Salvador: Proactive Debt Collection Comes From the Barrel of a Taxpayer-Funded Gun?

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Esquadrão de morte, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Disbanded by court order in 2004.

A legislative probe of the drug traffic pointed to six Espirito Santo state police officials and 24 policemen as members of organized crime. All of them belonged to the Scuderie Le Cocq

Bruno Wendel of the Correio da Bahia (Salvador, Bahia, Brazil) reports:

A execução de um casal, anteontem à noite, no Jardim Santo Inácio, pode ter contado com a participação de policiais militares envolvidos com o comércio de drogas. Moradores do bairro contaram que a traficante Francisca Balbina Santos, 39 anos, e o usuário de drogas Marcelo Oliveira de Santana, 20, foram fuzilados na boca-de-fumo controlada por ela, pouco depois de ter se negado a pagar quase R$2 mil a quatro PMs para continuar traficando no local.

The execution of a couple in Jardim Santo Inácio the night before last may have involved military policemen involved in the drug trade. Residents of the neighborhood said drug trafficker Francisca Balbina Santos, 39, and drug user Marcelo Oliveira de Santana, 20, were shot to death with assault rifles in the point of sale controlled by Francisca, just after refusing to pay some R$2,000 to four policemen in order to continue operating.

Populares relataram que os policiais chegaram na residência de nº 38 do Caminho 3 da Quadra D e exigiram de Francisca o pagamento, por volta das 23h. Cansada da extorsão, ela expulsou os PMs de sua porta. Instantes depois, um grupo de rapazes se posicionou defronte ao imóvel e a chamou do lado de fora. Acreditando que fossem alguns de seus clientes, ela saiu e logo foi executada com vários tiros, caindo morta na sala.

Residents said the police arrived at the house at 38 Road 3 in Block 4 and demanded the payment from Francisca around 11pm. Tired of being extorted, she turned the PMs away from her door. Moments later, a group of young men took up positions outside the house and called her to come out. Believing they were customers, she came out and was immediately executed with multiple gunshots, falling dead in her living room.

Ao ouvir os disparos, Marcelo, que estava em um dos quartos, tentou se esconder debaixo da cama, mas foi encontrado e igualmente fuzilado. Em seguida, os assassinos reviraram toda a casa e deixaram o local. Teriam levado certa quantidade de entorpecentes. Agentes da Delegacia de Homicídios, sob o comando da delegada plantonista Rosimar Malafaia Menezes Fernandes, estiveram na cena do crime e encontraram, além de alguns documentos pessoais das vítimas, a quantia de R$130,25, que seria procedente da venda de drogas.

Hearing the shots, Marcelo, who was in one of the bedrooms, tried to hide beneath the bed, but was found and also shot to death. The murderers then searched the premises and left. They reportedly came a way with a quantity of narcotics. Homicide Division detectives, headed by watch commander Menezes, were at the scene of the crime and discovered, besides personal documents of the victims, the sum of $130.25, allegedly the proceeds of drug sales.

And they say crime does not pay.

Um parente de Marcelo, que não quis se identificar, esteve ontem pela manhã na 10ª Delegacia (Pau da Lima), onde o caso também está sendo investigado, e contou aos agentes que o rapaz era dependente químico há pelo menos cinco anos e que morava há cerca de um ano com Francisca com o único intuito de consumir droga. Além de policiais da DH e 10ªDP, o duplo homicídio está sendo apurado pelo Grupo Especial de Repressão a Crimes de Extermínio (Gerce).

A relative of Marcelo’s, who did not want to be identified, was at the 10th Precinct in Pau da Lima yesterday, where the case is also being investigated, and told detectives that the young man was an addict who thought only of consuming drugs. The case is also being investigated by GERCE, the Special Group for [Death-Squad] Crimes.

About whom more later.

Death-squad crimes are said to be high on the national law enforcement agenda for the year ahead.

A Congressional commission looked into the problem a couple of years back, with respect to the Northeastern region of the country.

It seems to be more widespread than that, however — and to have extensive historical tradition behind it. See also

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