By Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The governor of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel, said traffickers from Cidade de Deus, a favela in the western zone of the capital, could be blown up by a missile if the government had the UN’s permission.
The statement was given on Friday, June 14th, during the introduction of a new stage of a public safety program in the municipality of Nova Iguaçu, just outside Rio de Janeiro. Pictures were showing heavily armed men circulating within the community.
“Our state police don’t want to kill. But we can’t allow anything like what we saw there in Cidade de Deus,” he said. “With UN authorization, in other parts of the world, we would be allowed to deploy a missile and blow these people up.”
According to him, the communities “into which the criminals have infiltrated” live in a climate of terrorism. He then lowered the tone and said that there are “decent people, working and studying” in the favelas.
The president of the Human Rights Commission of Alerj (Legislative Assembly of Rio), Renata Souza, rebuffed the statement. She said that “it demonstrates an authoritarian and violent mentality that expresses, in essence, its prejudice and total contempt for the lives of the poor who live in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro”.
According to her, this was an “attempt to discredit and belittle an important international institution such as the UN”. Public security is achieved through strategy, prevention, and intelligence, not through missiles and summary executions, she wrote.