Skip to comments.Vigilantes impose peace in Rio slums
Posted on 04/29/2007 11:27:53 AM PDT by Zakeet
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - For as long as anyone can remember, the cracked asphalt soccer field in the Roquete Pinto slum was off-limits to children "reserved" by gangs selling marijuana and cocaine. Then, a few months ago, a mysterious squad of beefy men with submachine guns started patrolling on foot, and the drug dealers disappeared.
A few days ago, while gunbattles were raging in two other Rio de Janeiro neighborhoods and bystanders were shielding their kids from the bullets, the barefoot teens of Roquete Pinto smiled and shouted as they kicked a ball around their freshly liberated field.
Startling transformations like Roquete Pinto's are increasingly visible across Rio, as for-profit "militias" made up of active and former police officers, private security guards, off-duty prison guards and firefighters evict drug gangs from slums where violence used to be out of control.
Although some worry about the implications of vigilante justice, the militias have powerful sympathizers, among them Mayor Cesar Maia, who calls them "self-defense groups" and says that compared with the drug gangs, the vigilantes are the lesser evil.
The surprise is that the gangs aren't fighting to hold their turf. In the few known cases where they did, militia gunfire turned them back.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
According to my Rat sources, this will never work over the long term. According to them, we need to disarm the citizens and turn the job of protection back over to the government.
That’s really interesting. If an area has become so violent that private militias are what’s needed to restore peace then I’m all for it so long as the militias don’t then go crazy with power and become the very thing they fought for. Ultimately the police do need to step back in and be the peacekeeping force, assuming they aren’t corrupt themselves.
Change “fought for” to “fought against”.
These Brazilians are heroes imo, if anyone tried this here they would promptly be jailed.
...Coming soon to a city near you.
It’s the ONLY way our slums will be cleaned up!
Impossible! This goes against the orthodoxy! Private citizens defending themselves, their communities, and their property against criminals?? These lunatics need to be disarmed and put back in their place, cowering and out of harms way - under the boot.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
The history of vigilante groups in the US is not encouraging.
They generally moved from fully justified measures against criminal gangs to repressing those who were not criminals but just disagreed with the vigilantes’ methods.
The only fully successful vigilante groups were those who implemented a predetermined program and then disbanded.
Then do your job.
In another favela, Rio das Pedras, a woman selling shampoo on the street had no doubts. "There are no muggers and no drug sellers," said Margarida Rodrigues dos Santos, 57. "The militia won't let them in."
At least one high-ranking police officer has endorsed their work while acknowledging that they are illegal.
"The communities are now free from the traffickers," Col. Mario Sergio de Brito Duarte, who heads a special favela operations unit, said in an e-mail. "Children and teenagers living in these neighborhoods are no longer exposed to drug wholesaling."
When did Charles Bronson move to Brazil? Didn’t he clean out the drug dealers and gangbangers in New York City in Death Wish 3? :)
Now, obviously not all police and military in Rio are corrupt. However, it's fairly well known that an awul lot are. BTW, this gives a good chance to see who is corrupt: Just look at those police, military, and politicians who bleat the loudest about the illegality of the militias.
Sorry, Senor, it's the people who establish the state, not vice versa. And when the state fails to do its job, as Abraham Lincoln observed, the people have the right to replace it.
-—see post # 10—
It depends on the vigilantes complexion, facila features, and hair texture.
You mean the LEOs and the courts who keep reminding us that they can't protect us?
But the will prosecute anybody who protects himself!
ping to neighborhood clean-up
Is anyone asking why Brazil can’t police its gangland crime wave? I blame the politicians, and I blame the people themselves, and their culture. Of course Los Angeles used to be a nice town, too. I remember when it was. These days, it looks a lot more like Rio, I’d say.
What would happen if a squad of beefy men with submachine guns started patrolling our slums and ghettos neighborhoods on foot instead of Taser armed men and women who must be concerned with criminal rights in a patrol car?
You and I both know the anser to that question. They’d be swept up into our criminal justice system pronto. Oprah and Ellen would croon about the operation, and David Letterman would tee off to a punchline that night. Al/Jesse would belly up to a couple of fundraisers dedicated to the event, and Saturday Night Live would do about 20 skits about it.
The advantage of an armed citizenry is that it is capable of assembling itself quickly into a group of whatever size is needed to deal with present circumstances, and then disbanding such group when it is no longer needed. Permanent police forces are at any given time almost always going to be either understaffed or overstaffed (since instantaneous demands on the police will vary far more quickly than staffing levels). I would guess long-term vigilante groups would probably have the same problem; if there isn't anything for them to do, they'll "find" something.
Isn’t that nice!
Pretty much what happened throughout American history.
Extended-service vigilantes tended to provoke the formation of counter-vigilante groups, often called “Regulators,” with the conflict between the two groups sometimes escalating to something close to civil war.
Still, it’s difficult to see any other solution where the collapse or absence of government makes conditions intolerable for the average person.
Applies to our borders as well, IMO.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” (Edmund Burke)
Seems pretty clear that's what we're coming to...
Successful self-defense efforts like this are probably one of the big reasons a nation-wide gun-control initiative was voted down in Brazil a couple of years ago.
American anti-gun groups pumped millions into the campaign on behalf of their Brazilian socialist counterparts and were astonished that the common folk of the country didn’t buy it.