The Public Ministry of the State of Rio de Janeiro (MP-RJ) gave the Special Police Operations Battalion (BOPE) ten days to send a report clarifying the circumstances of the 22 deaths caused by the police operation carried out this Tuesday (24) in Vila Cruzeiro, in the North Zone of the capital.
BOPE will have to listen to the agents involved in the operation, appoint those responsible for the deaths and clarify the legality of each one.
In addition, the Civil Police’s General Department of Homicide and Protection of Persons was requested to send information about the police investigations launched to the MP.
The Public Ministry also sent a letter to the Homicide Police Station (DH), recommending that all the weapons of the military police involved in the action be seized and sent for forensic examination, including a comparison of the projectiles that may be removed from the victims.
The requests were made under the Criminal Investigation Procedure (PIC) established by the MP to investigate the circumstances of the deaths.
The Federal Public Ministry (MPF) also established a PIC to investigate the conduct, possible violations of legal provisions, the participation and individual responsibilities of federal agents.
The action in the community was carried out by the Military Police together with the Federal Police (PF) and the Federal Highway Police (PRF).
According to the direction of the Getúlio Vargas State Hospital, this Tuesday (24), 28 injured people were sent to the unit: 21 arrived dead and another seven were treated. The other death caused by the action was a resident of Chatuba, a community neighboring Vila Cruzeiro.
In a statement, the Military Police stated that “it is not possible to consider an operation resulting in death to be successful, especially involving the loss of an innocent person’s life”, but reiterates that the action was necessary due to disputes between criminal groups in the region.
The PM says that Tuesday’s action (24) aimed to locate and arrest criminal leaders who would be hiding in the community, including criminals from other states, such as Amazonas, Alagoas and Pará.
The Public Ministry of the State of Rio de Janeiro (MPRJ) informed the CNN that the police authorities communicated to the agency the justification for the “absolute exceptionality” of the operation: the need to collect intelligence data on the displacement of approximately 50 criminals from Vila Cruzeiro, among them leaders from the State of Pará, to the community of Rocinha, in San Conrad.
The obligation to communicate the “absolute exceptionality” for carrying out a police operation in the State of Rio was determined by the Federal Supreme Court (STF) in June 2020, through the Argument of Noncompliance with Fundamental Precept 635 (ADPF 635).
According to the state MP, the need for reconnaissance of the area to update location data for future operations was mentioned in the MP’s justification.
During the reconnaissance of the place, the BOPE team was shot at by several criminals and had to start an emergency operation.
The PM informed that the General Corregedoria of the Military Police will monitor the investigations carried out by the Civil Police on the occurrences of the operation.
The police intervention began in the early hours of this Tuesday (24) and ended around 4:40 pm. An intense confrontation was recorded in the region and the PM seized 13 rifles, 12 grenades, four pistols, drugs and 20 vehicles.
Due to the confrontation in the region, 19 municipal schools in the region were closed and had to provide remote service. The Municipal Health Department suspended external services in the territory, such as home visits.
Researcher evaluates actions as “ineffective”
The Nucleus for the Defense of Human Rights and the Ombudsman of the Public Defender’s Office of Rio informs that it followed the actions of the operation. The defense claims that it is investigating the legality of the operation and the proportionality of the use of force. It also says that two other deaths, in addition to the 22, were reported by the local community.
“The high lethality of the operation raises suspicion that a massacre may have been committed. The eventual involvement of some victims with the crime does not, by itself, authorize the murder by State agents”, evaluates the Public Defender’s Office.
For sociologist Daniel Hirata, from Geni/UFF, it is necessary to find more effective ways to fight organized crime.
“The State of Rio needs public security policies based on data and evidence. What we actually have are police operations, which are sometimes necessary, given the situation in Rio de Janeiro, but which are absolutely insufficient, and have become routine in the daily life of the city. These actions are proven to be ineffective in controlling common crime and armed groups. While other types of actions, which use instruments that are not purely repressive, such as regulatory actions, would attack the economic bases and, therefore, the mobilization and arming capacity of these factions”, says the researcher.
Source: CNN Brasil