Amnesty International released a report, titled “You Killed My Son: Killings by Military Police in Rio de Janeiro,” alleging that the police of Rio de Janeiro have a “shoot-first, ask-questions-later” policy that has killed over 1,000.
“Rio de Janeiro is a tale of two cities. On the one hand, the glitz and glamour designed to impress the world and on the other, a city marked by repressive police interventions that are decimating a significant part of a generation of young, black and poor men,” Atila Roque, the group’s Brazil director said.
Next year, Rio de Janeiro will host the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Brazilian government has yet to comment about the games in relation to this report.
Brazil is one of the most violent countries not at war. According to statistics from the United Nations, over 56,000 homicides occurred in Brazil in 2012—the highest in the world.
“At least 16 per cent of the total homicides registered in the city in the last five years took place at the hands of on-duty police — 1,519 in total,” the group’s report claimed.
A majority of the victims of homicides in the Brazilian city are young black men.
“[M]ilitary police across Rio de Janeiro has regularly used unnecessary and excessive force during security operations in the city’s favelas. The majority of victims of police killings registered from 2010 to 2013 are young black men of between 15 and 29 years of age,” the report alleges.
Amnesty International also alleges that other kinds of abuse of power run rampant in the city’s police corps. The group claims that these instances are examples of the regular use of “unnecessary and excessive force.”
“The military police’s strategy of fear when it comes to their operations in the city’s favelas, including harassing residents and threatening activists, will not resolve the city’s security problems. The only thing that will is a concerted strategy to reduce homicides and a guarantee that all human rights violations are thoroughly investigated and those responsible are brought to justice,” Roque also said.
According to this damning report, police frequently and deliberately cover up incidents in which unlawful killings occur.