Portuguese language scholars and historians say that, in the times of the Empire, when Brazil was in conflict with England due to the transatlantic trade in African slaves (England was abolitionist, while Brazil was a slave trader), the Brazilian authorities pretended to give in to pressure from the English to end the sale of slaves, taking “lying” measures to say that they were fighting slavery, just “for the English to see”.
Now, we see history repeating itself. Last Wednesday (01), President Lula announced the application of the Law and Order Guarantee (GLO) in ports and airports in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, expected to end in May 2024. The decision to Lula comes in the wake of a gigantic escalation of violence and crime in the country that his Minister of Lacração, also known as Minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, seems incapable of resolving.
The culmination of the violence was the frightening images of more than 30 buses being burned in Rio de Janeiro following a widespread fight between militiamen and drug traffickers disputing territory in the West Zone of Rio, which followed the death of one of the militia leaders, “ Faustão”, leaving the city in chaos. A few days earlier, Brazil watched in horror as militiamen executed a group of doctors in Barra da Tijuca.
What is GLO? It is a military operation under the exclusive competence of the President of the Republic, who, by means of a decree, summons the Armed Forces in cases where there is an exhaustion of traditional public security forces, such as the civil and military police and municipal guards. It is an exceptional measure and must be implemented in serious situations of disturbance of order, so that the Armed Forces can help return normality.
Of the various problems with Lula’s GLO, the main one is precisely the fact that the measure is absolutely ineffective in achieving the objective announced by sealer Dino
According to our legislation, the GLO can only be enacted episodically, in a previously established area and for a limited time, to develop preventive and repressive actions to combat crime. Lula’s GLO was restricted only to the ports and airports of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the government’s justification, given by minister Flávio Dino, was that it was necessary to “asphyxiate” the financial and operational logistics of criminal factions and organizations. .
Of the various problems with Lula’s GLO, the main one is precisely the fact that the measure is absolutely ineffective in achieving the objective announced by sealer Dino, since the main activities of militias and drug trafficking do not, as a rule, occur in ports and airports, but rather in communities dominated by crime, where both drug trafficking and the militia act as the State – a parallel State – and subjugate and oppress the local population.
The State of Rio de Janeiro itself did not ask for help from the federal government due to difficulties in combating crime at ports and airports, but rather because of the inability of security forces to contain drug trafficking in communities and violent attacks by militias the entire city of Rio. The State of São Paulo, governed by Tarcísio de Freitas (Republicanos/SP), did not even ask for help from the federal government, but was also included in the package.
A second problem with the GLO is that it is counterproductive, it can encourage the organized crime it seeks to curb: by enacting the measure only in ports and airports in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the government only forces large criminal factions to carry out their activities criminals to ports and airports in other States, taking crime to new places, which forces drug trafficking to create new criminal structures, now in other States, which will only give the crime more widespread.
Logically, no major leader of a faction, militia or criminal organization will continue to traffic weapons, drugs and move money in ports and airports with a strong presence of the Armed Forces, now that it is public where they will be – criminals will just avoid these places and do all this in other states. This alone is enough to realize that Lula’s GLO, in addition to being ineffective, is stupid, as it disseminates the evil it aims to combat.
In addition to Lula’s GLO being ineffective and counterproductive, there are signs of political-electoral bias. In fact, the government did not explain why it decreed the GLO only in the ports and airports of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, but not in Bahia, for example, which today is the most violent state in Brazil and, coincidentally (or not ), has been governed by the PT for 20 years. Bahia has the worst rate in the country in terms of number of murders, with more than 6,659 homicides in 2022. The four most violent cities in the country are all in Bahia: Jequié, Santo Amaro, Santo Antônio de Jesus, Simões Filho and Camaçari. Why didn’t Lula also decree GLO in Bahia, governed by his comrade Jerônimo Rodrigues?
In São Paulo, where Lula decreed GLO, the homicide rate is one of the lowest in the country: there are 8.4 deaths per 100 thousand inhabitants, while in Bahia the rate is 50 homicides per 100 thousand inhabitants, a rate comparable to countries with high rates of violence, such as Venezuela and Jamaica. Is it a coincidence that Lula decreed GLO only in the two largest states in the country, led by right-wing governors and which represent potential threats to Lula’s re-election in 2026?
In addition to Lula’s GLO being ineffective, counterproductive and biased, it is on a collision course with the very fact that the Lula government has no intention of adopting structural measures, based on evidence and international experiences, that would really help to tackle organized crime is systemic, with a broad reform of the country’s criminal and criminal procedural laws, which today guarantee impunity for criminals. The Lula government also does not face, and has no intention of facing, the Judiciary’s leniency towards crime.
It is not in Lula’s priority, for example, to approve the second-instance arrest, which would put in jail not only militiamen, drug dealers, thieves and murderers from criminal factions but also major white-collar criminals – among them, political bigwigs from the National Congress and businesspeople who live not on innovation and competitiveness, but on the universal payment of bribes as a winning business strategy.
There is also no point in decreeing a GLO if any criminals who are arrested by the Armed Forces have the evidence of their crimes annulled, their investigations and processes closed, their convictions erased and the assets seized from them returned by the Judiciary, which has had a generalized stance of leniency towards organized crime, following the PT’s guide that criminals are victims of society and that the police are oppressors. The PT has always been a supporter of banditry and criminal misery as a public security policy, and we are all the ones who suffer the consequences of this.
As I said, history in Brazil repeats itself, only this time, the Lula government is taking “lying” measures to combat crime, pretending to work while the press pretends not to see, and who is being made a fool of, Clowns and deluded people are not the English, but the honest, hard-working and good Brazilians who suffer daily from violence and crime. In Lula’s theater, GLO is only for Brazilians to see.
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