Rio: “The Naked Mayor Blogs Smoking Corpses”

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Hey man in black, what is your mission?
I go to the
favelas and leave corpses on the ground
— a current underground funk carioca tune, based on a BOPE training chant and re-recorded for the soundtrack of Tropa de Elite (“Elite Squad”)

Fotos de mortos no Complexo do Alemão divulgadas em ex-blog de Cesar Maia geram polêmica: Photos of dead bodies from the Alemão operation published on “The Naked” Maia’s ex-blog “generate controversy.”

RIO – As cenas chocantes de cadáveres divulgadas nesta segunda-feira no ex-blog (informativo enviado para uma lista de 24 mil e-mails) do prefeito do Rio Cesar Maia Maia [sic?] durante megaoperação realizada em 26 de junho no Complexo do Alemão , que deixou 19 mortos -, geraram polêmica entre parlamentares e especilistas [sic]. As fotografias, de acordo com o prefeito, teriam sido enviadas a ele por uma rede de policiais e estariam sendo veiculadas pela internet. A seqüência de mais de 20 imagens mostra corpos ensangüentados, com marcas de tiros, além de drogas, armas e munição apreendidas. A apresentação termina com um gato atirando e frases que defendem a execução: “Fogo neles. Traficante bom é traficante morto”. Cesar disse que as cenas foram colocadas de forma crítica em seu ex-blog.

Shocking scenes of corpses published on Monday on the “ex-blog” (a newsletter sent out to 24,000 e-mail addresses) by Rio mayor Cesar Maia during the megaoperation at the Compleo do Alemão, which left 19 dead — are generating controversy among lawmakers and specialists.

The sentence as written says that the photos were published both yesterday and also during the June 29 operation.

I think what they mean is that the photos, reportedly taken during the June 29 operation, were published on Monday.

I subscribe to the ex-blog.

I did not receive it on Monday, December 10.

Globo, true to form, feels it needs to inform you how to feel about photographs showing bloody corpses with their brains blown out: They are “shocking.” If Globo did not tell you this, you might have some other, unauthorized emotional reaction.

The photos, according to the mayor, were supposedly sent by a network of former policemen and are said to be circulating on the Internet.

This is breaking news? I saw similar photos five or six months ago, but have not compared them to the Naked Maia’s yet. See

The series of more than 20 images show bloody corpses, with signs of gunshot wounds, as well as drugs, ammunition and weapons apprehended. The presentation ends with a cat shooting [????] and phrases that defend summary executions: “Shoot ’em down. The only good drug trafficker is a dead trafficker.” Cesar said the scenes were posted to his blog in a critical manner.

“More than 20”?

Is O Globo incapable of producing an exact count when it has run out of fingers and toes?

“In a critical manner”? What comments did the Mayor make about the photos?

The YouTube entry I saw shortly after the incident was headlined “Alemão: The Bums Get What They Deserve.”

Subtitled version follows. Not for the faint of heart.

O que dizem parlamentares e especialistas

Here is a link to what I think are the photos in question.

I count 28 photos — 23 individual images, plus a single composite file containing five images labeled “materiel apprehended during the megaoperation at the Complexo do Alemão.”

What lawmakers and specialists say:

O deputado estadual Marcelo Freixo (Psol), vice-presidente da Comissão de Direito Humanos da Alerj, lamentou que o prefeito tenha tornado públicas as fotos, justamente no Dia Internacional da Luta pelos Direitos Humanos:

State deputy Freixo (PSOL), vice-president of the Human Rights committee in the state assembly, laments the fact that the mayor made the photos public on International Human Rights Day.

Uma das fotografias mostra material que teria sido apreendido na operação do Alemão

One of the photos shows material that may have been apprehended during the Alemão oeration.

– Não é com esse tipo de apologia que o prefeito vai contribuir para que a sociedade carioca busque uma alternativa. Ele está aprofundando o sentimento de desprezo pela vida e fazendo com que as pessoas alimentem a idéia de ação ilegal por parte do estado.

“It is not with this type of apology [for violence?] that the mayor is going to contribute to Rio society finding an alternative. He is deepening the sentiment of disdain for the value of life and urging people to support the idea of illegal action by the state.”

Is he? Maybe.

The Associated Press famously described Maia as complacent, at least, with militias. Without, of course, quoting him to that effect. See

A member of Maia’s party has been arrested for ordering the assassination of a militia leader who supported a rival party.

So what exactly did “Chairman” Maia the blogging mayor say about the photos, and why he pointed to their presence on another Web site? I have shown you similar photos, and I could not be more dead set against summary executions. Sincerely. Among other things, death squads are bad for the efficient operation of free and open markets. Just ask Chiquita Brands Colombia.

Is my publishing them an “apology for crime”?

Para o professor de ciências políticas da Uerj Geraldo Tadeu Monteiro, a divulgação das imagens tem efeito contrário:

For state university poli-sci prof Monteira, the publication of the images has the opposite effect:

– Nos acostumamos a falar de morte sem ver o cadáver. As pessoas acabam se horrorizando. Mostrar as fotos cria mais constrangimentos do que estímulo a esse tipo de política.

“We are used to speaking of deaths without seeing the cadaver. People wind up being horrified. Showing the photos embarrasses more than it stimlates this type of policy.

Corregedoria vai investigar o caso.

Internal affairs will investigate the case.

What case? What corregedoria? What will it investigate? The origin of the photos? The leaking of information from an ongoing investigation? A case requires a rule, and evidence of conduct breaking that rule.

Segundo Cláudio Beato, do Centro de Estudos em Criminalidade e Segurança Pública da Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, o prefeito traduziu um sentimento compartilhado, infelizmente, por boa parte da opinião pública:

According to Beato of the Center for theStudy of Criminality and Public Securit at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, the mayor translated a feeling shared, unfortunately by a good part of public opinion.

This report has yet to quote a single one of the sentiments the mayor expressed.

I would check it myself, but I did not get a copy on Monday, December 10. I got one for all the other days this week. Did the Mayor decide to leave me out? Or did he even publish the ex-blog on the day indicated here?

– Estamos numa fase muito ruim da segurança pública, de confronto. Não quer dizer que não tenha de haver enfrentamento. Mas segurança não é só isso.

“We are in a bad phase in public security, one of armed confrontation. That does not mean there cannot be confrontation. But security is not just that.”

If Tony the Drug-Dealer, or anyone, for that matter, has a machine gun he should not have, and points the loaded gizmo at you, or someone else, when you go to take it away from him — which is what they pay you to do — by all means, shoot the guy dead, and quick.

This is international best practice for armed law-enforcement personnel.

If Tony the Drug-Dealer has surrendered his machine gun and you put two in the nuca while he is kneeling in front of you, you should go to jail.

The disturbing thought being that if some of these people started talking to prosecutors about what they knew, they might talk about things like buying guns off, and bribing, cops.

There are documented cases of that sort of thing going on in Rio, believe it or not.

Já o presidente regional da Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (OAB), Wadih Damous disse que o governo do estado deveria aceitar a proposta da Secretaria Nacional de Segurança Pública, para que sejam convocados peritos internacionais.

Meanwhile, the regional president of the OAB, Wadih Damous, said the state government should accept the proposal from the National Public Security Secretary to invite international experts in.

Invite them in to do what?

Segundo o corregedor da Polícia Militar, coronel Paulo Ricardo Paul, caso haja indícios de conivência de PMs na divulgação dessas fotos, será instaurado um inquérito policial-militar, que poderá resultar em punição dos responsáveis.

According to Military Police corregedor (internal affairs commander) Col. Ricardo Paulo, in the event there is evidence of involvement by military police in the publications of these photos, an internal investigation will be installed that could result in the punishment of those responsible.

Col. Paul also blogs. See, for example,

– Vamos investigar. A divulgação de qualquer imagem de uma operação policial é ilegal. Muitas vezes, elas são fotografadas para servir como material de instrução e aprimoramento de novas ações, mas nunca podem ser usadas irresponsavelmente. Se aparecerem indícios de que algum policial militar tirou aquelas fotos ou as divulgou sem autorização, vamos abrir um inquérito e punir. Quero saber quem tirou as fotos, quando tirou, em qual operação e quais os batalhões que participaram dessa ação – detalhou o coronel, ao tomar conhecimento das imagens pela equipe de reportagem.

“Let’s investigate. The publication of any image from a police operation is illegal. Many times they are photographed for training purposes and to perfect subsequent actions, but they must never be used irresponsibly. … I want to know who took those photos, when they took them, during what operation and what battalions took part,” he said, upon learning of the photos from from the reporting team.

I repeat: I saw photos like these in July. On YouTube.

A TV news report last evening — Rede TV? TV Record? Let me ask the wife — said that the photos had been matched to persons killed in the Alemão operation.

Imagens foram repassadas a 24 mil pessoas

Images distributed to 24,000 persons.

But not to me.

Pelo menos outras duas páginas na internet também trazem o registro da operação. O GLOBO ONLINE entrou em contato com Cesar Maia por e-mail. O prefeito reiterou que as imagens foram enviadas por policiais, de quem, segundo ele, costuma receber informações pela internet. Cesar contou ter repassado o material para as 24 mil pessoas que constam na sua lista de contatos. Perguntado se é a favor de que fotos como essas tornem-se públicas, ele se resguardou: “Numa rede fechada é diferente de um meio de comunicação”.

At least two other Web sites also carry records of the operation. O GLOBO ONLINE sent Cesar Maia an e-mail.

What, O GLOBO in Rio cannot spare the time to go over to City Hall and interview the Naked Mayor personally?

The mayor repeated that the images were sent by policemen, from whom, he claims, he often gets information over the Internet. Cesar said he passed the material on to the 24,000 persons on his contact list. Asked he is in favor of the photos being made public, he was guarded: “It is different on a closed network than in a public medium.”

O comandante do 16º BPM (Olaria), coronel Marcus Jardim, participou da operação no Alemão e alegou que as fotografias podem ter sido tiradas pela imprensa.

The commander of the 16th BPM, Col. Jardim, took part in the Alemão operation and alleged that the photos might have been taken by the press.

– Às vezes é até necessário a Polícia Militar fotografar, mas, nessa operação, até aonde eu sei, agentes da PM não fotografaram nada – afirmou o coronel.

“At times it is even necessary for the military police to photograph, but in this case, as far as I know, PM agents did not photograph anything,” he said.

There is technically a CSI:Rio, and CSI:Miami runs here, with subtitles.

But as a practical matter, police here do not really do crime-scene preservation when they shoot someone. This was a major point of contention with the federal experts, who charged that the police, who pled exigent circumstances, could indeed have preserved the crime scene and other evidence.

There was a story that some police, in a bid to dispose of corpses, commandeered a VW van. When the van failed to start, they set it on fire. This, again, from Rede TV news last evening, I believe. Checking.

Some of the corpses arrived at the precinct at that day transported by a van service driver, who said armed men had flagged him down and ordered him to take them there, or they would blow his brains out. Some reports at the time speculated those armed men were drug traffickers.

But were they?

Relatório do governo federal apontou indícios de execuções sumárias

Federal government report pointed to signs of summary executions

Na ocasião da megaoperação, a polícia foi criticada por instituições de defesas dos direitos humanos, que denunciaram indícios de execuções sumárias. Em novembro, uma análise feita pela Secretaria Especial de Direitos Humanos da Presidência da República nos laudos periciais dos 19 mortos confirmou a acusação. O relatório, de 15 páginas, foi contestado pelo secretário de Segurança, José Mariano Beltrame, e por três peritas estaduais. O documento foi elaborado por um órgão do governo federal, embora ministros e até o presidente Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva tenham elogiado as ações policiais no Rio.

At the time of the “megaoperation,” the police were criticized by human rights groups, who denounced signs of summary executions. In November, an analysis by the Special Secretary of Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic of the autopsy reports of the 19 dead confirmed this accusation. The 15-pp. report was contested by state public security secretary Beltrame, and by three state experts. The document was prepared by a federal agency, although federal ministers and even the president praised the police actions in Rio.

Really?

O GLOBO ONLINE optou por não divulgar fotos dos cadáveres, por julgar que as imagens não acrescentam informações à reportagem.

O GLOBO ONLINE opted not to published the photos of the corpses, deeming that the images did not add any information to the report.

O GLOBO ONLINE opted to present a debate over “controversial” remarks by the Naked Mayor — is this an apology for summary execution? — without actually quoting any of the remarks he made.

“Do you think Bush’s remarks while pardoning the Thanksgiving turkey were racist?”

“Why, what did he say?”

“It doesn’t matter! You don’t need to know! Just answer the question!”

O GLOBO ONLINE has presented opinion divorced from fact. Globo journalism tends to do that, as Ricardo Kaufmann has pointed out:

If you look at the photos published back in July — I am going to suck it up and try to compare them with the Naked Mayor’s photo album — you see that the photos do carry some significant information bearing on an extremely important factual dispute.
They show people with holes blown in them, in graphic detail.

If whether or not people were killed execution-style is the real issue here — rather than what a bunch of pundits think about the Naked Mayor’s blog — and these photos purport to show people with holes blown in them that the medical experts are arguing about, then they certainly do have informational value.

Does the Naked Mayor not have anything better to do than blog?

Like, say, doing his job?

Mike Bloomberg does not blog, as far as I know. He is quite a busy guy, and did not get to be a gazillionaire by blogging, furthermore.

Sure, I blog. But I am not gazillionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne, or Commissioner Gordon. And blogging is probably part of the reason why. (I am going back to working full-time or a living soon, if all goes well.)

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“Material seized during Alemão megaoperation”

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