Met Ignacio Cano, expert on Urban Violence at the University of Rio de Janeiro.  He has consistently reported on police violence and there have been several attempts to deport him on the back of this.  He says he doesn’t fear for his safety however, as he does not mention the names of individual police officers in his reports, and therefore is not directly hampering anyone’s career.
The implementation of UPPs has had a definite effect, and a very positive one, he says.  There are fewer shoot-outs, which is a great result.  But, crime rates may be  rising in other favelas as traffickers relocate.  However, traffickers are easier to apprehend as they are forced to flee to other favelas.  The drugs trade is still booming as before, he says, just in a more discrete manner, and without guns.  And, implementing UPP’s in just 17 of Rio’s favelas is a mere drop in the ocean.
Cano said successive governments in Rio have been concentrating their efforts on one particular drugs trafficking faction, Commando Vermelho – the strongest in Rio.  He said this was proving dangerous, as other factions slid in to fill the vacuum, opening territorial warfare once again.
Advertisements