BRASIL - Rio de Janeiro under military control

The governement of Brasil under president Temer has given the military control over Rio de Janeiro.

The military police, which had been the acting force has been placed under miltary command. This presents a steep rise in the repression of the poor on Rio de Janeiro, as the crackdowns and patrols will become more brutal by the combined repression of military and police forces. Temer justifies these methods of repression as "security measures", because of an alleged rise of gang violence and drug related crimes. Ever since the new constitution was adopted in 1988 after the fall of the military dictatorship, the military had never been placed in control of the police.

The population of the affected districts have a clear picture of what's going on here. An angry mother, whose son lost a leg when shot by the military for doing nothing, said it clearly: "When the military says it's to guarantee law and order, I ask "for who?" It's not for us, who are poor, black and live in the slums. It's for those, who live in the richest areas of Rio de Janeiro."

Accounts from other favelas (Brazilian Portuguese for 'slum') in Rio de Janeiro show how brutal everyday life has been under raids by the military police. In some cases one case a school had to remain closed, because of the constant gun fights that were taking place. In another case armored cars ride down the streets shooting at everything that moves. In 3 years the City of God alone has seen up to 305 deaths related to police activity!

All of this militaristic criminal activities are conducted under the pretense of the "war on (drug) trafficking". The reason for this is obvious: the ruling class is afraid of the masses.

Revenge killings by the police are a clear example of just that. The last couple of months has seen the deaths of some police officers that were followed by many assasinations by the police, whose killings far exceeded their dead colleagues. On one instance 8 people were killed, after a police officer was found dead on the street.

The spike in further militarisation shows, the ruling class's fear of losing control. Their measures have the goal to hinder the people from organizing and rising up against them, but the people have shown that they will not back down or get scared by the repression of the state. If anything, further attempts to oppress the people, will end up backfiring on the ruling class.

#Repression #military #RiodeJaneiro #Poverty #control