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Archive for the ‘Drug Violence’ Category

Brazil Final Paper

For the final paper incorporating the research previously posted on this blog, please see here.


The Myth of Personal Security

A community where drug traffickers seek to maintain order and a police force that can be said to never truly represent the citizens? Within Rio de Janeiro and other cities in Brazil there has been the rise of drug trafficking, but why exactly? and what allows for the drug traffickers to maintain their positions within in favelas?
The myth of personal security examines the concept that traffickers maintain a degree of order in favelas by enforcing certain basic rules. Statistics from 2003 have pinned the murder rates at 40 percent  per 100,000 inhabitants in Rio de Janeiro. “The police stand out in Latin American for their use of lethal violence”, data from 1995 shows that 9.3 percent of all homicides in Rio were attributed to the police. Favela dwellers are subject to police harassment and reject the authorities that never sought to serve the communities but to control the communities. Drug traffickers offered an alternative, in the 1980 when drug trafficking of cocaine from the Andes gained a new transportation hub Rio, Brazil saw the rise of drug trafficking in its favelas. The drug traffickers at points in time have represented individuals with ties to the community, but with the progression of time the new leaders and participants of drug trafficking represent other favelas. The drug traffickers have replaced, appease, or work within communities housing associations in some instances which were the organizations of power in the 1980s. Lei do Silencio is the “contract” that favela dwellers maintain with traffickers, they are required to maintain silence with the drug traffickers actions within the communities in return for security, but the security within the favela is also  hierarchical. The drug traffickers also discriminate within those who more respected in the community and those that are not. People who are a worker, family man, older woman have more prestige and are ensured more protection than that of an addict, drunk, or criminal, bum. The wealthy advocate for marginalization and managing the poor communities, but the favela residents rely on traffickers to resolve disputes. Drug dealers are dependent upon the disorder of the communities and lack of a police presence. The populations that reside there would like infrastructure and proper housing which the state ‘can’ offer. Safety vs. Marginalization in hopes of state response.

To read the original publication: http://muse.jhu.edu/login?uri=/journals/latin_american_politics_and_society/v048/48.4arias.pdf

Marginality from Myth ro Reality.

This article was written by Janice E. Perlman and covers Rio de Janerio favelas from 1968-2005. The author talks about the dictatorship period in which she conducted the beginning of her research. The fear of eradication policies during this time was very real for the favela population and now she outlines that the fear has been replaced. The fear has been replaced by the fear of being killed in the war that is going on between the police and drug traffickers. The article discusses the violence, deception of democracy, public policy, and the divide between the population of Rio. Janice Perlman discusses the history of eradication and prevalence of stigma associated with those who live in the favelas. She notes that there has been a replacement of the old ideas that the favela dwellers were separate from the city and that they had become very integrated into it. The degree of inequality that exists is still a great challenge along with the growth of favela violence due the increased drug trade.

UN projections indicate that virtually all of the population growth in the world over the next 25 years will be in the cities of the developing countries.


For the full text see: http://filmscreen.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/perlman_2005_flavela.pdf


State of Insecurity

Reading and reviewing the article, “State of Insecurity: Everyday Emergencies, Public Secrets, and Drug Traffickers Power in a Brazilian Favela” a perspective on the lives of the favela population with the emergence of drug trafficking is shared. Drug trafficking, from the outside takes on the roll of “illegal” and “informal” jobs that threaten the security of Brazil but have manifested into more of a coat of protection and a way of life in many favelas of Rio De Janeiro.

The Brazilian’s states inability and failure to to provide safety in favelas has allowed for drug traffickers to engage and assume the role of “local security” and enforcers of social norms. All of these services are expected of drug traffickers, as stated in the article. The complicity and silence of the favelados must be maintained in this social contract in exchange for the safety and security.

“Rather than being a force that upholds the law, Rio’s police have, since their inception, been charged with enforcing public order”

The article goes on to describe certain cases of favela sectors of Rio de Janeiro and the past experience. the stories continue to demonstrate and have overlapping themes of “respect” for the population of favelados and how it determines their safety, and also the law of silence which is a social norm within favelas such as Caxambu. The questions that are raised are “who defines security or insecurity?” and how are favelas answering these questions.

For the complete article
 Ben Penglase- States of “Insecutrity”