On Monday, Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro spoke of his wish that legislators will agree with him to loosen the country’s criminal code in order to capture more criminals, saying, “These guys [criminals] are going to die in the streets like cockroaches, and that’s how it should be.” He added, “We have to give a legal back up to the security people: civil, military, federal, road police.”
The Daily Mail added, “Bolsonaro said the ‘unequal’ battle against crime is hindered by policemen being prosecuted for shooting gangsters rather than given medals.”
According to Globo, the Rio de Janeiro Military Police Secretariat issued a statement asserting that “the operations of the Corporation are guided by prior planning and carried out within the law. In actions in conflagrated areas, the mission of the Military Police is primarily the arrest of criminals and the apprehension of weapons and drugs. Often, however, criminals opt for confrontation, starting the confrontation. When the police operation results in deaths or injuries, a Military Police Inquiry is opened to ascertain the circumstances of the fact … in relation to the numbers of the Institute of Public Security (ISP) for March, the most important is to highlight the 32% drop in intentional homicides, representing the lowest rate for the month in 28 years. The indicator lethality violent crime also decreased by 24% compared to March 2018.”
The Daily Mail added, “In addition, Rio’s Public Security Institute found that record numbers of firearms had been seized from would-be criminals in the first quarter of this year.” Foreign Policy noted in April:
One of the world’s most homicidal countries just registered the sharpest overall decline of lethal violence in its history. Brazil’s murder rate dropped by a whopping 13 percent between 2017 and 2018, from more than 59,000 people killed to just over 51,000. And homicides fell by 25 percent in the first two months of 2019 compared with the same period last year. … Even better, the recent murder decline is nationwide, although some states witnessed greater improvements than others: Alagoas, Acre, Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Pernambuco, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Catarina all saw murder rates fall by between 21 and 24 percent over the past year. Massive states such as Bahia, Ceará, Paraná, and São Paulo registered declines of between 10 and 15 percent.
In February, Insider.com noted, “Brazil reduced its homicide rate by 13% last year, ending a years-long streak of record violence, according to a new report released Wednesday. The annual Monitor of Violence report recorded a rate of 24.7 homicides per 100,000 in 2018, the lowest since its records began in 2011. The overall number of homicides was 51,000, a seven-year low.”
When he campaigned for the presidency last year, Bolsonaro tweeted, “Our concern and our priority are good people. I’ve always said it: I prefer a prison full of criminals than a cemetery full of innocents. If space is missing, we build more!”
The Independent noted, “The hardline president is famous for favouring the aphorism “a good criminal is a dead criminal” and has often spoken of his plans to make it easier for people to carry guns in public.”