The Uruguayan weekly Brecha recently reported that between 1976 and 1990 the military police killed over 7,000 people in Brazil. Of these cases homicide charges were filed in 200 cases and in 198 of these cases the defendant policemen were acquitted of the charges by military tribunals. These figures do not include the killings by the city, state and other federal police forces, nor those of death squads which are usually made up of off duty policemen and soldiers. Diverse human rights groups in Brazil report that not even the recruits in the militarized police escape the brutality and poor treatment by their officers and are forced to serve as drivers, butlers and manual laborers for high ranking officials.
At a recent national congress of military policemen a member said that organization 'defends the improductive plantation system by repressing the landless, marginalizing the popular movements by means of violence and by excluding the poor from recruiting efforts."
It is worth noting that the United States keeps no statistics on how many citizens are killed by its police agencies each year. By contrast, statistics are kept on virtually all other crimes in the United States and such figures are readily available from most other countries, such as Brazil.
As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.
Already a subscriber? Login