HomeNewsBriefVideos Show Apparent Extrajudicial Killings By Brazilian Police
BRIEF

Videos Show Apparent Extrajudicial Killings By Brazilian Police

BRAZIL / 14 MAY 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

Footage of Rio de Janeiro police shooting at people from helicopters, then laughing among dead bodies, has drawn condemnation, offering further evidence that extrajudicial killings remain a serious issue in Brazil.

The first video, obtained by Globo television and published last week, shows a police helicopter chasing a convicted drug trafficker though the streets of the Coreia favela, one of Rio’s largest slums. After the suspect gets into a car the helicopter opens fire, spraying the car as well as surrounding houses with bullets.

In the second video, obtained by newspaper Extra, also part of Globo’s network, officers are seen firing on the Rola favela in the city’s West Zone before laughing and congratulating each other amongst dead bodies in a bar. Another body in a house next door is moved to the bar when officers realize the victim was unarmed.

Five people died in total during the Rola operation, reported Extra, two of whom had no criminal record. All five deaths were recorded as “acts of resistance,” a term used by police to describe a suspect’s death during a confrontation with officers.

Rio police chief Martha Rocha said an investigation had been opened, while Brazil’s Human Rights Minister, Maria do Rosario Nunes, condemned the actions and ordered Rio de Janeiro governor Sergio Cabral to hold those responsible to account. The government announced it would offer support to Rio state to abolish so-called “resistance” killings.

InSight Crime Analysis

Extrajudicial killings have long been an issue within Brazil’s police force, most notoriously the killings of hundreds of street children revealed by Amnesty International in 1990. Official government statistics revealed in a 2009 investigation by US NGO Human Rights Watch showed more than 11,000 people had been killed by Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo police since 2003 – one death for every 23 people arrested in 2008, compared to the US police average of one death per 37,000 people arrested. Last month eight São Paulo police were arrested following the release of video footage showing the fatal shooting of two teenagers who had surrendered.

 

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 / 17 FEB 2017

Brazil's Supreme Court has ruled the state must compensate prisoners held in overcrowded conditions, in a decision that could lead…

BRAZIL / 8 MAY 2018

A new wave of arrests is continuing to expand the scope of Brazil’s wide-reaching anti-corruption probes, but the growing number…

BRAZIL / 22 FEB 2016

In this excerpt from his new book "Gangster Warlords: Drug Dollars, Killing Fields, and the New Politics of Latin America,"…

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…