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4 MAY 28, 2014.
The news of delays in the works, shoddy, social unrest, industrial accidents and other minutiae have been really creepy complaint makes Mikkel Jensen, Danish journalist and magazine unveiled Placar. Jensen, freelance journalist dreamed cover the World football, “the best sport in the world” in Brazil, “a wonderful country.” But the dream has mutated into a nightmare after the Danish decided driving a few months prior to the South American country.
Mikkel was in Fortaleza, for him “most violent city” of all that will host the tournament, and came back impressed.Horrified, rather. Whether you’ve decided to give up that dream of going as a journalist at World . He explains the reasons for a spooky story posted on its Facebook profile. A complete copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: In Brazil kill street children to clean cities and give a good image in the World
“For almost two and a half years I’ve been dreaming of covering the World Cup in Brazil. The best sport in the world in a wonderful country. I made a plan, I went to study in Brazil, I learned Portuguese and was ready to return. In September 2013 I returned. The dream would be fulfilled. But today, two months before the feast of the World Cup, I have decided that I will not stay here. The dream has become a nightmare. Visit Street Children in Latin America
For five months I was documenting the consequences caused by the celebration of the World. There are several: refurbishments, armed forces and military police in communities, corruption, neglect of social projects … I discovered that all projects and changes are due to people like me-a foreigner and also an international journalist. I’m being used to make a good impression.
In March I was in Fortaleza to know the most violent city in all venues of the World Cup. I talked to some people who put me in contact with street children and later learned that some were missing. Often, kill at night when they are sleeping in an area where there are many tourists. Why? To leave the city clean for foreign and international press? So, why me?
In Fortaleza I met Allison, 13, who lives in the streets of the city. A boy with a hard life. He had nothing, only a packet of peanuts. When we met he gave me everything he had, peanuts. This child, who has nothing, offered the only thing of value that had a foreign chambers carrying amount of $ 10,000 and a Master Card in your pocket. Unbelievable.
But his life is in danger because of people like me. You risk becoming the next victim of the cleaning being carried out in the city of Fortaleza. I cannot cover the event after learning that the price of the Cup is not only the highest in the history of money, but I’m convinced that this price also includes the lives of children.
Today I’m going back to Denmark and will not return to Brazil. My presence is only contributing to an ugly sight in Brazil. A show in which two and a half years ago dreamed participate, but today I will do everything in my power to criticize and give a coocer the actual price of the World Cup in Brazil. Fortaleza, the city where according to the Danish journalist street children are killed, will host six World Cup matches in his new and remodeled Governor Plácido Castelo Stadium.
Mikkel Jensen, Danish independent journalist and correspondent in Rio de Janeiro. Jensen, for obvious reasons of personal safety, requested that this article not be published until he had left Brazil and returned home.
Death to undesirables: Brazil’s murder capital
Friday 15 May 2009
Killing squads are hiring police officers to ‘cleanse’ a city of petty criminals, reports Evan Williams from Recife. With year-round sun and some of Brazil’s best beaches, Recife draws a million foreign tourists a year, many of them on new direct flights from Britain and the rest of Europe. It seems odd then to find an electronic sign in the middle of the city which records the daily murder toll. But behind the narrow stretch of beach restaurants and high-rise apartments shown in the tourist brochures lies a violent city. Nearly 3,000 people were killed in Recife in the past year – up to 12 murders a day – making it Brazil’s murder capital. Incredibly many of those who are doing the killing are the police.
So routine is murder in Recife that a small group of residents installed the electronic body count. Eduardo Machado, the group’s chief organiser, explained that it was an attempt to shock the city fathers into action because, he claims, at present they are turning a blind eye. “It’s a perverse kind of killing,” said Mr Machado. “I call it social cleansing because the people being killed are normally black, they’re poor and they’re from the slums that surround the city. They have become what I call ‘the killables’.”
Many of “the killables” are no more than children who’ve been driven on to the city’s streets by the crushing poverty and violence of their homes in the sprawling slums – or favelas – that stretch back from the city. A social worker, Demetrios Demetrio, looks after some of these street kids in the city centre. Children as young as 10 sleep rough on the street. The vast majority sniff glue and are high on different types of drugs, including the crack-cocaine that has flooded the favelas in the past seven years.
They make their money from begging, stealing and prostitution. Some of them rob the market stalls near where they stay and that makes them a target. “The big danger is getting a death sentence,” said one of the street kids, Roberto, 14. “You can also be burned alive here.” According to Mr Demetrio, the biggest threat to these kids is from death squads, made up of local police officers, both former and serving. “They believe they’ve got to clean up what they see as a social problem by killing these street kids,” he said. “Over the years I have personally known 600 street kids killed on the streets – 60 per cent of them have been killed by these organised death squads.”
Mr Machado and fellow residents believe the police operating in the death squads are taking the law into their own hands because they feel the justice system isn’t working. “The system is just overloaded,” he said. “People don’t have access to justice. There are not enough judges, not enough attorneys and what happens is, even if the case does go to trial, it can take 10 years.”
The head of one of Recife’s homicide units, Detective Walcir Martins, admitted that some police are involved in the death squads and estimated that they were responsible for at least a third of city’s murders. “It might be hard for them to kill at first but then they get used to it and it becomes an avalanche,” he said. “They have no human feeling left.”
It took days of persuasion before a death squad member was willing to talk. To avoid spies we met at night at the edge of a favela and drove to a remote beach. He was a police officer and had been in the force for 20 years. He had personally killed more than 30 people, he said, and his “team” had murdered more than 50. He said they killed mainly in the slums. He had a silver handgun in his belt which he took out and carefully ensured it was unloaded before he laid it on the seat between us. “We usually take out rapists and drug dealers and those sort of people,” he said. “These are people who, through their actions, require us to perform a service, to get rid of them.” Why did he and police officers like him feel they had to take the law into their own hands?
“It’s right to take a human life in these cases because it takes so long for the legal processes here to go through and the drug trafficker or the killer that we might catch as police officers can be released the next day and go back on the streets and kill and traffic drugs again so it’s much better for us to take care of these scumbag crooks, to kill them and solve the problem like that.”
He said he felt no remorse because they were performing “a social service”. But he admitted they don’t just kill to enforce their perception of the law. “The price to have somebody killed would actually depend on type of person you want killed,” he said. “It depends, if it’s a journalist or a politician or somebody who is just damaging somebody’s business, it depends on how powerful that person is.”
Senior police officers said they were taking new steps to try to shut down the killing squads, including the arrest of 400 suspects from across the state. But the man we interviewed about this supposed crackdown laughed and said he didn’t fear arrest because many of their senior police officers are involved. “Look, it works like this, the senior police officer at a detective or colonel level will call us in for a meeting,” he said. “They will say there is a guy we want you to take care of, to kill, we want it done by Friday, we go and do the job, so a lot of police are involved.”
The state’s security secretary, Servilio Silva de Paiva, said the police and the state government were serious about trying to arrest any police officer involved, but only admitted a limited responsibility for police death squad actions. “If an officer is working on duty as a police officer and he kills somebody then all the responsibility for that lies with us and with me,” he said. “If he is off-duty it’s not our responsibility.”
Recife: Brazil’s murder capital. * Travel agents tout Recife as “the Venice of Brazil” thanks to its numerous waterways and bridges. * A major port on the north-east coast, it is Brazil’s fourth biggest city with a population of 1.5 million. * The city is famed for its beautiful beaches, especially in the Boa Viagem neighbourhood. Porto de Galinhas, 60 kilometres to the south, is known as Brazil’s best beach. * The city’s carnival rivals Rio’s.
As thousands took to the streets this weekend to protest the civil and military dictatorship – which left a legacy of some of the most sadistic and brutal repression against political prisoners seen in Latin America The military police have unleashed a new war on the poor of Brazil, and the State is preparing to enforce new “anti-terrorism” laws which raise legitimate fears that they will bring back the practices of the fascist dictatorship. (Note: On March 22nd, Brazilian fascists called for protests under the slogan “march for family.” They were a failure, much like the white man march in North America. In some places, groups of six or less people participated.)
Police have used fabricated reasons to justify repression against poor communities and anti-capitalist social movements, ahead of a powerfully contested Word Cup in Brazil. A police station was set on fire, and cops came under armed attack, possibly by drug lords they haven’t “pacified” yet. Drug leaders in pacified communities are typically ex-military police, who the capitalist media misrepresent as “community leaders,” in order to forcefully associate them with social movements against capitalist oppression.
The mainstream capitalist media have consistently referred to Brazilians living in favelas as “criminals,” in a clear attempt to increase hatred against poor people, who mostly have nothing to do with drug trafficking. Residents protested, and unrest spread in some favelas (slums). This recent act of brutal oppression against poor people came just as the country was enraged by the most sadistic crime committed by Brazilian police in recent memory.
These are the results of police raiding a building occupied by poor people: they forcefully evicted them, at gun point, again. They try to cover up now: they killed a 38 year old mom of 4 kids, threw her in the trunk of their car and later dragged her body on a main boulevard in broad daylight. Claudia’s assassination raised even more questions about some 6,000 people that have disappeared. Many of their families are convinced they were police victims. The State of Brazil has done this before: during the military dictatorship, prisoners were tortured, bodies were sliced open, and the state police criminals confess in cold blood that they would still like to decapitate “bandits” since “they are still here.”
Over the past decade, 40,000 people have gone missing in Brazil. Most of them have disappeared since the “pacification” of the favelas was unleashed on the poor communities – which are inhabited by a fifth of Rio de Janeiro’s population. Brazilians have given a name for the missing, they call them Amarildo, by the name of a missing person, whose disappearance is one of the few that was actually investigated. After relentless pressure by the community he lived in, investigations found that the 25 UPP (pacification police units) from Rochina tortured and killed the father of 7 children. Amarildo’s body has never been recovered.
A child is killed every hour as crack epidemic grips Brazil
Favela living: residents of Salrueiro in Rio de Janeir. BENEDICT MOORE-BRIDGER 30 May 2014
Brazil is in the grip of a crack cocaine epidemic with a child or teenager murdered every hour, a leading charity has warned. Action for Brazil’s Children Trust, set up by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and his wife Jimena Paratcha, said that amid the fanfare of the World Cup the country’s desperate drug and violence problems should not be ignored.
Brazil has surpassed the United States as the world’s top consumer of crack cocaine, according to the Federal University of Sao Paulo, while the death toll equates to 750 children being murdered during the month of the tournament. Brazil has 15 of the 50 most violent cities in the world, six of which will host World Cup games. There are 29 “cracolandias”, or cracklands, in 17 Brazilian state capitals, and an estimated 1.2 million people addicted to the drug in the country, while Brazil has the fourth-highest rate of children and teenager murders in the world.
Despite the startling statistics, the ABC Trust, the largest charity in the UK dedicated to helping street children in Brazil, said its main concern was still the “invisibility of abuse” against children and young people in the country. Chief executive Tiffany Garside said: “Although deficits in education and healthcare are quite rightly discussed, violence against children and young people is rarely mentioned. “This is shocking when statistics show that, on average, every hour in Brazil a child or teenager is murdered — more than most war zones.
“There are now 29 ‘cracklands’ in the major cities in Brazil. The crack epidemic sweeping the country is often not discussed, but affects the majority of children living in favela communities. The mum or dad is an addict, a child as young as eight is asked to carry drugs, a brother or sister is shot in cross-fire between gangs and police, or children are using on the street. With violence and drugs on the increase, we can’t stop now. So when the ball leaves town, we will stay.”
The charity was set up 16 years ago when Page saw the poverty in the Brazil slums first hand, and it is now also supported by Pelé, Brian May and Jeremy Irons. It sponsors projects throughout Brazil to help 15,000 children working through arts, culture and football. Paratcha, 41, who split from Page seven years ago, said she was worried the World Cup would make problems worse for local people. She said the money would have been better spent on helping the country’s poorest people and added: “The problem will be when someone gets shot. It just needs one guy to make a mistake to spark things. I am really worried. Brazil is inherently, sadly, a very violent place.”
Death Squads Kill Brazil’s Crime-Prone Street Kids
July 08, 1990 WILLIAM R. LONG TIMES STAFF WRITER
DUQUE DE CAXIAS, Brazil — Cleiton, 12, used to steal from the stores in a shopping gallery near the center of Duque de Caxias, one of the grimy, violent suburbs on the sprawling northern outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. He belonged to the ragged legion of street kids who live by their wits and sometimes die by the gun. Cleiton’s killers caught up with him one night last January as he slept on a sidewalk near the gallery. A boy called A.G., who knew Cleiton, tells the story in a few words. “He was sleeping,” A.G. said, “and they filled his face with bullets.”
Cleiton’s death was not an isolated incident. Hundreds of deprived and delinquent Brazilian minors are killed every year. According to people who monitor the situation, an alarming number of youngsters are killed by “extermination groups”–death squads bent on cleaning up crime-plagued areas. Death squads have been at work for years in Brazil, but concern has risen in the past year because of the number of youngsters being killed, not only in Rio but also in other urban areas, including Sao Paulo and Recife. Generally, young people are too frightened to talk about the situation, but A.G., a thin, dark boy with shy eyes and fluffy curls, agreed reluctantly to meet a reporter if two women he trusts, a Roman Catholic nun and a social worker, could be present.
They met in a church-sponsored center where street children can come for a free meal, a warm shower, basic schooling and kind encouragement. A.G., in a soiled blue soccer shirt, faded shorts and rubber sandals, kept his eyes on the table in front of him and fiddled with a piece of plastic tape as he talked. “Everyone is afraid,” he said. He said he had known “a heap” of youngsters killed in Duque de Caxias. One was Luciano, 16, picked up by his killers in January and shot in the head. His body was dumped on a hill behind the cathedral. “He robbed stores,” A.G. said of Luciano. “During the day he would study the store, and at night he would go in through a window and clean it out.” Two weeks after Luciano’s death, gunmen killed his friend Ademir, 16. “He also robbed,” A.G. said.
There is no doubt, he insisted, about who the killers work for. “The store owners pay them to kill us,” he said. A.G. has slept in the streets for 11 of his 16 years. He said the killers almost got him when he was 13. “I was asleep, and they threw me into a car,” he recalled. “They took me to the valao (an open sewage canal that runs through Duque de Caxias), and told me to jump in. I jumped and fell down in the dirt. Then I got up and ran, and they fired a shot that hit me in the leg.” He showed a small scar below his right knee where he said the bullet grazed him. “I felt the pain,” he said, “and I went running to the train station and the railroad police. They protected me.” Sister Beatriz Semiano listened as the boy talked, and she confirmed the dangers he described.
“He lives in the street, he sleeps in the street, and he is threatened with death,” she said. “It is a terrible problem in Brazil.” Sister Beatriz and others who are concerned about the killing say the problem has its roots in urban poverty, antiquated laws, police corruption and ineffective systems for providing child welfare and criminal justice. To survive, many street children turn to petty crime. By the time they reach their teens, some are involved in serious crime: drugs, burglary, armed robbery. By law, offenders under the age of 18 cannot be brought to trial, and few are held for long at low-security detention centers. Some simply walk away, and some are let out because of overcrowding.
Merchants, driven to desperation by robberies, hire private security guards, many of them off-duty or former policemen, who take the law into their own hands and eliminate criminals of all ages. In some slums, drug gangs provide security for merchants, killing robbers and thieves. The gangs fight one another, too, and sometimes kill their own people for violating strict codes of loyalty and secrecy. Often it is hard to say who is behind a killing, a gang or an extermination group. Wolmer do Nascimento, a coordinator for the National Movement for Street Boys and Girls, which works with abandoned children in several Brazilian cities, said there are 10 groups, “more or less,” at work in Duque de Caxias.
Tiana Se, who is also a coordinator for the movement, said that death squads hired to eliminate thieves and muggers from tourist districts of Rio–Copacabana and Ipanema–often dump their victims’ bodies in the northern suburbs. Se, a public schoolteacher with children of her own, said the killers of juvenile delinquents “are applauded because society says they are bandits–nothing can be done with them.” “The thing is getting worse all the time,” she said. “The number of deaths is increasing.” Official statistics are generally imprecise and incomplete, but several recent studies show that a significant number of youngsters are being killed and that the problem is spreading.