A Brazilian magistrate described the wave of killings in Sao Paulo city as a ‘civil war’ between organized crime and unsupported police forces to which the local population is closing its eyes.
“Here we have a civil war” said Judge Fausto de Sanctis from the Sao Paulo federal tribunal. Since last May at least 93 members of the police forces have been shot dead either on the beat or out of duty, presumably the so called First Command from the Capital, PCC, which is an organization of drug dealers born in Sao Paulo jails and from where it continues to control the illegal trade.
“Violence exists because of the certainty of impunity. I think the Brazilian policeman has been abandoned; he has no institutional structure support. Policemen are massacred, they are not much loved but he is a representative of the community” said Judge De Sanctis considered one of the best magistrates of the country, according to Folha de Sao Paulo.
When asked about the out of the law executions or ‘death squads’ in which police forces are involved in the so called ‘liberated’ areas, De Sanctis said that “when in war, it’s war and excesses will be committed. What happens is that Brazil is with closed eyes regarding this war”.
However, “for God’s sake I’m not supporting excesses, what I’m saying is that we are facing a war and wars must have war legislation. And if that legislation does not exist, organized crime ends taking over everything”, said De Sanctis.
The Folha de Sao Paulo interview follows a weekend in which at least fifteen people were shot or stabbed to death and 23 others injured in one of the most violent nights of the year in Brazil's largest city, police sources said Sunday.
In one incident, a father and his five-year-old son were shot dead and eleven others were wounded after four men on two motorcycles opened fire at a bar. Three people were shot dead at close range by unidentified gunmen, and a fire-fighter was injured when two men tried to rob a supermarket.
Among the dead were three suspects killed in a shootout with police in central Sao Paulo as they tried to rob a house. Another person was stabbed to death.
Police said most of the night's homicides appeared to be gang related.
The number of homicides late Saturday and early Sunday this weekend has more than doubled the daily average of November 2011, further escalating the wave of violence that has gripped the city since the beginning of September.
The rampant wave of killings which seems out of control included among its victims the Security chief of Sao Paulo City who after seven years in the job was sacked.