By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Despite claims from NGOs and international entities of increasing police brutality and human rights violations, the joint operations of the military police and the Brazilian Armed Forces will continue in Rio de Janeiro, according to Rio’s Secretary of Public Security, Roberto Sá.
According to the official the partnership has been successful. “The work will not stop, it will continue,” said Roberto Sá to journalists on Wednesday.
“The National Force has helped us a lot in combating cargo theft. I am grateful to the Armed Forces for their efforts in manpower, equipment, training and exchange of information and also in operations,” added the official.
The secretary also noted that confrontational deaths between security agents and criminals are not desirable, but inevitable in certain situations. “While the police is being received [in communities] by gunfire, it may be inevitable that deaths will occur,” he said.
A recent survey conducted by daily O Globo revealed that between 2010 and 2015, twenty military police officers alone were responsible for at least ten percent of all violent deaths in the state.
“It’s not what we want, but I can not demand from a cop who is being shot at not to shoot,” said the official answering journalists questions about the newspaper report.
In October the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), part of the Organization of American States (OAS) held a hearing on police lethality in Rio’s favelas as well as the performance of the Armed Forces in public security and operations in favelas.
According to the OAS and other NGOs looking into police brutality within the favela communities the Brazilian State will have to respond to the escalation of militarization and institutional violence in Rio de Janeiro.
Data presented at the hearing shows that police lethality increased by 45 percent from June 2016 to June of this year.