Observatory of Intervention
Author: Anabela Paiva.
Translation: Lidiele Nogueira
Review: Marlon Coutinho da Silva e Maria Bernadete Morosini
On February 16th, 2018, after widespread news about cargo thefts, mass robbery, and conflicts , former President Michel Temer put in place/ordered/decreed an intervention in the area of public security in the state of Rio de Janeiro. This excepcional measure, unprecedented in the country since the 1988 Constitution, removed Governor Luís Fernando Pezão's control over the security sector . The Military Commander of the East, General Walter Souza Braga Netto was assigned as the intervenor, who went on to command the Public Security Bureau , the Civil and Military police, and the Penitentiary Administration Secretariat. The Intervention Observatory was created by Candido Mendes University's Center for Security and Citizenship Studies (CESeC / Ucam) to monitor the impacts and violations of rights resulting from the federal intervention in the state of Rio de Janeiro, and make them public. During the ten months of intervention, from February 16th to December 31st, 2018, the Observatory recorded and analyzed operations, homicides, robberies, deaths caused by State agents intervention , police officers’ deaths, shootings, and men slaughters . Through reports and infographics, the Observatory proved that federal intervention did not represent a gain for the protection of lives: violent lethality decreased only 1.7% in the state; police and other security officers were responsible for 1,532 deaths (a record); and shootings increased 56% compared to 2017 (see the full data here).
The Observatory's monitoring work integrated three sources of data . Through daily reading of newspapers, profiles on social media, information portals , and official newsletters, the Observatory team collected data on operations, deaths of security agents, and expenses and acquisitions carried out by the Intervention Office. The indicators regularly released by the Public Security Institute (ISP) made it possible to monitor homicides, robberies and deaths caused by police intervention. Through a partnership with Fogo Cruzado (an organization that monitors shootings in Brazil) the Observatory had access to the number of shootings in the Metropolitan Region, deaths in conflicts with firearms , and men slaughters . Defezap, also a partner, reported cases of violations.
In addition to reconciling a critical perspective and a commitment to accurate information, the Observatory had as a fundamental milestone the creation of a council of activists from the territories most affected by armed confrontations - the favelas and the peripheral neighborhoods of the Metropolitan Region of Rio de Janeiro. Made up of 15 local leaders, mostly young people), the council established a monthly debate forum, in which public security was debated by those who suffer most from the effects of violence - especially young and black . The reports and the counselor's comments on the daily operations, conflicts, and violations experienced by the peripheral neighborhoods population were essential for the formulation of the Observatory's analyzes. “By creating the council, the Observatory highlighted the importance of living daily experiences to understand the context of violence,” stated Wesley Teixeira, the Council's coordinator, in the Observatory's final report.