Pacification and Brazil’s War on Drugs

For decades, Brazilian favelas (slums) have been under the control of highly organized, well armed gangs. Financed by the drug trade and armed with weapons often bought from the police the gangs rule their territory, rivaled only by other gangs trying to win turf. Up until a few years ago even law enforcement officers dared not enter. But spurred by the pleas of a large voting bloc and especially this year’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games a change in policy was deemed necessary. In an effort to polish up Brazil’s image abroad a new policy of pacification of the favelas was adopted in 2008. Aimed at eliminating the gangs’ control the policy can be divided into three phases: (1) reclaim territory formerly lost to drug gangs, (2) expel them from those areas and (3) integrate resident communities with the rest of the city. This last phase theoretically includes long-term government initiatives to improve quality of life in pacified favelas, although this has been called into question by residents. Besides, when being a bureaucrat becomes as lucrative as it is in Brazil, one should not be surprised to hear would-be politicians make any and all campaign promises necessary to win political office. As mentioned in a previous article Brazilian police is notoriously corrupt and consequently distrusted by many people, particularly in the states and cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Perhaps that is why two special police departments were set up to establish closer ties between them and local residents: the Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (BOPE) and Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP). Although often referred to as “community police” these forces can call for military support – as they did most recently in 2010 and 2011. In select slums gang members were successfully chased out and …

The Inverse Relationship Between Criminality and Freedom

“The subject is criminality and freedom, and I will try to argue that from a libertarian perspective, these two concepts are in a very simple relationship of inverse proportionality, so the more that crime pervades, the less liberty there is; and conversely so. There is a kind of mathematical formula, which says that liberty is equal to 1/criminality, so it is the inverse of criminality. Of course this formula should not be taken too seriously, I will not try to measure the variables, but it is quite suggestive I think as a kind of summary or visualisation of the subject of this lecture. The first point is that it is very unsatisfactory for the thinking mind to define crime as any violation of the legal system as it exists at this particular moment, or in this particular country. Criminality needs to be defined in the framework of a theory of justice and I will use the very good and very convincing theory of justice of Murray Rothbard, as he developed it in his famous book The Ethics of Liberty.” [alert style=”grey”]The full talk is exclusively for ISIL members. If you are a member, type the password you’ve been sent below to view the video and transcription. If you haven’t yet received the password, request it here. If you’re not a member and would like to join the ISIL family for access to extra talks and resources, sign up here today![/alert] [protect password=”LAUSANNE!@#$”] [button url=”http://isil.org/conferences/lausanne-2013/” style=”blue” size=”small”]See more videos from the Lausanne Conference[/button] [highlight type=”grey”]This is a transcription of the Renaud Fillieule’s talk at the ISIL 2013 World Conference.[/highlight] [highlight type=”grey”]Transcribed and edited by Kenli S.[/highlight] Many thanks to ISIL for this invitation, and especially to Christian Michel who invited me to speak at this conference. Introduction I am an Austrian Economist, I’ve been working …