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Sat Jun 22, 2019, 11:28 PM


By Brian Harris and Andres Schipani
JUN 21 2019

Rio de Janeiro Gov. Wilson Witzel has one objective in mind when he flies heavily armed helicopter patrols above his state’s sprawling favelas.

“We will bring order to this house,” says the Brazilian right-winger, flanked by military police bearing assault rifles, in one of his livestreamed videos posted on social media. “[We will] finish with this banditry that is terrorizing our wonderful city.”

Between police killings, gang murders and random shootings, the seaside state reports a homicide rate of 39 deaths for every 100,000 people, surpassing the nationwide rate of 27 per 100,000 — a level itself extremely high by international standards. Rio has become a symbol of the security challenge Brazil’s gun-loving right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, has pledged to tackle.

. . .

About 250 miles south of Rio de Janeiro, the situation could not be more different: Playing host to pitched firefights less than 20 years ago, São Paulo is now considered an oasis of calm. Brazil’s biggest state by contribution to gross domestic product last year reported a homicide rate of roughly 10 per 100,000, the lowest in the country. The city alone has experienced an almost 90 percent drop in homicides since 2001.


Gov. Wilson Witzel

Three great personalities from Sao Paolo have posted at this forum over the years, all tremendously well informed, and very intelligent. We were lucky to hear their views.

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