Rio de Janeiro: New Police & Thieves & Guns & Ammunition Newsflow

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The cartridges observed in the Small Arms Survey 2007 sample. Of 2,860 rounds, 1,045 bore the mark of their manufacturer. “Notes: the shells manufactured by CBC are marked in various ways. They include munitions marked CBC/MRP (Magtech Recreation Products) and CBC/MG. Magtech is the brand name CBC uses for its commercial exports and CBC/MG denotes production for the Brazilian federal Ministry of War — produced exclusively for armed forces use prior to 1969 (, 2006). WCC stands for Western Cartridge Co., Illinois, USA. FN is the mark of Belgium’s Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre. Source: Data furnished by DPTC, analyzed by Viva Rio.” Click to zoom.

Police and thieves on the street (oh yeah)
Fighting the nation with their guns and ammunition
–Junior Murvin

On December 17, military judge Rosali Cunha Lima ordered the arrest of two Army soldiers accused of involvement in a scheme to siphon off 9,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition from the Army. The ammo, used in assault rifles, was taken from the central warehouse in Paracambi, Baixada Fluminense, and was allegedly sold to drug traffickers. According to Military Justice, there are signs of a permanent scheme for siphoning off ammuntion.

PF prende grupo acusado de fornecer munição a traficantes do Rio (G1/Globo): “Federal police arrests group accused of selling ammunition to Rio drug dealers.”

A section of the 2007 Small Arms Survey focusing on Rio de Janeiro had set out to answer the question, How does military ammunition get into the hands of “armed non-state actors” — the drug traffic and others?


It proposed three possible sources:

  1. The ammo is sold out of (a) military police and (b) military armories
  2. The ammo is sold abroad and smuggled back into Brazil
  3. The ammo is sold by sports shooters authorized to possess ammunition normally reserved for military use

I think you should probably include (4) the logical possibility that transactions between police and illegal non-state actors might involve self-dealing: That is, are transactions in which the “state actors” and the criminal “non-state actors” happen to occupy the same human body.

This is an example of (3), and possibly (4) as well.

We also saw an example of (1)(b) last week.


We also saw a state government official executed last week with 7.62mm assault rifle rounds. See

As to (3):

A Polícia Federal do Rio prendeu, nesta quarta-feira (19), oito pessoas suspeitas de fornecer munição para 13 favelas do Rio, entre elas o escrivão aposentado da PF Claudio de Souza Coelho. Após dois meses de investigação, policiais estiveram em endereços no subúrbio, na Zona Norte e na Baixada Fluminense. Um dos suspeitos está foragido.

The Rio federal police arrested 8 persons on December 19 on suspicion of supplying ammunition to 13 Rio shantytowns, among them retired federal police employee Claudio de Souza Coelho. After two months of investigating, police agents went to addresses in the suburbs, the Northern Zone and the Baixada Fluminense. One of the suspects is still at large.

Entre os presos na Operação Toca estão dois praticantes de tiro esportivo que, por lei, podem comprar material para fabricar munição para treinamento. Segundo a polícia, a munição era revendida para pessoas ligadas ao tráfico de drogas. Ainda segundo as investigações, os dois presos compravam excedente de munição de outros atiradores esportivos e repassavam aos criminosos.

Among those arrested in Operation Toca [“lair, hiding place”] are two competitive shooters who, by law, are allowed to buy material to manufacturer ammunition for training purposes. According to police, the ammunition was then resold to persons linked to the drug traffic. Investigations showed that these two persons bought excess ammunition from others sports shooters and passed it along to criminals.

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7.62mm rounds like the ones found lodged in an upstate mayoral candidate and state government adviser on the Red Line highway in Rio recently.

Polícia apreendeu 41 armas

Police seized 41 weapons

A Polícia Federal afirma que o material era vendido para traficantes de várias favelas, entre elas, Ladeira dos Tabajaras, Andaraí, Pavão, Jacaré e Conjunto do Alemão. Ao todo, foram expedidos nove mandados de prisão pela Vara Criminal da Comarca de Itaguaí, sendo que duas pessoas já estavam presas e uma ainda está sendo procurada pela polícia. Também foram expedidos oito mandados de busca e apreensão.

The federal police say the materiel was sold to traffickers in various shantytowns, including Ladeira dos Tabajaras, Andaraí, Pavão, Jacaré and the Conjunto [Complexo] do Alemão. In all, nine arrest warrants were issued by the Itaguaí Criminal Court. Two of the warrants were for personal already in custody, and another is still being sought. Also issued were eight search warrants.

Durante toda a manhã, agentes chegavam à Polícia Federal com o material apreendido. Na ação da polícia foram apreendidas 41 armas de diversos calibres, além de cartuchos, pólvora, carregadores, dinheiro e drogas. Segundo a polícia, os suspeitos fabricam munição para metralhadoras, pistolas e fuzis.

Throughout the morning, agents arrived back at PF HQ with the materiel apprehended. During the action, 41 weapons of various calibers were seized, along with shells, powders, loaders, money and drugs. According to police, the suspects made ammunition for machine guns, pistols and assault rifles.

Escrivão nega acusações

Retired PF employee denies charges

Os suspeitos foram levados para prestar depoimento na sede da Polícia Federal, na Zona Portuária. Um dos advogados dos presos disse que as armas são de colecionadores e que não são o tipo de armamento utilizado por traficantes. O escrivão preso negou a acusação e disse que apenas forneceu munição a uma pessoa que estava se iniciando na prática de tiro de competição.

The suspects were taken to PF HQ in the port zone of the city to give statements. A defense attorney said the weapons are collector’s items and are not of the type used by traffickers. The former PF employee denied the accusation and said he merely furnished ammunition to someone who was starting to train as a competitive shooter.

As to (1)(b):

A juíza da quarta auditoria militar da Justiça Militar, Rosali Cunha Lima, decretou nesta segunda-feira (17) a prisão de dois soldados do exército acusados de envolvimento no desvio de nove mil cartuchos de munição de calibre 7,62 mm do Exército. A munição, usada em fuzil, foi retirada no dia 3 de dezembro do depósito central em Paracambi, na Baixada Fluminense, e teria sido vendida para traficantes. Os dois soldados estão presos.

On December 17, military judge Rosali Cunha Lima ordered the arrest of two Army soldiers accused of involvement in a scheme to siphon off 9,000 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition from the Army. The ammo, used in assault rifles, was taken from the central warehouse in Paracambi, Baixada Fluminense, and was allegedly sold to drug traffickers. The two soldiers are under arrest.

O promotor da Justiça Militar no Rio, Antônio Facuri, afirmou que investiga a participação de outros militares, além dos dois soldados, no desaparecimento da munição. Segundo o Ministério, há indícios da existência de um esquema permanente de desvio de munição.

Military prosecutor Antônio Facuri said he is investigating the [possible] involvement of other soldiers in the disappearance of the ammunition. According to Military Justice, there are signs of a permanent scheme for siphoning off ammuntion.

Segundo o Comando Militar do Leste, assim que foi constatado o desvio foi realizada uma conferência geral dos estoques existentes e a instauração de um Inquérito Policial Militar para apurar o fato e identificar os responsáveis.

The Eastern Military Command conducted a general inventory of its existing stocks as soon as the theft was noticed, and established a Military Police Inquiry (IPM) to look into the case and identify those responsible.

Military police as in our own military “MPs.”

In 2006, a unit of the Brazilian Army occupied the Morro da Providência in Rio in a bid to recover stolen military weapons.

It is currently repeating the experiment, this time, it says, in support of social and urbanization programs — although local residents are pointing out, not without some irony, that the signs it has posted read “Military operation in progress, stop and identify yourself” rather than “Social program in progress.” The Army’s marketing and recruiting slogan is “strong arm, hand of friendship.”


G1 had reported that residents had “successfully” negotiated the reduction of the Army contingent from 200 to 60.

Residents, however, how (December 20) say the force reduction has not actually occurred. Army spokespersons say the residents are engaged in information warfare at the instigation of the local Traffic.

We gringos do not have state military organizations, tasked to civilian law enforcement but subject only to military justice, like Brazilian state PMs.

Which is probably a good thing, I tend to think.

Imagine it: Utah’s state militia goes to war with, say, Nevada’s state militia. Casus belli: the arrest of LDS bishops in Wendover for driving with an open container (of Jack Daniels). Or something.

(Have you ever been to Wendover, where Prohibition runs smack up against the Mustang Ranch and one-armed banditry? I have, though not for quite a few years now. It’s really, really something, though — or was in my day. If you really want to experience it in a nitty-gritty way, take the Greyhound bus.)

Ronald Reagan believed in “state’s rights,” but that would be a little much even for the Federalist Society — “contemporary interpretations of the Commerce Clause are a Communist plot!” — you tend to guess.


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