São Paulo officials negligent on human rights


A Brazilian military police helicopter flies over Rio de Janeiro on November 24, 2010.


Antonio Scorza

SÃO PAULO, Brazil – Authorities in Brazil's São Paulo state are failing to provide security and justice for victims of human rights violations, according to Amnesty International.

The organization said reports of police being involved in revenge killings has not been investigated properly for "many years," reported BBC News. Its conclusions come at a time of violence in São Paulo, with more than 90 police officers being killed this year. In the month of October alone, 571 civilians were killed.

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"The state does not condone criminal police officers," said a public security spokesman, noted BBC, adding that São Paulo authorities always rigorously enforce the law by removing and arresting offending officers in all sections of the police.

According to PanAmerican, a growing conflict has been spreading across the state between police and a gang known as the PCC, or First Command of the Capital. Analysts have reported that attempts by the police to deal with the PCC have provoked the violent backlash. Many officers have been killed, often while off duty.

BBC also reported that unidentified gunmen have been responsible for a wave of shootings in poor neighborhoods, with claims that rogue policemen have tried to take the law into their own hands.

In the wake of the violence, São Paulo's police chief has also been replaced, according to the Associated Press. São Paulo State Security Chief Fernando Grella took over the job just five days ago, replacing the chiefs of the civil and military branches of the police. He vowed to work closely with all officers, putting more on the streets and investigating every murder.