We have been asked recently for material on the police action in Rio, here is an article from our section in Brazil, PSTU.
|Brazilian State of Rio de Janeiro is experiencing a civil war, a state of siege, which exposes the demagogy and incompetence of the re-elected governor Sergio Cabral (PMDB) and his subordinates. To win the election for a second term Sérgio Cabral widely reported that the city and the State were pacified, and also that State government had put an end to the traffic and hence the violence through the Police Pacification Units (UPP)
Right now helicopters of the Civil Police and Military Police fly over the city and the communities of Complexo do Alemão and Complexo de Manguinhos . They try to find the culprits for this scenario. Schools have suspended classes and workers have returned home earlier. At downtown workers stop their activities earlier. At this very moment traffickers are setting vehicles on fire (buses and cars) soon after looting them. In the last few days more than 40 vehicles (buses and cars) were burned, there have been dozens of roadblocks, which are followed by the robbery of everything in the vehicles.
In several parts of Rio de Janeiro, the Governor, a Lula’s ally, try to inhibit traffickers’ actions. All officers once assigned to internal tasks have joined the military operation – technicians, mechanics, clerks, physicians – in order to serve on city streets as if the problem of violence were to be solved in a war action. All the measures adopted by the State Security Sector have failed so far; the panic and insecurity prevail. It is highly visible the lack of a policy that actually faces the violence and insecurity.
The press, particularly Globo network  , take advantage of the situation to increase their audience; the press offers an excessive coverage of the chaos and violence but does not explain the reasons behind this scenario. On one hand, the miserable life conditions imposed to a large part of the population, which is condemned to live in the city hills in poor shacks with no jobs or with very low wages. In addition, the fascist and corrupted police of Sergio Cabral, the trafficking or the militia , repress these slums inhabitants. Moreover, there is the obvious connivance of the State in favor of the big-shots who have connection with the international drug and weapons trafficking. Whenever these “noble” people are caught, they claim to be weapons collectors.
José Maria Beltrame, the Security Secretary, has warned that those who dare to defy the State will be severely punished. Police officers reflect the State orders and declare that many people will die. Twenty-five people have already died; these deaths make it clear on what the policy of these fascists “noble people” is. They will exterminate the poor, the black and the young people. After shooting them all, they say they were drug dealers. A good reason for us not to rely on these rulers was the installation of the Police Pacification Units (UPP) in the areas of Tijuca, Morro do Borel, Formiga, Casa Branca, Macacos, Morro da Liberdade, Turano and Salgueiro. Trafficking were deeply rooted in all these areas, the presence of hundreds of drug dealers heavily armed were constant. However, the State Government implemented the UPP only after negotiating with the traffickers that ensured they would leave these areas with their war weapons. It was only after the traffickers leaving that the State Government installed the UPPs.
It is shameful. Cabral, Lula, Dilma  and all their allies celebrated this shameful action and the Security Secretary widely reported that they had stopped the drug traffic and pacified Rio de Janeiro without a single shoot. They said drug dealers fled scared. With this speech, they won the October elections. Who does not remember the candidate Dilma saying on television that she would export these examples from Rio to the rest of the country? Actually, what happened was a big deal between the State and the traffickers, who have moved to other parts of the city and Rio de Janeiro state. They let Tijuca Region and the South Region (wealthier Regions) to be prepared to receive tourists and the investment for the World Cup and for the Olympics.
The Governor and his allies drive armored cars, escorted by security; they fly helicopters, while we workers are always in a vulnerable position in the buses, which are often being torched. Government takes advantage of this scenario to criminalize poverty; they have been preparing an extermination plan for the poorest regions. The military police, with the army support, is prepared to invade the Alemão and Manguinhos Complexes. We are aware that the workers and the youth will withstand the worst of this operation. All under the government’s pretext of attacking the traffickers, this policy will be the same and usual one, that is: “If one is black and poor, shoot and only after shooting see who he/she is”.
A socialist program to face violence
Our opinion is that UPPs are not the solution. It is impossible to live under an occupation. All the State “make-up” measures –, the courses within the SENAC  trucks at the communities (for very few people) to teach sewing, hairdressing training and basic computer skills, do not guarantee the essential needs. People need a good job with decent pay. We therefore propose that the minimum wage  immediately double. We propose the construction of many good schools with professionals earning a decent salary, not the shameful wage of R$700.00/month (US$ 412) that the State pays to teachers. We advocate the construction of good hospitals so that workers do not die because of lack of beds in emergency wards. We demand that the governor immediately stop the demolition of IASERJ , stop the closing of Pedro II Hospital, hospitals that play a very important role in the workers’ lives. We want decent entertainment, access to culture, and not a “make-up” for tourists’ eyes. We want decent housing with sound infrastructure. We all know who are responsible for the actions happening in the city and in the State: the Governor, the Mayors and the Federal Government that did much fanfare in the elections and now leave us amid this scenario of violence.
We will not stop the violence and the trafficking without the drug decriminalization and without putting in jail the big executives who traffic weapons and drugs, without confiscating their property. We will not stop the violence if we do not have decent jobs for our families. We need to dissolve the current police pattern and build up a police pattern deeply connected with the population who will control it, who will provide elections for its high command and sheriffs with a revocable mandate. We demand that the extermination of the poor and black be stopped.
Out with the communities’ invasion.
Out with the extermination of communities’ inhabitants.
 Complexo do Alemão, Complexo de Manguinhos: huge sets of slums in the northern part of Rio de Janeiro. The Complexo do Alemão has 400,000 residents
 Globo: major Brazilian TV network.
 Militia: paramilitary groups created by police officers.
 Dilma Rousseff: Brazil’s president-elect for the 2011-2014 term
 SENAC: National Service for Trading, a private institution with tight links to the government
 Minimun wage in Brazil is currently US$300
 IASERJ – State medical center in Rio de Janeiro