Random executions reported in Brazilian State of São Paulo
Brazilian Military Police (PM) forces have allegedly committed extra-judiciary executions during Operation Shield in the past few days in the city of Guarujá, on the coast of São Paulo, Agencia Brasil reported Wednesday. The officers randomly killed people identified as former prison inmates or with a police record, according to residents of the neighborhoods where the deaths occurred.
The reports were collected on Wednesday (2), in Guarujá, by the commission formed by São Paulo State Deputies Eduardo Suplicy and Paulo Batista dos Reis, both from PT; Mônica Seixas, Ediane Maria, and Paula Nunes, from PSOL, as well as representatives of the Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB-SP), the state Public Defender’s Office, the São Paulo State Police Ombudsman and the State Council for the Defense of the Rights of the Human Person of the State Secretariat of Justice and Citizenry.
What we heard from victims, I can’t even call them witnesses, because they were all victims, was [that there were] systematic, continuous approaches, of people inside the house, on the street, [of] police officers entering people’s homes without a judicial warrant, without any justification, and calling those who were in the prison system or who had a police record, said Deputy Mônica Seixas, a member of the commission. And, randomly, some people with a police record were executed. A father with a child on his lap was executed. Young people were beaten. Some were put in the car and taken to be killed in other communities. That’s what we heard, she added.
On July 27, law enforcement officer Patrick Bastos Reis of the Tobias de Aguiar Ostensive Rounds (Rota) team, was shot and killed in Guarujá. According to the state’s Public Security Secretariat (SSP), Reis was shot while patrolling in a community with a 9-millimeter-caliber gun.
After his murder, the State launched Operation Shield in the Baixada Santista, which has so far resulted in the deaths of at least 14 people, according to Governor Tarcísio Freitas on Tuesday.
What we are hearing here is that none of these deaths are related to the murder of PM Patrick. This is the first big question: if the state has identified and arrested those suspected of being Patrick’s killers, why is the operation continuing? What is the relationship of the murdered people, the dead people, with Patrick’s death? Seixas wondered.
She blamed the State government for the deaths and stressed that Operation Shield was bringing insecurity and violence to Guarujá. According to the lawmaker, the investigation into the death of the police officer needs to be intelligent and technical, but it is not acceptable that the death of a police officer is a justification for random executions.
What we have heard here is that police raids, searches, home invasions, checking people’s documents are taking place. When identified as former prisoners, some people were executed at random, Seixas added.
In addition to Agencia Brasil’s report, other media said Operation Shield involves 15 battalions of special forces and some 3,000 troops. According to law enforcement sources, Operation Shield should last one month.
Brazil’s Public Security Secretariat reported on Wednesday that the number of people killed following a police operation in the Baixada Santista region of Sao Paulo has risen to 16 while 58 people have been arrested between July 28 and Aug. 1, including four adolescents who were charged with drug trafficking.
A fourth suspect linked to Reis’ murder was arrested early Wednesday in Santos, after which all those believed to have been directly involved in the killing are in jail, according to local media.
In this regard, the Ombudsman’s Office has denounced some abuses and even torture by the agents, but the Public Security Secretariat has maintained that there is no evidence. On Wednesday, nine people were also killed in another police operation in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.