Rio: O Globo Source on Militia Mess Gets Rubbed Out

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Bat macumba oba: The Batman shield marks protected homes and businesses in Rio’s Western District — and appears in the campaign advertising of two local candidates.

Testemunha diz que carro da PM deu cobertura para seqüestro de líder comunitário: The O Globo daily, which interviewed the man recently, reports on the disappearance of an exiled community leader from the Kelson’s shantytown.

“Witness says military police car provided cover for kidnapping.”

The man had told O Globo reporters he hoped that going public would help guarantee his life after he came forward and charged several policemen moonlighting as militiamen with summary executions and other crimes.

The state governor, Mr. Cabral, issued a statement yesterday saying his administration will continue to combat the militia phenomenon and police corruption.

Will they continue to do so without providing protection for witnesses?

Because you have to wonder if that is working out so well.

The “expulsion” of the militia in August is touted as a success story in that respect, but the troopers involved were merely confined to barracks for 72 hours, then released to active duty.

Globo’s G1 news portal also gives prominent play today to a report in the U.K. Guardian on the shocking rate of disappearances in Rio state and their connection with death-squad activity and alt.leisure.pharmaceutical violence.

On the Kelson’s saga, see also

RIO – Um carro da Polícia Militar teria dado cobertura à ação de cinco criminosos que atiraram no presidente da Associação de Moradores da Favela Kelson’s, na Penha, Jorge da Silva Siqueira Neto, de 35 anos, e o seqüestraram na tarde de sexta-feira, em Rocha Miranda, segundo uma testemunha. Um dos principais suspeitos do crime é o soldado Alexandre Barbosa Batista, do 14º BPM, que fora alvo de denúncia feita pelo próprio Jorge, no dia 9 de abril, de acordo com o delegado-titular da 40ª DP (Rocha Miranda), Altair Queiroz. Jorge havia denunciado a órgãos da Secretaria de Segurança que vinha sofrendo ameaças de morte de grupos de milícias. Em agosto, a Polícia expulsou milicianos da favela Kelson’s.

A military police vehicle provided cover for the activities of five criminals who fired on on the president of the Kelson’s residents association, Jorge da Silva Siqueira Neto, 35, and kidnapped him on Friday afternoon in Rocha Miranda, according to a witness. One of the prime suspects is PM trooper Alexandre Barbosa Batista of the 14th Military Police Battalion (BPM), who had been the subject of charges brought by Jorge on April 8, according to the head of the 40th Police Precinct in Rocha Miranda, Altair Queiroz. Jorge had told state public safety agencies that he was receiving death threats from militias. In August, the police expelled militiamen from the Kelson’s shantytown.

Militias are police.

– Foram cinco pessoas atirando e tinha um carro da PM dando cobertura a eles – disse a testemunha, em entrevista ao telejornal “RJTV”, da Rede Globo.

“There were five people shooting and a PM car providing cover,” said the witness in an interview with Globo’s RJTV newscast.

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Poll of 2,200 Web site visitors: Do police react more forcefully and immediately to criminals when police are the victims of violence? Yes, when a policeman is killed, the PMs and civil police respond more violently (68%). No, police operations are not motivated by revenge. Yes, and necessarily so, so that bandits will respect police (25%). No, but that’s how it should be. Source: O Globo, September 9, 2007. The poll as worded does not test negative and positive attitudes uniformly, it seems to me.

 

O líder comunitário registrou na delegacia queixa de ameaça feita pelo policial Alexandre Barbosa Batista, que teria dito a Jorge: “Se você não sair daqui (da favela), vai sofrer um acidente”. O soldado prestou depoimento na sexta-feira e negou envolvimento com o seqüestro. Mas o delegado vai pedir a quebra de sigilo telefônico da vítima, do soldado e de outros quatro policiais que também seriam suspeitos. Neste sábado, a Secretaria de Segurança Pública informou que não houve nenhum pedido de proteção para Jorge e para a família dele.

The community leader filed a formal complaint of death threats from policeman Barbosa Batista, who reportedly told him, “If you do not get out of her [the shantytown community], you are going to have an accident.” The trooper gave a statement on Friday and denied involvement in the kidnapping. But the precinct captain is going to petition to access the telephone records of the trooper and four other policemen who are suspects in the case. On Saturday, the state secretary of public security said there had been no request for protection for Jorge and his family.

Caveat delator.

If you do your duty as a citizen, the police will not protect you unless you submit the proper forms in triplicate, is that it?

Família diz não ter esperança em encontrar Jorge vivo

Family said they do not expect to find Jorge alive

As polícia Civil e Militar estão fazendo buscas no subúrbio para encontrar o líder comunitário. Familiares de Jorge, no entanto, disseram que não têm mais esperança em encontrar ele vivo. Na manhã deste sábado, um parente seguia para o Instituto Médico-Legal (IML) na tentativa de encontrar o possível corpo da vítima. Ele disse que o celular do líder comunitário também estava desaparecido. Outros familiares também foram até o bairro de Cordovil para tentar reconhecer um corpo encontrado no local. Entretanto, o corpo não era do líder comunitário. Na sexta-feira, após o seqüestro, a mulher de Jorge disse temer por sua vida:

The civil [state judicial, sort of] and military police are conducting searches in the suburban area in an attempt to locate the community leader. Family members, however, said they no longer have hope of finding him alive. This Saturday morning, a relative went to the coroner’s office in an attempt to find his corpse. He said Jorge’s cell phone has also disappeared. Other family members went to the Cordovil neighborhood to try to identify a body found there. But the body was not Jorge’s. On Friday, after the kidnapping, Jorge’s wife said she feared for his life:

– Mataram meu marido e agora estou com medo, porque eles sabem onde moro.

“They killed my husband and now I am afraid, because they know where I live.”

Testemunhas contaram à família do líder comunitário que os bandidos fizeram vários disparos contra Jorge, que acabou atingido, em Rocha Miranda, na tarde de sexta-feira, e o seqüestraram. Os criminosos levaram o carro dele, um Focus prata LNP-1128. Jorge foi expulso da favela por milicianos há cerca de nove meses. O caso do presidente da associação de moradores foi contado na série do jornal O Globo “Os brasileiros que ainda vivem na ditadura”.

Witnesses told the community leader’s family that the bandits fired several times at Jorge, striking him, in Rocha Miranda on Friday afternoon, then kidnapped him. The criminals took his car, a Focus with license plate LNP-1128. Jorge was expelled from the community by militiamen some 9 months ago. His story was told by this newspaper as part of its series “Brazilians who still live under the dictatorship.”

The O Globo investigative series contained some courageous reporting — as O Globo itself boasted early and often. “Look at what courageous reporting we are doing!”

That is to say, O Globo deigned to print information provided by courageous people in its community.

But the way editors branded that reporting was telling, I thought.

Because you would think that if some Brazilians still live under the dictatorship, all Brazilians do.

But O Globo does not really seem to get that basic democratic idea.

And it seems to want us to shower it with kudos simply for deigning to print what this witness had to say.

Please.

O Globo sells papers and pats itself on the back. The witness buys the farm. Some deal. I am sure sources are now lining up up to tell Globo editors — paragons of integrity that they are and always have been — what they know.

When a source comes forward on the record and then gets killed over what he told you, the least a newspaper can do is crusade for a solution to the crime.

So how about moving the blond poster child, the girl who vanished in Portugal, off the front page?

And devoting the same ink and energy to the case of a black community organizer in your own quintal?

O corregedor-geral da PM, coronel Paulo Ricardo Paul, determinou que cinco policiais fossem localizados e levados para prestar depoimento na 40ª DP, na noite de sexta-feira. Quatro deles foram ouvidos. O chefe de Polícia Civil, Gilberto Ribeiro, foi à noite para a delegacia acompanhar as investigações. A mulher de Jorge também esteve na 40º DP e disse ter cópia do dossiê que seu marido fez sobre a milícia. Nesta segunda-feira, a polícia pretende ouvir duas testemunhas do caso.

Col. Paul, head of PM [internal affairs], ordered the five policemen located and brought in to give statements at the 40th precinct on Friday night. Four of them had their statements taken. The chief of the state [judicial] police, Gilberto Ribeiro, went to the precinct that evening to observe the interrogation. Jorge’s wife was also at the precinct and said she had a copy of the dossier her husband compiled on militias. On Monday, the police intend to hear from two witnesses in the case.

Na última segunda-feira, ao saber que os policiais que acusara estavam em liberdade, Jorge revelou que se sentia inseguro.

Last Monday, upon learning that the policemen he had accused were free, Jorge said he felt unsafe.

– E agora, o que vou fazer? Como podem libertar esses policiais? Não tenho como me sentir seguro – disse em entrevista ao Globo.

“Now what am I going to do? How could they let these policemen go? There’s no way for me to feel safe,” he said in an interview with O Globo.

O comando da Polícia Militar informou que pediu a prisão preventiva dos policiais, mas a Justiça não autorizou.

Military police leadership said they requested preventive detention of the policemen, but the court did not grant it.

I believe that would be a military court.

O Governador do Rio divulgou nota na tarde deste sábado, afirmando que não irá recuar no combate às milícias.

The state governor released a statement on Saturday afternoon stating that he will not retreat in combating militias.

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