Violence sweeps Brazil's biggest city

2012-11-11 11:34

Sao Paulo - At least 140 people have been murdered in South America's biggest city over the past two weeks in a rising wave of violence, Sao Paulo's Public Safety Department says.

Killings in Sao Paulo began sharply increasing in September, a month in which 144 people were killed, the department's website says. It says a total of 982 homicides took place in the city during the first nine months of the year.

The victims included 90 police officers, most of them gunned down while off duty.

A Public Safety Department official said on Saturday that the killings of police have been ordered by imprisoned leaders of an organised crime group called the First Capital Command in reprisal for a crackdown on the drug trade. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press.

The First Capital Command is one of Brazil's most notorious organised crime groups. Based in Sao Paulo state prisons, the group allegedly was behind several waves of attacks on police, government buildings, banks and public buses in 2006. Those assaults and counterattacks by police in the slums killed more than 200 people.

With the latest violence, shops and schools in some Sao Paulo districts closed early this past week as rumours of gang-imposed curfews spread.

"In view of the wave of violence in the city's south zone, the school's directors decided to send staff and students home early so as to assure their safety," Eliane Valerio de Souza, administrative assistant at a professional training school, told the newspaper Folha de S Paulo.

Sao Paulo state authorities last week said incarcerated leaders of the First Capital Command suspected of using smuggled cellphones to order attacks and coordinate drug sales, murders of rival gang members and the purchase of weapons, would be transferred to a maximum security federal prison outside the state.

On Thursday, one of the gang's lower echelon leaders was sent go a federal penitentiary in northern Brazil. Others are expected be transferred by the end of the month.

  • chris.constantinou.332 - 2012-11-11 12:24

    Ordering the killing of police officers should constitute treason in Brazil. Desperate times call for extreme measures, Federal prisons or a coffin. The evil that men do.

      kobie.nel1 - 2012-11-11 12:43

      Especialy where the drug trade is concerned, I vote for the coffin.

  • sachasea - 2012-11-11 12:44

    Only 1.5 years to go until the Brazil FIFA World Cup. It is time for drastic action. Legalise and regulate the trade in drugs, which is basically the root of all of this murder and mayhem in the slums. If the government takes control of drug manufacture and regulates supply they will undercut the hugely inflated prices offered by the black market and the criminals revenue stream will dry up. This is the most simple and effective way to deal with this problem long term. It won't be to America's liking, because they want to continue with the profitable War on Drugs at all costs even though pretty much all the rest of the leaders of Latin America agree it is a monumental failure and costly humanitarian disaster.

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-11 13:07

      Sasha, Legalize and regulate 'drugs' is NOT the answer. Ask the people from Holland ! A few years after they did this, there were 40 000 heroin addicts, just in Amsterdam... N No , treat bhe Brazillians like we were treated by Fifa before our 2010 SWC. If the Brazillians don't get their house in order, CANCEL their SWC, and move it to a safer place. End of story !!!

      wgjooste - 2012-11-11 14:05

      @africa "Drug use carried on increasing but at a slower rate than in Spain or France. But, significantly, addiction to hard drugs fell by half, from an estimated 100,000 addicts before decriminalization to 40,000 in 2011" - Your comments tend to biased and false

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-11 14:58

      Wallyafrica, It sounds good what you say, almost too good to be true !!! Firstly, current, say from the last few years, are difficult to get hold off, and the ones available, are confusing. True, some some drug usage has decreased, but others have increased. it depends of the kind of drugs, and if they are so called 'soft' drugs' or 'hard' drugs!!! But the reality on the ground, is more easy to follow. The national and local governments have just in the last two years , very much tightened the drug laws. Just in Amsterdam hundreds of so called 'coffee shops' , aka, drug cafe's, closed in the last year!! and as the laws are getting stricter and stricter, it is doubtful that there soon, will be many, if any, coffee shops left, anywhere in Holland. This closure, bringing with, the masive drop in (drug) tourism, is actually hurting the Dutch economy. I don't believe the authorities are that stupid, if there was no problem, to take such drasic measures. I stick with my comment; Legalize and regulate drugs, is NOT the answer !!!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-11 15:07

      I know the difference between Al Capone and his gang, and those who bought illegal liquor in the Twenties. I also know the difference between drug dealers and their gangs, and those who buy illegal drugs now. The solution to the latter problem is the same as the solution was to the former problem. Sasha, you are spot on. The War on Drugs has been a ghastly mistake for all the good it has done. It has enabled a new criminal class to become exceedingly wealthy. Its's called Prison Inc.

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-11 15:28

      . More claptrap from Fidel, It seems you just want to say something for the heck of it !! There is NOT a country in the world, who in the last 10/20 years, relaxed their drug laws, who has not reversed their decision!!! Sasha, the ONLY point this Fidel, LOVES from your comment, is that you spew out some anti american CRAP. THAT is her oxygen!!!!!!!!!

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-11 17:44

      . Your argument is ONLY to spew out more of your silly inmature anti American behaviour. THAT IS THE ONLY THING YOU ARE GOOD AT !!!!! CLAPTRAP !!!! The article is about the violence in Rio, and like with most cities in the world, going hand in hand with the drug trade!! Than Sasha suggests, to legalize and regulate drugs, so my reply is that from experiences in a number of countries, amongst them Holland, that is not a good idea. It brings chaos, and a drug problem ten times worse than before !! But no, here comes aunti claptrap, and will come and spew out some more of her anti EVERYTHING!! It is soooooooooooooo booooooooooring !! I wonder why news24 allows this kind of BS !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-11 17:46

      It seems like you're attempting to reductively dismiss something you're actually ignorant about. In California, they spend more on prisons than on higher education. That's a vicious circle of crime creation, spend the resources in the wrong place, create more conditions for crime. Arnold Schwarzenegger swept into power as governor on a ticket of reducing the prison population but was defeated by the prison-industrial complex (it is in the nature of business to expand for profit, therefore prison building/running business lobby for more prisons). The American system creates a "prison-industrial complex" that can funnel lobbying money towards getting longer prison sentences and more imprisonment, increasing prison profits. Why are sentences eight times longer than those in Europe? It's called "capitalism" and it is spelt Prison Inc. How can privatisation of American prisons possibly provide any profit to the shareholders if you don't stuff the prisons with prisoners? Why does the "land of the free" have to lead the world in incarceration? You must be the most ignorant ranter on News24. You don't show any evidence that you do grasp this issues but of course, you still feel entitled to get outraged & pompous with me. Now do try and argue some facts............idiot!

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-11-11 18:17

      The people who would like to keep drugs illegal would be the drug lords themselves. Keeping it illegal promotes scarcity therefore driving up the prices for drugs almost exponentially. Destroy the trade by offering drugs for free to the addicts at their local clinics. The crime rate will drop. Less people will get sick due to unhygienic drug practices. Addicts can get the psychological counseling they need for their underlying problems at the clinics. Corruption will also be nipped in the bud.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-11 18:25

      There was an expose' last year about how some of the major US banks were helping launder billions of dollars in drug money! So yes a lot of people are making a lot of money from drugs remaining illegal (higher profits). There are some doccies as well as how the CIA got involved in drug dealing by bringing drugs into US inner cities, in order to fund its black ops operations in South America. Look up the word "Oscar Danilo Blandon"!

  • jcoetzee1975 - 2012-11-11 12:50

    Take out the kingpins in prison.

  • saintbruce.bruce - 2012-11-11 13:44

    They are worried about 140 in two months, doesn't our Murder Capital of the World beat that hands down? Just a thought!

  • eric.f.moloi - 2012-11-11 14:25

    Its shocking,may God visit tht part of world

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-11 15:08

      Well Rio is known as God City!

  • Sibusiso - 2012-11-11 15:23

    S.A is a messed up country but when we have a common goal, we all get together, bring that world cup here, we still have the infrastructure.

      susanna.smit.7 - 2012-11-11 17:57

      Hear hear!

      Africa21stcentury - 2012-11-11 21:45

      . Yes, and we will ALL be paying for it, for the next 20 years, toll roads,budget airlines failing ! ETC, ETC !!

  • wdvilliers - 2012-11-11 20:26

    Sounds very peaceful there...140 mmm 10 per day RSA 40 per day that is 560 in two weeks...Sao Paolo he eez peezefool!!!

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