Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Brazil's Police 'Execute Thousands'

A BBC investigation has determined that "hundreds, if not thousands," of Brazilians are executed" by Brazilian police each year.

"Around 60% of the bodies of people that were killed by the police had more than six shots," explains (Former police ombudsman Professor Julita) Lemgruber.

"Most of them [were shot] in the head and in the back - mostly executions."

It was reported that "in the state of Rio alone, the police killed 983 people last year. The figure is similar for Sao Paulo."

A former military policeman, Gordinho (not his real name), says executions by police death squads are common.

"Everyone knows the police here in Rio de Janeiro... nearly all of them abuse their authority," he says.

Most people killed by police are criminals caught up in raids, officials say "When you get excited you feel you are the law... The shooting cases you hear about, most of them are executions.

"It's all premeditated--very cold-blooded and calculated."

The story is quite chilling. It makes Iraq seem like a safe place in comparison!