Brazil: “Colonel Criticizes Elite da Tropa”

TV Globo “report” on BOPE consisted of editing footage produced by the unit itself and adding a techno soundtrack and narration. Nothing was revealed. See NMM(-TV)SNBCNNBS: The Cops of Fox x Globo’s BOPE.

… we must dare to be free, even as we weep at the pain of those who offer up their own flesh to the hot steel, as have the policemen who have fallen these last months, watering the soil with blood and honor so that the seeds of peace may be sown. — Lt. Col. Mário Sérgio de Brito Duarte, former BOPE commander and current head of strategic planning for Rio’s state public security department. See BOPE Blogs: “There is No Third Way.”

Coronel critica ´Tropa de Elite´ | Diário do Nordeste (Brazil): In Rio, the Oscar preview run of the fictionalized memoir of two BOPE troopers, Elite da Tropa (“The Trooper Elite” is merely my suggested off-the-cuff translation), has generated lots of buzz.

It seems to have been fast-tracked for U.S. distribution, too, much like Miramax’s City of God before it.

IstoÉ magazine has an interesting write-up on “the buzz” this week, although it has not posted it to its Web site yet.

In it, rank-and-file military police complain that the film tendentiously portrays BOPE as the Dudley Do-Right good guys and the rank-and-file PM as the font of all corruption.

Complains one anonymous trooper: “I know corrupt BOPE troopers and I know honest ones. Same goes for the battalions.”

Here, the current commander of the elite special operations unit comments on the film. I am going to try to make a fairly through clippings file pra Harvey Weinstein ver.

Maybe we will even pick up a Paraguayan pirate copy. The streets, they say, are flooded with them, and we have to go to Santa Ifigênia tomorrow to try to find something that FNAC does not stock — a simple 11v DC power adaptor for the NMM(-TV)SNB(B)CNN(P)BS technical inventory (a tiny, cheap handheld camcorder). The kind you could probably find in any Radio Shack. Here, you have to venture into the Sino-Paraguayan hinterlands.

“Nós estamos no topo”. Nós, na afirmação do coronel Alberto Pinheiro Neto, de 43 anos, são os 400 policiais comandados por ele do Batalhão de Operações Especiais, o Bope, retratados no filme Tropa de Elite [sic] como um núcleo incorruptível e destemido da Polícia Militar do Rio, mas envolvido com tortura e execuções.

“We are the best of the best.” By “we,” Col. Alberto Pinheiro Neto, 43, means the 400 policemen of the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE) he commands, portrayed in the film Elite da Tropa as the incorruptible and fearless nucleus of the Rio military police, though involved in torture and executions.

They are honest and fearless, but they torture and execute and blast unarmed subjects at random, as you see in that clip I showed you the other day? See also

This is on the public record: On the day Inspector Felix Tostes — reputed militia leader and gambling rackets equity partner — was assassinated in the proverbial “gangland style,” 7 BOPE troopers were caught in his apartment, doing God knows what and on whose authority no one yet knows. And see also

“As ações no Complexo do Alemão (zona norte) em junho devolveram a auto-estima dos policiais´, diz Pinheiro Neto, que elogia o filme, apesar de fazer algumas ressalvas.

“The raids on the Complexo do Alemão in June gave the police their self-esteem back,” says the Colonel, who praises the firm, with some reservations.

But see

Summary executions, with (the usual) destruction of evidence, are suspected by human rights observers and local prosecutors, during those operations.

The chair of the OAB-RJ human rights commission was borked for insisting on this point too loudly. Summarily borked. What was that all about, anyway? See

BOPE’s caveirão armored vehicle went around policing up the bodies. Photos are available on the Internet. They did not arrive at the coroner’s office in their original condition.

“[The outside expert hired by the CDHAJ also lamented the fact that the clothing of the dead subjects had disappeared. The bodies arrived naked at the IML. The clothes might have contained gunpowder marks, indicating whether the shots were fired at point-blank range.

The warrant for the arrest of Tota, the reputed leader of the Traffic in the area, was not successfully served. See also

Tanto na operação do Alemão, na qual morreram 19 pessoas, como em Tropa de Elite, a fama de eficiência do Bope compete o tempo todo com as inúmeras denúncias de truculência e abusos.

In the Alemão raid, in which 19 persons died, as in the film, BOPE’s reputation for efficiency constantly competes with countless charges of truculence and abuse.

According to official PM spokesmen, 19 persons did not die in the raid; rather, 19 “bandits committing atrocities” died. See also

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
BOPE spokesmen –”we kill to create a better world” — consistently describe any and all felonies as “atrocities,” among other astonishing rhetorical excesses.

Pinheiro Neto começou a carreira na Força Aérea Brasileira. Entrou para a polícia 23 anos atrás e há 13 serve no Bope. Foi no Quartel do Vale dos Ossos Secos, em Laranjeiras, na zona sul, sede do Bope, que falou ao Estado sobre a pergunta que mais ouviu nesses dias.

Pinheiro started his career in the air force. He entered the police force 23 years ago and has served in BOPE for 13. At the Valley of Dry Bones barracks in Laranjeiras, BOPE headquarters, he spoke to the Estado de S. Paulo about the question he has heard most often in recent days.

´Sim, vi o filme e gostei como uma obra de ficção. Porém, achei as cenas de tortura e execuções desnecessárias. O Bope age dentro da lei. Se há suspeitas de desvio de conduta, a apuração é rigorosa. Do contrário não éramos policiais´.

“Yes, I saw the film, and liked it as a work of fiction. But I think the scenes of torture and executions were unnecessary. BOPE acts lawfullly. If there are suspicions of misconduct, they are investigated rigorously. If they were not, we would not be policemen.”

Na semana passada, soldados do Bope foram aplaudidos quando se exercitavam na Praia de Copacabana. Reflexo do filme, objeto do maior derrame de cópias piratas que a cidade já conheceu. Pinheiro prefere não dar tanto crédito assim ao filme de José Padilha.

Last week, BOPE troopers were applauded while exercising on Copacabana beach. A result of the film, which has been the subject of the biggest flood of pirated copies the city has ever seen. Pinheiro prefers not to give so much credit to José Padilha’s movie.

“Era preciso fazer alguma coisa e começaram as grandes operações, muito eficazes. As pessoas passaram a enxergar uma luz no fim do túnel”.

“It was necessary to do something, and the big raids began, very effective. People began to see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Tota remains at large, as far as I know.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Clips from the video for a current underground funk carioca hit shows the 19 corpses of the Complexo do Alemão operation in June. Apparently photographed by police inside their armored vehicle. How
do police photographs wind up as music videos with death-dealing lyrics and featuring splattered heads and corposes on YouTube, anyway?


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