HomeNewsBriefRio Murders Drop as Police Pacifying Forces Expand
BRIEF

Rio Murders Drop as Police Pacifying Forces Expand

BRAZIL / 31 OCT 2012 BY HANNAH STONE EN

Murders in Rio de Janeiro state are down 7 percent so far this year compared to 2011, as the government continues to roll out a scheme to reclaim favelas from criminal groups, though one study indicates that militias may simply be disappearing their victims.

There were 3,028 murders in Rio between January and September, a 7.6 percent decline from the same period last year, according to the Institute of Public Security (ISP). This continues the year's record low murder rate, the lowest since the institution began keeping records in 1991, reported R7.

Other types of crime also dropped, including street robbery, which was down 22 percent compared to last year, and vehicle theft, down 5 percent.

InSight Crime Analysis

Part of the drop in homicides is likely connected to Rio de Janeiro’s program to send the security forces to “invade” favelas controlled by drug gangs and militias groups, following up by installing elite pacifying police units, or UPPs. In November 2011, there were some 19 UPPs in place in the city -- now there are 28. One recent study found that these units, designed to be a permanent presence in these neighborhoods, saved 60 lives per year per 100,000 inhabitants in the areas where they are stationed.

The UPPs are also meant to build relations with communities, bringing state presence to areas which have long been abandoned by the authorities. There are also signs that the units are fulfilling their mission too -- statistics released by the ISP earlier this year showed that the number of killings by police was down over 40 percent in the first six months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

However, it's also worth bearing in mind the results of a study into militia activity published this month by the Analysis of Violence Laboratory (LAV) of Rio de Janeiro State University. The authors found that in the face of tougher law enforcement, militia groups (which are mostly made up of police), have become more discreet, hiding the corpses of their victims instead of leaving them to be found.

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

BRAZIL / 20 OCT 2011

Environmental police in Brazil have enlisted the help of unmanned drone planes to help tackle the illegal exploitation of the…

BOLIVIA / 9 JUN 2020

As Latin America emerges as the new global epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, corruption has proliferated, with politicians and middlemen…

BRAZIL / 28 JUL 2011

Federal Police found 18,000 ecstasy tablets in north Brazil, in the country's largest synthetic drug seizeure so far this year,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…