By Dorah Feliciano, Contributing Reporter
BRASILIA, BRAZIL – An interagency workgroup for the defense of citizens in Rio de Janeiro state was created last week to follow up on human rights violations committed by public security agents.
“This is an unprecedented experience in the field of public security and justice and the process is as important as the outcome. Being able to have this environment of dialogue and exchange of ideas and continuous debate is very important to be able to move forward,” regional prosecutor, Marcelo de Figueiredo Freire, said during the announcement of the group’s formation.
According to Freire, the group will hold meetings every other week to discuss the guidelines which may lead to proposals for areas such as human rights and public safety.
In addition to the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office, the group will have representatives of the Military Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Public Defender of the Union in Rio de Janeiro, the Public Defender’s Office of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Human Rights and Assistance Commission Judiciary of the Brazilian Bar Association – Rio de Janeiro Section, and social and community organizations such as Grita Baixada Forum, Maré 0800 – Rio de Janeiro Favelas Movement, Network of Communities and Movements against Violence, Mariana Criola Popular Advisory Center, and the State Front for the Derailment of Rio de Janeiro.
“The case of Rio is a number of wars. They are macabre and pornographic numbers that are not compatible with the democratic state of law,” said Deputy Attorney General of the Republic, Domingos Silveira, during the event.
According to Silveira although there was a reduction in violent deaths and deaths of police officers in RJ in 2018, the number of deaths caused by security agents last year increased by eighteen percent. The official said that the average number of deaths in RJ is three times the national average.
For Luciano Norberto dos Santos, of the Network of Communities and Movements against Violence, the risks that police operations bring to children and parents on their way to school and work are enormous.
“We are very worried about police operations that put children and parents at risk going to and from school, the use of (police) helicopters and the expansion of militias, which are like cancer and difficult to eliminate,” he told reporters.
According to officials, the group hopes to hear and incorporate ideas and suggestions from communities affected by intensive police patrol and try to reduce the violent deaths in those communities.