How far will Cabral’s Military Police go?

(after molotov was thrown, likely by undercover police, aka “P2”)

“The cravings of Sergio Cabral, governor of Rio de Janeiro, of making his successor in the State government and contemplating that part of the population that applauds BOPE when they gun-down drug traffickers in Complexo do Alemão is taking Rio de Janeiro along a dangerous road. Cabral’s recent acts and declarations have revealed a despotic facet of the governor and, apparently, serve as a licence for the Military Police to expand the authoritarianism they employ in the favelas to the wealthiest neighborhoods of the Fluminense capital.

After last week’s riot in Leblon, the most expensive per square meter in Brazil, Cabral diagnosed the vandalism problem in Rio de Janeiro in the same way as Arab dictators — placing the blame on “international organizations”. As it happens in the Middle East, attributing the violence to the foreigner isn’t a simple diagnostic error. It’s a device to exempt their own government from any responsibility for what’s occurring.

In the same speech, given last Friday, Cabral promised an “answer to society”. The answer came via the Special Commission of Investigation of Acts of Vandalism in Public Manifestations (CEIV, in Portuguese). The so-called CEIV was created on the 19th of July, by way of the decree 44.302, published in the Diário Oficial of the State on Monday, the 22nd. The text that the commission created (here in its entirety, in PDF) has alarming authoritarian contours (not to mention it’s illegal, PT).


In Article 3, Cabral determines that all “solicitations and determinations of the CEIV” have “absolute priority” above any other request sent to public or private bodies. In a single paragraph, Cabral obligates telephone companies and ISPs to follow requests by the CEIV in a “maximum timeframe of 24 hours”. It’s not clear if questions like the Pope’s security or a problem in a hospital, for example, will be put to the side in detriment of combating vandalism, or if the telephone/Internet companies have the right to appeal the CEIV’s orders.

More worrying is Article 2 of the commission’s creation. According to the decree, the CEIV can “take all actions necessary to carry out the investigation of acts of vandalism, and may request information, conduct investigations and perform any acts necessary to the conduct of criminal proceedings for the purpose of punishing wrongful acts under public demonstrations.” This text, as Bernardo Santoro on his blog Instituto Liberal reminded us, opens it up to anything, through not being clear on what “all necessary actions” means. Can the CEIV declare prison sentences, do illegal wiretapping and torture suspects, for example?

In the best of hypothesis, the text is a disaster provoked by haste and by the lack of knowledge of those who wrote it. In the worst, it’s a reflection of the climate, inflated by the government of Rio, of “anything goes against vandalism”.

Reflections of the climate have been observed. On Friday, the newspaper O Globo published an interview with the sociologist Paulo Baía, in which he commented on the riot in Leblon. “The police saw crime occurring and didn’t act. The message of the police was the following: now I’m going to give a smack-down on everyone”, said Baía. On that very Friday, the sociologist suffered a lightning kidnapping in the Aterro do Flamengo. “In the car, they passed along the message and nothing else. They said I shouldn’t give any other interviews like todays at O Globo and to not say anything else about the Military Police, because, if I did, it would be the last interview I’d give in my life”, said Baía.” – Carta Capital (PT, more here)

3 thoughts on “How far will Cabral’s Military Police go?

  1. Blaming “international organizations” reminds me of when US politicians blamed “outside agitators” for anti-war and civil rights demonstrations. It’s a convenient way to try to marginalize the protesters by depicting them as the “other.” It’s almost as if Cabral is using the military dictatorship as a model for governance.

  2. Stumbling on own incompetence, Sérgio Cabral has, throughout his political career, accumulating losses that often go unnoticed. In terms trickery there is no doubt that Cabral is one of the smartest. However, when it comes to strategies that are not sighted, the subject makes mistakes political primary, mainly because of their arrogance. Reminds us of the case of ‘insurmountable’ transatlantic English, with which ‘not even God could’ according to their own shipbuilders. And that became the largest shipwreck in history. In Rio de Janeiro is happening something like the case of the luxury liner. Navigating with the pride of English shipbuilder, Titanic governor already has date and time set to sink.

  3. Urns Electronic Fraud Brazil

    In Saquarema-RJ in Brazil there was a very strange indeed. Before the election was just walking the streets and ask for whom the elector would vote that the answer was unanimous: Pedro Ricardo, opposition candidate. Well, the boy lost at all, I said all 173 polls the city. Lost and lost much. The strange thing is that today, two months after the elections, you go to the streets and voters remain unanimous that voted for Pedro Ricardo. It would be much more convenient for the voter to say who voted for the candidate victorious. But no, the voter hits the foot stating that voted other. Interestingly, it is difficult to find someone to confirm that voted in the winning candidate, which coincidentally is the wife of state Rep. Paul Melo, president of ALERJ. There are several reports of the internet and even videos on YOUTUBE confirming the vulnerability of the voting. It’s there for those who want to watch. This triumvirate: Sérgio Cabral, Luiz Paulo Melo Zveiter and undermines democracy. All powers are on one side of the scale, damaging the alternation of power, the main democratic philosophy. The fact is that no use kicking as the TSE, however there is evidence to prove, never will admit fraud in their ‘black boxes’. Ideally, the electronic ballot to issue also a coupon which showed in whom the elector voted. And that this coupon was placed in an urn beside the traditional polling station, in order to prove later. One thing is certain: no other country in the world, after examining, wanted to buy our ‘highly advanced, fast and modern’ method of scrutiny, or Paraguay.

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