In the past week alone, at least 14 people have been killed by police, including a 14-year-old boy, who was shot in his own home during an operation that took place in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro.
The young man died three days after another 'carioca' police action that caused 13 deaths in the Alemão favela complex, located north of the capital of Rio de Janeiro.
Although civilian deaths during police operations fell sharply at the beginning of the pandemic, in March, they increased in April and May, when 65 people were killed by security officers, surpassing the 49 deaths recorded in the same period last year.
The data comes from a study by the Public Security Observatory in Rio de Janeiro, which, based on information published in local ‘medias’, monitors security operations in the state since 2019.
While in March police lethality and actions fell 82.6%, with only four deaths, in April it increased 57.9% with the record of 30 deaths. In the first 19 days of May, the lethality caused by the Rio de Janeiro police grew 16.7%, with 35 registered deaths, in relation to the same period of the previous year.
Violent deaths were strongly questioned by various civil organizations and by the Rio de Janeiro Public Security Observatory, which considers the actions of the police forces ineffective, which it described as an “instrument of killing and terror”.
“This way of acting in Rio de Janeiro is technically very questionable, because it not only produces a lot of lethality and a lot of suffering for all inhabitants, but it is also very inefficient,” said Silvia Ramos, coordinator of the Public Security Observatory of Rio de Janeiro to Efe.
According to the Public Security Observatory in Rio de Janeiro, the way police officers act in times of a pandemic “is incompatible” with the role they must play.
Brazil, the Latin American epicenter of the coronavirus with 310,087 cases of covid-19 and 20,047 deaths caused by the disease.
In Rio de Janeiro, the third most populous region in the country, with 17 million inhabitants, COVID-19 left 3,412 dead and more than 32,000 infections.
Globally, according to a report by the AFP news agency, the covid-19 pandemic has already claimed almost 330,000 deaths and infected more than five million people in 196 countries and territories.
CYR // JH
Covid-19: Police violence in favelas explodes in Rio de Janeiro during a pandemic appears first in Visão.