Skip to comments.The Mafia's Shadow Kingdom: Across Latin America, governments capitulate to gangsters
Posted on 06/01/2006 11:56:40 PM PDT by dennisw
Recent violence in Sao Paulo may just be the tip of the iceberg: Many parts of Brazil and indeed across Latin America, governments have capitulated to gangsters, and the rise of organized crime could end the recent leftward shift across Latin America.
Garbage containers block the road into slum district Vigario Geral, one of the most dangerous favelas in Rio de Janeiro. A visitor approaches the barricade, two youths appear from the shadow of a nearby building. They're carrying machine guns, and handguns are tucked into their pants. "You want to go to church, right?" the older of the two asks the stranger politely. "We'll take you there -- we're registered."
A boy rolls the containers aside. The youths deposit their Kalashnikov rifles on the backseat of a taxi and direct the driver through the labyrinthine streets. Father Marco Freitas receives his guest in front of the congregation room of Assembleia de Deus, Protestant sect. The priest knows the two youths: "They respect me; they often come to the service. It's only during police raids that things get dangerous."
But police raids rarely occur. "We're usually warned in advance," the youths point out. They escort the visitor back to the highway onramp and say goodbye. This is where their territory ends and the Brazil of law and order begins -- the Brazil of "asphalt," as the drug mafia calls it.
The slum Vigario Geral is part of a shadowy kingdom of drug gangs and their heavily armed footmen. The territory isn't marked on any map. Paramilitary gangsters control most of Rio's roughly 700 favelas. They've built a parallel government -- like the ones in Sao Paulo prisons, the slums of Caracas and Medellin, and the streets of Acapulco and Mexico City.
Organized crime is on the rise across Latin America.
(Excerpt) Read more at service.spiegel.de ...
We know he is still practicing for this country
I'm literally shocked a leftoid like Der Spiegel will publish an article like this. Its American counteraprts will flatly refuse to print it.
Your point in posting this is "latin america stinks and keep it out of the USA"
I see a more interesting point. That there is not a lot of difference between government and organized crime.
Organized crime has a set of rules, enforces a type of tax collection, enforces a type of law and order, and imposes deadly violence upon those who disobey. This is very similar to government of all types. We are lucky that in the USA, our people believe in the constitution which severely limits the reach of government.
I probably responded too early: "...the rise of organized crime could end the recent leftward shift across Latin America."
Thought that Spiegel meant "the organized crime's rise is behind the recent leftward shift across Latin America".
At the 'bottom' of every law is the barrel of a gun. Every tax is the forced confiscation of your money under the threat of violence.
You said it, brother.
This is absolutely correct, and it's more widespread than that, for radical Islam is nothing more than organized crime, and Osama bin Laden non other than an Al Capone.
The world is the Old West, and the robbers have just about taken over the town. The Sheriff is quivering in the White House and the Cavalry (US military) is doing its job to the best of its ability, but we need a Matt Dillon to face down the gangsters. They are indeed taking over with the help of corrupt politicians everywhere, and we have no shortage of those.
There are two countries in Brazil....the Favelas(slums)...and the rest.....both are very corrupt...and life is cheap...
I think the distinction - "organized crime" and "the left" - is a distinction without a difference. One's organizing criminal pursuit is commercial and the other's organizing criminal pursuit is political. Both produce "law and order" in a manner that insures the success of their pursuit and not for any natural law or moral law purpose and certainly not for any purpose one could relate to "human rights".
Latin America is predominantly Roman catholic. This outcome is a historical fact, but many REFUSE to see or admit it. How sad.
Interesting that the gangs control the borders of the favelas. You can't get in or stay in without their permission. Maybe our own government could contract out border control to the gangs. They seem to know how to do it.
The Catholic-Latin cultures are more tolerant of corruption than the Nordic protestant ones. Traditionally people from Scandinavia and Northern Europe were boringly honest (joking here!), were diligent about work and scientific advancement. The Germans are still very serious about precision and well engineered products.
I vastly prefer the Anglo culture of the USA to the Latin culture of our Hispanic neighbors. Even though our Anglo culture had been worn down and semi- corrupted