São Paulo: “Technically, No Death Threats By Killers of the 18th,” Says PM

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Col. Rodrigues gets shot down like a dog — reportedly by low-level
(in)subordinates.

In a press release, the state military police stated that “formally, there were no direct threats to any PM officer.”

Coronel da PM morto em SP tentou afastar 56 policiais: “Military police colonel assassinated in São Paulo had tried to fire 56 police troopers.”

For at least the second day running, the Estado de S. Paulo dedicates the front page of its Metrópole (city) section to the murder of a senior patrol commander who was approached on a major thoroughfare in broad daylight by a hitman on a black motorcycle, dressed in a ski mask and combat boots, and lead-poisoned to death.

See also

Ballistics reportedly now show the same weapon was used in a chacina of six young men in the region last year.

Journalist Marcelo Godoy seems to have been pautada — assigned — to provide ample exposure to the case. It is hard to think of a story more deserving of hard, thorough coverage until the case gets resolved.

There are cases of moral panic over relative trivialities, and then there are things to get genuinely shocked about.

An honest boss cop tries to fire subordinates who are part of the polícia bandida, running extortion and murder for hire rackets and all that good stuff. His subordinates apparently have him whacked out in retalation.

I am genuinely shocked by that. Aren’t you? I often see cops from some of the units in question out on the street:  ROTA, Força Tática. DENARC, of whom the Colombian drug lord Ramirez Abadia is quoted as saying, “If you want to get rid of the drug trade, disband DENARC.” It is nerve-wracking to have to wonder what the hell these people get up to, and whether they are about to get up it to in your neighborhood as they roll by in their brand new uparmored Toyota Hilux SUVs.

You start thinking that it might be better to have a few decently well-paid and -trained profession cops riding around in crappy little Yugos, diligently answering radio calls, than vast armies of extremely well-equipped, totally off-the-reservation “the cops are criminals” with hog-legs strapped to their thighs, spending most of their time moonlighting in the area of street justice for the benefit of the highest bidder.

SÃO PAULO – A abertura de 56 processos de demissão de policiais do 18º Batalhão da Polícia Militar foi o estopim que desencadeou as ameaças a oficiais na zona norte de São Paulo. O comando da PM só resolveu afastar das unidades policiais suspeitos de envolvimento com chacinas e achaques a traficantes na região depois do assassinato do coronel José Hermínio Rodrigues, ocorrido em 16 de janeiro. Três PMs do 18º Batalhão foram presos e 20 policiais de quatro batalhões afastados.

The opening of 56 termination proceedings against police from the 18th Military Police Battalion was the fuse that set off the death threats made to PM offices in the northern district of São Paulo. Top PM commanders only decided to suspend police suspected of involvement in “massacres” and shakedowns of drug traffickers in the area after the assassination of Col. José Hermínio Rodrigues on January 16. Three PMs from the 18th Battalion were arrested and 20 police from four battalions suspended.

No primeiro semestre de 2007, o tenente-coronel João Osório Gimenez Germano, comandante do 18º Batalhão, apontado como ponto de um grupo de extermínio, resolveu agir. Foi após a abertura dos processos de demissão que começaram as ameaças por telefone ao oficial. Indignado, Gimenez recorreu ao coronel Hermínio, seu superior. Ele levou Gimenez ao chefe da Corregedoria da PM, coronel José Paulo Menegucci. “A corregedoria não adiantou muita coisa, tanto que o Hermínio e o Gimenez foram pedir ajuda ao DHPP (Departamento de Homicídios e Proteção à Pessoa)”, disse um oficial, colega de turma de Hermínio.

In the first half of 2007, Lt. Col. João Osório Gimenez Germano, commanding officer of the 18th Battalion, which is pointed to as a battalion in which a death squad is operating, decided to act. It was after he filed the termination proceedings that he began to receive death threats by telephone. Outraged, Gimenez appealed to Col. Rodrigues, his superior officer. Rodrigues took Gimenez to the head of PM internal affairs, Col. Menegucci. “Going to internal affairs did not accomplish much, so Hermínio and Gimenez went to ask DHPP (the homicide bureau) for help,” said an officer who graduated from the academy in the same class as Hermínio.

Dois delegados confirmaram que os coronéis procuraram a Polícia Civil e foram recebidos pela direção da Divisão de Homicídios. “A reunião ocorreu em nível da divisão. Não houve participação do diretor do departamento”, disse um delegado que trabalhava em 2007 no DHPP. No encontro, Gimenez relatou seus problemas e as ameaças. “Providências foram tomadas. Fizemos o que pôde ser feito, mas as coisas não dependiam só da gente”, disse o delegado.

Two state judicial police investigators have confirmed that the colonels came to them and met with the leadership of the homicide bureau. “The meeting was at the division level, there were no department heads involved,” said one investigator who worked in the DHPP in 2007. During the meeting, Gimenez reported his problems and the threats. “Steps were taken. We did what could be done, but these things are not entirely up to us,” said the homicide investigator. 

Em junho, o tenente-coronel Gimenez deixou o 18º Batalhão e foi assumir o comando do 49º Batalhão, em Jundiaí, interior do Estado. Em janeiro, o tenente-coronel José Luiz Sanches Verardino, do 5º Batalhão, foi jurado de morte. Um major do batalhão enviou ao tenente-coronel Carlos José da Veiga, comandante interino da zona norte, um documentos sobre as ameaças. Em nota, a PM divulgou que “formalmente, não houve ameaça direta a qualquer oficial”.

In June, Lt. Col. Gimenez left the 18th Battaltion to assume command of the 49th BPM in Jundiaí, in [upstate] São Paulo. In January, Lt. Col. Sanches Verardino of the 5th Battalion received a death threat. A major from the battalion sent Lt. Col. da Veiga, interim commander of the northern district, some documentation of the threats. In a press release, the state military police stated that “formally, there were no direct threats to any PM officer.” 

Technically speaking, the problem does not exist.

That is the wire-service summary of the longer coverage package that ran yesterday.

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Loira de assalto: “Law student gets 8 years for robbing banks.” Top São Paulo police blotter story from G1/Globo today. Globo tends to opt for the facile and lurid over the difficult and public-minded. One of its TV Globo reporters in Rio was indicted on charges of spying on his law enforcement sources for the mafia. And yet his boss still has  his job. Go figure.

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