By Nelson Belen, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – According to a report released yesterday, July 25th, from the Popular Truth Commision (CPV), shootings in Rio de Janeiro from February, the start of the federal military intervention, to June climbed to 4,005, up 37 percent from the previous five month period when there were 2,924 shootings.
In addition, 4,005 shootings represents a sixty percent increase when compared to the same February to June period in 2017 when there were 2,503 registered.
The alarming figures were revealed in a press conference organized by the CPV at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
In the report, Rio’s Baixada Fluminense region saw the biggest surges in shootings since the military intervention. Belford Roxo shootings increased 160 percent and Mesquita 170 percent over the same period last year.
Also in Belford Roxo, the number of deaths by firearms increased by 55 pecentin Duque de Caxias, 67 percent, when compared to the five months before the intervention.
Significantly, homicides involving police intervention totaled 507 victims from March to June, a 28 percent increase over the same period in 2017. In the month of June 2018 alone, there was a sixty percent increase in homicides involving police intervention over June of last year.
At the press conference, CPV spokesperson Virginia Berriel revealed that the organization will present its findings along with recommendations to the federal government.
“We are going to take the main points with our recommendations. We will take a letter with about 20 items,” she said.
“For example, vehicles have to have cameras, but they [police] turn them off…We want cameras installed and ones that will work,” she added. “We have to see what these cops are doing.”
The CPV report will also be presented to international human rights bodies such as Amnesty International and to United Nations Goodwill Ambassador, American actor, Danny Glover. According to the CPV, Glover requested the report when he visited Rio in May to investigate human rights abuses related to the military intervention.
“We are not in favor of criminality,” Berriel exclaimed. “We do not defend criminals, nor militia, but we can not defend police that kill and execute.”