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NCJ Number: 159448 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Trade, Crime and Policies of Repression in Brazil
Journal: Dialectical Anthropology  Volume:20  Dated:(1995)  Pages:95-108
Author(s): A Zaluar
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 14
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes the growth in drug-related crime in Brazil and the repressive tactics being used to address the problem.
Abstract: Drug trafficking was not a critical social problem in Brazil until the late 1970's. Then, following the new routes chosen by the Colombian cartels and the Italian-American Mafia, cocaine began to be negotiated on a large scale in Brazil. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, as well as other cities and towns, became new consumer markets for drugs. Data on violent crimes during the past few years suggest a link between the spread of drug use, mainly among young people, the increase in violent crime rates and the repressive policies in which police corruption thrives. The social and economic context of inflation, repression, and increased poverty only worsens the situation. In the Sao Paulo region, the percentage of violent crimes among total crimes registered increased 50 percent in 4 years. As soon as the government adopted repressive measures to combat drug use, criminalizing certain drugs but not others, the police held enormous powers. Arrests, convictions, and incarcerations have increased. Despite the enormous repressive effort and the increased expenses of keeping predominantly young and poor males in prison, there is no indication that violence and crime have diminished. On the contrary, in Campinas there has been an increase in most crimes typically connected with drugs. The wealthy have built high walls around their homes in reaction to the crime threat, and the poor have tended to isolate themselves in their homes and among their families. Some have sought security in new Protestant religious sects that emphasize the need to destroy the devil through rites of exorcism practiced on individuals who seek their services. The concept of an absolute evil that explains this explosion of violent criminality has contributed to the growth of these sects. 27 footnotes
Main Term(s): Drug Policy
Index Term(s): Brazil; Crime control policies; Crime in foreign countries; Drug Related Crime; Violence causes
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