I am a 32 year old man and have lived since I was born in Complexo do Alemão. Journalist, activist, entrepreneur, researcher in the area of public security and father of four children who are growing up inside the favela.
Throughout these three decades of survival and re-existence, I immersed myself deeply in the history and experiences of a country so brutally unequal and which silences and perpetuates important social problems, such as racism.
Now, in the midst of the pandemic, we see the chaotic explosion of the accumulation of “no” in relation to guaranteeing the most basic rights for a large portion of the Brazilian people. Hunger, difficulty in accessing drinking water, mass misinformation, unemployment and lagged education are some of the questions that show how far behind we are and going backwards. Among so many important agendas, I chose to speak about public security in this column.
The recent report “Um Tiro no Pé”, which is part of the research sequence “Drugs: How Much Does It Cost To Prohibit?”, By Cesec (Center for Security and Citizenship Studies), points out a billion dollar cost for what I dare to say is the largest and latest public money burn: the bankrupt and violent “war on drugs”.
The amount of R $ 5.2 billion is out of step with the reality of most Brazilians who suffer from the increasing increase in inequality due to the pandemic. Despite the urgency of investments in combating the spread of the virus and hunger, this amount is the sum of expenditures for the repression of drug trafficking and consumption over a period of one year, and this only in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Paulo.
Working in social movements in favor of populations living in favelas and being a favela resident, I see this value with pain and revolt. I know the chaotic outcome of drug policy in our country. I saw and experienced targeted violence and a lot of terror, as a result of this backward and very expensive policy of repression.
In the same period in which the report’s analysis is applied, several children lost their lives, innocent people were murdered and injured, there was much destruction and no real change. Operating for the genocide of the black population and without positive changes, the biological expenditure on public structures in the field of public security and criminal justice is unacceptable and an unacceptable loss for the population.
We need to leave behind this backward, unequal and racist modus operandi. How about starting by reflecting on the ineffective spending of a security policy that does not even leave the real sense of security in the population? Read this report and see for yourself.
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