Brazil’s police kill six people a day, NGO report finds

World Today

A new report by a Brazilian nongovernmental organization this month found that Brazil’s police kill six people every day. CCTV America’s Lucrecia Franco reported this story from Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil\'s police kill six people a day, NGO report finds

A new report by a Brazilian nongovernmental organization this month found that Brazil's police kill six people every day. CCTV America's Lucrecia Franco reported this story from Rio de Janeiro.

The Brazilian Forum on Public Security analyzed official data and found that more than 2,000 Brazilians are killed per year after coming into contact with the police. The report said police follow a pattern of abuse and use lethal force as a response to crime and violence. The NGO called for an urgent need to review the performance of the country’s law enforcement agents.

In Rio de Janeiro alone, 416 people were killed by security services last year, amounting to 2.5 deaths for every 100,000 inhabitants, the highest rate in the country, the report found.

One of those killed was Paulo Roberto Santos, an 18-year old petty thief. His mother, Fatima dos Santos, said a group of policemen strangled him to death. The police were part of a pacification unit, which is a specially-trained police to clean favelas, or slum areas, of drug gangs, she said.

“They don’t respect the poor, even more when they know they live in a favela and have a police record. Violence doubles with these boys,” said Santos.

According to local authorities, killings involving police have dropped by almost 70 percent in Rio de Janeiro since the pacification program was launched in 2008. However experts said this isn’t enough.

The numbers killed could be even higher than reported, added sociologist Ignacio Cano.

“The police doctrine is militarized and highly oriented to confrontations, and there is lack of monitoring and investigation of deaths… the summary executions are not verified or condemned,” Canto said.