Friday, May 19, 2006

Gangland Style Killings Rock Brazilian Financial Capital

Sao Paulo Gangster Killings - Reuters

Recently, organized crime in Brazilian Sao Paulo, the country's financial and industrial center, has simultaneously illustrated its own strength and the weakness of the Brazilian criminal justice system by successfully killing 30 plus police officers in the world's third largest metropolitan area. Despite incarceration of many Brazilian gang bosses, easy access to smuggled cell phones and other means of communication allow the organizations to continue functioning effectively--well enough to pull off organized attacks on police officers.

On Friday, relatives took to the streets to collect the corpses of suspected gang members who have been massacred all week in what appears to be a retaliatory attack by police. While Brazilian officials deny the attacks were carried out to avenge the death of police colleagues, several international organizations and citizens of Brazil desire investigations to be made. A human rights advisor in the Sao Paulo state government commented that, given the tainted history of the police in the region, he would be unsurprised if it were found that innocents were brutally killed along with the gangsters.

A Brazilian Senate committee looks to put together a package of reforms for stricter regulations in Brazil's notorious prisons, in an effort to curtail the operations often run by those gang bosses who are imprisoned.

Sao Paulo state Gov. Lembo commented that the recent violence is reflective of Brazil's social inequalities.

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