'Brazil is going weapons-free.
Up to 120 sharpshooters will accompany Rio de Janeiro police into the city's slums to eradicate violent gun-toting criminals, according to Flavio Pacca - a longtime associate and security adviser to Governor-elect Wilson Witzel.
The marksmen will work in pairs; one shooter and one spotter who will monitor conditions and videotape the executions, according to Bloomberg, with the two officers alternating roles.
"The protocol will be to immediately neutralize, slaughter anyone who has a rifle," said Witzel - a former Brazilian marine and federal judge, on December 12. "Whoever has a rifle isn't worried about other people's lives, they're ready to eliminate anyone who crosses their path. This is a grave problem, not just in Rio de Janeiro, but in other states."
According to Flavio Pacca - a police officer and regular attendee at Witzel's transition meetings, groups of 20 policemen will begin undergoing month-long marksman training as soon as March. Those who qualify as deadly at 600 meters will begin "servicing targets" in the cartel-controlled favelas, where residents are under the constant threat of drug traffickers and gang wars.
As Bloomberg notes, the notion of "imminent danger" which justifies an extrajudicial killing is a gray area.
"That concept is changing; it's not for nothing that Bolsonaro was elected, not for nothing that Witzel was elected," said Pacca - pointing to a jewelry-store thief who used an octogenarian as a human shield while escaping. When the thief stumbled, police shot him dead at point-blank range. "The people gave the police an ovation. That's what you're going to see."
Witzel - like President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, gained support during Brazil's October elections running on a campaign of zero tolerance for criminals who have made daily life in Rio a harrowing ordeal. Rio will essentially be a proving ground for Bolsonaro's advocacy of maximum force with the use of extrajudicial killings.
Last year there were 5,346 homicides in Rio - an eight-year high, while muggings and robberies have more than doubled since 2011. To try and address the crime, President Michel Temer in February put the army in control of security through the end of the year.'
Read more: Rio Police To Get 'License-To-Kill'
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