Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Organized crime stopped São Paulo

Death toll of the violent weekend: 43 policemen and policewomen, 52 criminals.
Across the State, 85 public buses were burned down. Criminals shot against several Police Stations. At least eight banks were destroyed by bombs.

The buses stopped running, as the companies feared more attacks. A few metro stations also shut down, on rumors of eminent bomb attacks. Commerce, schools, public offices, universities and other businesses closed early. The transit became even more chaotic than usual.

Two news surprised and revolted the population.
First, surprisingly, the Governor of São Paulo, Claudio Lembo, refused the aid offered by the Federal Government (who could send in the Army, the Federal Police and the National Guard). Lembo said that there were already cooperation between the Intelligence sectors of the Polices and Army, and that troops would not be necessary.
Lembo said that he trusted the police forces of São Paulo. He mentioned that, despite the rebelions, there was not any escaping from prisons, nor there had been any concession to the rebels.

What caused revolt was the disclosure that the Police Intelligence knew that a violent movement had been planned for the Mother's Day weekend. Yet, no action was taken, particularly to protect lives of policemen and prison guards.
Governor Lembo said that they attempt to isolate the leaders of organized crime, to prevent them from combining their movements. However, the isolation seems to have yet another factor to start the rioting, as it infuriated the gang leaders.

The Security authorities said that the cellular phones are the main weapon of prisoners; criminals use phones to communicate with partners outside prisons. Widespread corruption makes it easy to smuggle phones into cells.

TV news demonstrated how easy is to install equipments which block phone signals.
The authorities reacted to this information by sending a draft of bill obliging the phone operators to develop a technology to block the signals.

Meanwhile, the incompetence and laziness of authorities continue to claim lives.

The violence in São Paulo is in the world's headlines:
Miami Herald
Financial Times

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