Monday, November 26th 2012 - 23:32 UTC

Brazil’s largest city replaces all chiefs of police to contain an escalating wave of killings

The chiefs of police in Sao Paulo were replaced on Monday as Brazil's largest city emerged from a bloody weekend and authorities struggled to contain a wave of violence that has doubled the murder rate in recent months.

Security Chief Fernando Grella took office only four days ago

Sao Paulo state security chief Fernando Grella, who took over the job four days ago, replaced the chiefs of the civil and military branches of the police and vowed to work closely with police, put more officers in the streets of Sao Paulo and investigate every murder.

There will be daily meetings among the heads of police departments, Grella said in a prepared statement, explaining the goal of this close collaboration is to develop strategies to combat the wave of violence that has rocked the massive city for months now.

“We're going to work intensely to reverse the homicide rate in the state to what it was months ago,” he said. “We are not discarding any measures”.

The murder rate has risen for months. October saw 150 murders - a 92% jump from October 2011. The violence continued the weekend following Grella's appointment. According to the newspaper Estado de Sao Paulo, 15 people were shot to death on Saturday and Sunday.

The deaths include execution-style killings of civilians and police officers, many them by hooded men on motorcycles. In the first nine months of this year, 94 police officers were killed in Sao Paulo, most of them off duty. A total of 982 homicides took place in the city during this time.

Investigators have said the police murders are being orchestrated from behind prison walls by leaders of a group called the First Capital Command (PCC), Brazil's strongest, best organized criminal gang. Security experts say the PCC is likely lashing out after the government started to transfer gang leaders out of state and crack down on drug sales in the city's outskirts.

Working from within Sao Paulo state prisons, the group organized several waves of attacks on police, government buildings, banks and public buses in 2006. Those assaults and counterattacks by police resulted in at least 175 deaths, including police officers, dealers and innocent bystanders.

5 comments Feed

Note: Comments do not reflect MercoPress’ opinions. They are the personal view of our users. We wish to keep this as open and unregulated as possible. However, rude or foul language, discriminative comments (based on ethnicity, religion, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or the sort), spamming or any other offensive or inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Please report any inadequate posts to the editor. Comments must be in English. Thank you.

1 ChrisR (#) Nov 27th, 2012 - 04:15 pm Report abuse
The authorities do not need to move the convicted PCC criminals out of the region, they need to execute them and all the other people caught with firearms in the street, especially on motos.

That would get rid of quite a lot of the main characters and then do the same with the lower orders of the PCC.

Pissing about NEVER works with these sorts of criminals, they respect only strong actions and will never give in to the wishy-washy attempts that have been tried so far.

Brasil needs to remove the mass body of the law if necessary to achieve a result.
2 British_Kirchnerist (#) Nov 27th, 2012 - 09:52 pm Report abuse
Hopefully a step in the right direction
3 Ken Ridge (#) Nov 28th, 2012 - 05:46 pm Report abuse
“ put more officers in the streets of Sao Paulo and investigate every murder.”

Ouch, so this must mean many are just overlooked or swept aside, and Guzz- titti boy say the UK/US is crime ridden.

A total of 982 homicides in nine months in one city, we would be at war to accumulate such figures.
4 ChrisR (#) Nov 28th, 2012 - 08:05 pm Report abuse
@2 BSK

Glad you agree with me for once.
5 Drew Puli Wolf (#) Nov 28th, 2012 - 09:14 pm Report abuse
Ken Ridge Sao Paulo has a population of 18 million, Chicago USA has 2 million people with 436 homicides as of Oct 29. That's half the number of murders with only one nineth the population.

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!


Get Email News Reports!

Get our news right on your inbox.
Subscribe Now!