Monday, October 15, 2012

Police Occupation and UPP


Copa para os ricos e a UPP para os pobres! The Copa (world cup) for the rich, the UPP's for the poor!


The twenty-eighth Pacifying Police Unit (UPP) in Rio de Janeiro, was installed last month, the 20th, one of Latin America's largest favelas, Rocinha.


The installation of the UPP in the community is the continuity of real war operation, preceded with the help of the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE), Shock Battalion and Navy officers nearly a year ago. I have mixed feelings about being under occupation by a corrupt and unfriendly police force. The do not make any attempt to befriend the residents and can be very hostile and agressive to residents here. About 98% of the residents here are hard working honest people who just make very little money and have no other option but to live in the favela.


The favela was already partially occupied by the forces of BOPE and Military Police, with an effective range of 400 men. However, the inauguration of this UPP which will feature nine bases distributed throughout the community, with a staff of more than 700 police officers, a comprehensive system of monitoring and patrolling 24 hours, consolidates the occupation and allows to form a system of control and surveillance lot higher against residents.


"Officers from UPP Rocinha count with the help of 100 monitoring cameras installed throughout the community, and 12 motorcycles, considered fundamental to patrol the hundreds of alleys that cut through the favela. The command of the UPP will be in charge of Major Édson Raimundo dos Santos, who heads the same actions from the beginning of the permanent occupation by the police. "(Network Brazil Current, 9/24/2012).


The installation of the base in Rocinha is a key part of the plan to besiege the city, isolating neighborhoods "noble" poor areas. The favela is in the heart of the South Zone and separates the neighborhoods of Ipanema and Leblon from the region of São Conrado and Barra da Tijuca, and the UPP in Rocinha, the government intends to form a corridor that would link the neighborhoods of the south and this region, providing a key step in the formation of a sort of "Green Zone" in the city, similar to deployed by the U.S. invasion in the city of Baghdad.


The occupation, therefore, is a landmark of political repression and violence against the poor communities of Rio, organized directly by the government and the right to promote speculation and repress the population. Moreover, while the occupation is a hallmark of that policy, it is also a challenge to the bourgeoisie with a great chance of failing.


The experience with the occupation in other communities, such as the Complexo do Alemao, City of God, etc., clearly showed that the population is not willing to live with the wrongdoings by the military in the hills. What the capitalist press sought to present as a combat drug trafficking in reality proved a real dictatorship against the people and a policy of favoring contractors, as well as crime, trafficking and crime continue to exist only otherwise directly controlled by the police. There still exists drug trafficking here but its more hidden and the police are part of it happening. They take their bribes from the traffickers every month as like before.


Hundreds of demonstrations and clashes followed the occupations in almost all favelas. Allegations of abuse of power, indiscriminate violence, torture and theft practiced by the UPP police were recorded in areas of hostility and occupations of residents police presence is total. These incidents are happening every day but not being reported in the main stream news. I hear of cases of police abuse at least 2-3 times a week, usually against innocent people who have nothing to do with any illegal activity.


To occupy and control a community inhabited by over 200,000 people in an area of ​​840 thousand square meters steeped in abject poverty and poverty is only a policy that will result in the confrontation with the people, politics is a fascist, certainly desperate to increase further the unwillingness of the public against the police and will inevitably lead to a complete demoralization.


The UPP therefore has the sole purpose of controlling and monitoring the population of Rocinha, suppress poverty and meet the plans of the bourgeoisie who want to profit from the increased social segregation in the city.


My fear is once the olympic games and world cup are finished, that the police units will leave and there will be a fight for Rocinha for selling drugs by one of the three gangs that dominate Rio's drug sales.