This week a judge was murdered in Rio with more than 20 shots into his car. She worked against organized crime, in this case, the militias of Rio de Janeiro. Her name was on a list of people marked for death. Still, the judiciary and the federal government has not granted him an escort and protection, probably due to a bureaucratic problem. In the region north of the country in the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon, deaths ordered by loggers and farmers are common to everyday life. The target of these criminals are defenders of poor communities, local groups that usually extractive workers are semi-slaves. The killings are happening and being reported by the national press, yet the federal government has done nothing to deter criminals. Justice as we know it is slow and lasts for years. The defendants can respond freely and processes are often acquitted. Prosecutors and judges who work against the Mafia become hostages of terror imposed on them.
Recently the state of Amazonas, armed groups attacked the security forces of IBAMA, the department that oversees and enforces penalties for crimes against the forest, such as illegal logging, fire, land invasions, etc. A big barbecue party celebrated the success of the attack to IBAMA. The murder never intimidate criminals. So they create a culture of fear that prevents ordinary people and workers to report illegal practices. Thus justice is increasingly distant from the population. Another example is the war between ranchers and Indian tribes. By law, land granted to indigenous people should be protected from exploitation. In practice there has been a large number of invasions of these areas of permanent protection which causes great violence.
The barrier is that ranchers industry has much political support in Congress and the regional chambers of deputies. They use political influence and money to buy justice, police and stay safe. This kind of politics of fear and power is Centennial in Brazil called “Colonel” has hindered the socialization of people living in the jungles and cities, contributing to the forces of the state can not implement social programs that improve levels health, education, housing and sanitation. This poverty leads to social destruction of forests.
It appears that the indigenous forest areas is still alive, which is a favorable point. In the areas of social poverty is more accentuated destruction. The economic support that the agribusiness trade balance transfers for the country strengthens the industry and benefits the poor agricultural entrepreneurs. The sector is important because it supplies the domestic and foreign markets, but it is a sector that has two sides – the good employers who act within the law and the criminals who kill without fear of punishment.
The Brazilian government and justice seem to be tied up and not respond to this confrontation. It is unacceptable that a country that sells to the world a strong democracy and a growing economy does not replied to crime rigidly. When faced with this Brazil we have a reality, Brazil’s image abroad has improved, but this advertising campaign, the whole process of “marketing” hidden defects and stresses the virtues. The world really buy the Brazilian product? As we sweep the vices and dirt policy, then under our criminal carpets.