the immediate circumstances, but not resolve them,” Olliveira wrote in an email. “If this were an effective strategy, we would not need the army on the streets again.”

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

BRAZIL / 16 MAY 2013

Authorities have dismantled two separate human trafficking rings in Ecuador and Brazil linked to South and East Asia, highlighting the…

BRAZIL / 22 NOV 2016

Marauding pirates represent a growing threat along the Amazon river in Brazil, the New York Times reports, but this remote…

BRAZIL / 14 MAY 2013

Footage of Rio de Janeiro police shooting at people from helicopters, then laughing among dead bodies, has drawn condemnation,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…