Escalating riots in Brazil between police and drug dealers

Last Sunday the military police from the 16º Battalion of Rio de Janeiro was attacked by drug dealers from the favela “Comando Vermelho”. The reason behind this attack was because in this section of Rio, drug dealers pay the police to keep out from their business. In fact,last Tuesday morning the BOPE (Brigada de Operaçoes Policiais Especiais) took their territory back by entering into a scenario of war.

According to the Official Study on Firearms of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2007 there were approximately 875 million of firearms all around the world of which just the 3% belongs to Law Enforcement bodies while the biggest majority (74%) it is owned by civil society and for military resources it is 23% of the total of firearms.

bopde

Fuente: elperiodistadigital.com

 

 

The data regarding firearms and the illegal trafficking has not been updated since 2007, which is a remarkable issue. In fact, the latest data collected by the Official Study on Firearms by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime are extremely outdated. Being the United Nations as worried as they claim to be regarding terrorism and being the main organ that deals with international peace and security, it is difficult to believe these claims, given the lack of current figures.

 

Favelas, frequently linked to the city of Rio de Janeiro, are one of the poorest neighbourhood of Brazil and nowadays mafias take advantage of this fact to carry out illegal acts such as weapons and drugs trafficking. Last years several killings happened in the area mainly committed by mafia members in order to expand its influence, with illegal firearms.

 

Fuente ABC Color

Surprisingly, for western society, police is involved in this mafia environment. Brazilian police is corrupted and Brazilians do not trust national security forces. According to Amnesty International, Brazil´s National Police is responsible for about 13% and 21% of murders in Rio including many other illegal acts.This is shown in last report made by Transparency International where Brazil holds the 79th position out of 176. This report takes into account the perception of corruption in the country

The results from this operation took 45 drug dealers into jail with around 32 machineguns apprehended. The estimated value of these weapons is around 1 million euros and most of the arsenal apprehended used to belong to the American government. The police has communicated that 100% of these weapons come from U.S and Russia.

Truthfully, It is seem to be that during the last decades huge efforts had been done regarding the reduction of firearms trafficking.  Both, international and national measures has been developed as for example the creation of different international organizations as the previous one mentioned (UNODC), or the development of  a more effective control of customs thanks to the support of the World Custom Organization. Others like the Brazilian government, according to La Nación, in 2011 announced the increasing security measures to fight the firearms trafficking.However, it has not reached the government expectations.Therefore this issue is still on the checklist from Governments and International Organizations.

Venezuela marching towards a civil war

Caracas, April 23/2017 the situation in Venezuela has been escalating since Saturday. Around 24 people were killed during these protests. It´s been three weeks of hard social movements from both sides, mainly triggered by National Assembly removal of power in favor of the Supreme Court.

Supporters of Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro demonstrate as opposition activists march towards the Catholic Church's episcopal seats nationwide, in Caracas, on April 22, 2017.

Source: AFP, BBC NEWS

 

These actions of dissolving the National Assembly were a low blow towards the political opposition of Maduro and democratic movements of Venezuela. The protests took place through a “silence march” honoring those killed in the past anti-government protests. During these protests the city of Caracas has turned into a war scenario, a 47 years old woman was killed by the impact of a frozen plastic bottle of water and there has been more that 13 deaths according to BBC News.

President Nicolas Maduro has uncovered his true political ambition by assassinating congressman and main representatives of the opposition, especially with the use of alleged paramilitary groups. His latest political movement has been the dissolution of the National Assembly because he did not agree with the signing of the “Democratic Letter” which would restrict his power.

The letter called “La Carta Democrática” or Democratic Letter is a document created by the Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) to encourage and promote democracy over its members. The Secretary General (SG), Luis Almagro, can apply article 20 of the letter if there is any doubt about representative democracy standards: human rights, separation of power and freedom of expression. Several Latin American countries have suffered the power of the letter such as Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Nicaragua For instance; Fujimori was sentenced to prison for several human rights violations during its mandate in Peru (1990-2000).

The SG states, based on the reports made, that there is: a humanitarian crisis, no separation of power and violations of human rights. In fact this report, which is supposed to be unbiased, is said to be influenced by Maduro´s opposition according to pro-government supporters.

Source: Organización de Estados Americanos

The idea of applying article 20 implies a future investigation of Maduro´s regime, which is not willing to be under investigation, this is the reason why the Supreme Court took over the legislative power. There was three days of uncertainty but finally the legislative power returned to the National Assembly. Nevertheless, the protest did not come to an end.

Molotov bomb attacks from civilians towards public institutions, state personnel, private business men… The opposition leaders demands that Maduro´s administration must accept their demands because having “political prisoner’s” is a clear picture of how Venezuela has become a dictatorship.

The only way of ending this protest is celebrating new regional and national elections. These elections are arranged to 2018 but Venezuelans cannot stand this situation. There is a lack of supply not only within Venezuela’s territory but in the international sphere.