By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Justiça Global filed a complaint with the UN Rapporteurship on Summary and Arbitrary Executions regarding the number of deaths resulting from human rights violations against the young and black population living in favela communities and the peripheral areas of Rio de Janeiro.
According to the entity, in the first two months of 2017, 182 people were killed in conflicts with security agents in the State of Rio de Janeiro.
For Justiça Global, the situation represents serious institutional violence against this part of the population and the way the government deals with public security.
It also points out that it is a logic of extermination and repression. The intention in presenting the complaint is to have Brazil be charged internationally for the human rights violations that occur in the country.
“It is a way of giving more visibility internally, because when we access an international organization, we are also drawing attention from the Brazilian press to some issues and to another point of view,” said Monique Cruz, Justiça Global researcher in Institutional Violence and Public Security.
The organization states in a report that racism is a key factor, writing that ‘While the number of black homicides rose 9.9 percent between 2003 and 2014, that of white victims fell by 27.1 percent. Data show that blacks die 2.6 times more than white people with firearms, and that 94 percent of victims are men.’
According to the NGO, the country has a policy of militarization and increasing incarceration for the solution of public security problems. Justiça Global pointed out that in the conflicts there also are a high number of police deaths. According to the entity’s calculations, 103 agents died in service, out of a total of 393 police officers killed in 2015.
In Rio de Janeiro, in only the first 48 hours of 2017 there were four policemen killed. In twelve days of the year, the number of homicides reached ten. On February 23rd, five more military police (policiais militares, PMs) were shot in the capital and Baixada Fluminense, in less than twelve hours.
For the researcher, the numbers are provoked by the type of security policy adopted in Rio de Janeiro. Monique Cruz said that there is no use of resources for prevention, while there are investments in a “highly militarized and war-oriented” elimination of an enemy force “that results in the daily death of civilians and police.
“For us, pointing out the number of police officers is to point out how much this war is harmful to the state itself and to the terror it generates in society in general,” she said.
In response to government news agency inquiries, the Rio de Janeiro State Department of Security reported that it did not receive any notification from the UN on the complaint and was not contacted by Justiça Global, so they would not comment on the subject.