Sao Paolo Under Siege: Police Battle Crime Group; Murders Soar


Violence between the Sao Paolo police and members of a crime organization First Capital Command is escalating in Brazil’s capital city. (Google Images)

Reuters is reporting that an escalating battle between police and a notorious organized crime group known as the First Capital Command is leaving the streets of Sao Paolo, Brazil bloody. The violence is occurring after a major drug bust last month in which the police were accused of brutality. Brian Winter writes:

“More than half of the 90 police murders this year in greater Sao Paulo have occurred in similar execution-style fashion.” 

The article highlights the recent execution of police woman Marta Umbelina da Silva, 44, who was gunned down in front of her 10-year-old daughter when opening the garage door to her home. The violence has been concentrated in poor areas and has not made it to the capital’s business center.

Winter adds:

“The overall murder rate in Sao Paulo has increased about 8 percent in recent months, to about 10 per 100,000 population, according to local media, meaning it is still less than half the Brazilian national average and comparable to U.S. cities like Dallas and Boston.

Nevertheless, the violence has been an embarrassment for local and state officials as well as President Rousseff, who has struggled to contain a nationwide explosion in crack use – and related crime – in recent years.”

The recent span of violence continues to raise fears about Brazil’s ability to offer sufficient protection for visitors during the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

CNBC is reporting that Brazil is struggling to fill stadiums for the 2014 World Cup. Escalating violence between the police and crime organizations certainly won’t help.

Read more at Reuters.

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