2003, a year after the Special Mission of Combating Organized
Crime had already been in a effect, the number of homicides
rose to 1,782, or, in other words, 54.8 homicides for every
100,000 inhabitants, and the number of violent deaths was
2,228, which means 106.7 for every 100,000 inhabitants. Vitória
is the Brazilian state capital with largest number of deaths
in between the ages of 15 and 24: 197.1 murders for every
It is worthwhile to recall that UNESCO considers a
situation as civil war when the index is above 50 deaths for
every group of 100,000 inhabitants.
IMPUNITY IN THE STATE OF ESPÍRITO SANTO
Tânia Maria Silveira
almost three decades, human rights defenders have been
fighting against organized crime in the state of Espírito
Santo. Protecting human life has been the goal of this work.
Because of this, many died, others had to move, or go
into hiding, or be protected by special programs, or live
under police escort. Innumerable
national and international organizations have participated in
activities to prevent criminal actions.
Besides these efforts, the statistics on violence
continue to be high and growing.
In 2003, a year after the Special Mission of Combating
Organized Crime had already been in a effect, the number of
homicides rose to 1,782, or, in other words, 54.8 homicides
for every 100,000 inhabitants, and the number of violent
deaths was 2,228, which means 106.7 for every 100,000
inhabitants. Vitória is the Brazilian state capital with
largest number of deaths in between the ages of 15 and 24:
197.1 murders for every 100,000 inhabitants.
It is worthwhile to recall that UNESCO considers a
situation as civil war when the index is above 50 deaths for
every group of 100,000 inhabitants.
Brief Retrospection on the Actions against Organized Crime
1976, attorney Ewerton Montenegro Guimarães (deceased) wrote
the book: The Seal of
Crime, in which he explicated on the ways and persons of
the Death Squadron. The police formed this organization to
exterminate “bandits”, or those who we could also refer to
as the detained, ex-convicts, and the poor.
the 80s, Espírito Santo was the stage for a battle between
the people in rural areas and the União
Democrática Ruralista – UDR (Democratic Rural Union),
which resulted in various deaths and, to this day, these
crimes have gone unpunished.
An illustrative case would be that of union leader Valdício
Barbosa dos Santos, “o Léo”, who died in September of
‘89. He had
been killed by a former policeman, Romualdo, known as the
“japonês” (Japanese), who later was condemned to 16 and a
half years in prison in a judgement that occurred in December
of 2003, but, who otherwise, remains free.
between 1991 and 1993, the state of Espírito Santo received
much national and international attention due to the
extermination of children and adolescents.
This fact lead to the governmental decree on September
5, 1991 that created the Comissão
de Processos Administrativos Especiais – CPAE
(Commission of Special Administrative Procedures).
This commission concluded that the executors were civil
and military police that were associated with an organization
named the Scuderie
Detetive Le Cocq – SDLC. On November 20, 1995, after
much persecution, Francisco Vicente Badenes Júnior, the
representative of the police responsible for the
investigation, presented to the Federal Public Ministry the
report “Representation with the Goal of Breaking Up the
Entity Known as the Scuderie
Detetive Le Cocq in the state of Espírito Santo”.
This judicial action has moved along up to today
without any decision, and Badenes Júnior is under the
protection of the federal government’s victim and witness
1993, Movimento Nacional
de Direitos Humanos - MNDH (the National Movement of Human
Rights) launched a campaign against impunity in Espírito
Santo. The denunciations of this campaign motivated the CDDPH/MJ
- Conselho de Defesa da Pessoa Humana (Defense Council of
the Human Person) to construct a special commission that
reported on the veracity of these facts and presented various
recommendations to the state authorities. When these
recommendations were not followed, they were then used as
justification in a plea for federal intervention in this
November 30, 1995, the daily newspaper Diário Oficial da União
published an intergovernmental resolution that created the
Public Security Council of the Southeast Region. In a
partnership the Ministry of Justice, the council’s goal was
to coordinate actions that would fight drug trafficing, and
the contraband of arms, cargo, and cars.
This council has not taken any distinguishing actions.
Moreover, during this same period, organized crime acted
explicitly in Espírito Santo, without the council
reprimanding those actions.
1999 and 2000, Vitória became the most violent state capital
in the country. This
brought about action from the federal commission of
investigation: CPI do
final report revealed the Mafia in Espírito Santo and its
ties with the local authorities.
This fact made the state an exemplary case of organized
crime within public institutions, compromising the credibility
of the democratic state of law.
In this context, the noncompliance of the local
authorities towards the recommendations made by the commission
mentioned above was now understandable.
2002, the Brazilian Bar Association (Ordem dos Advogados do
Brasil) presented a plea for federal intervention in Espírito
Santo. This plea had the support from the Permanent Forum
against Organized Crime and Violence of Espírito Santo, which
is formed by various organizations of civil society in this
state. CDDPH/MJ approved
and directed this plea. It
was then filed away by the Attorney General of the Republic at
that time. This created a political crisis that ended in the
renunciation of the then Minister of Justice.
In July 2002, in order to get around the crisis, the
new Minister of Justice created the Special Mission to Combat
Organized Crime. The work of the mission resulted in the
arrest of authorities and powerful people, such as the Colonel
of the Military Police Walter Gomes Ferreira, the former
President of the Legislative Assembly José Carlos Gratz, and
businessman Carlos Guilherme Lima, amongst others. Deputy
Gratz’s mandate was cancelled.
Former Governor José Ignácio Ferreira, his wife, and
his collaborators were also placed under suspicion. The
Special Mission succeeded in mapping the activity of organized
crime in Espírito Santo, and its network of political,
judicial, and military connections.
During all this activity of the federal forces, various
witnesses of emblematic crimes were murdered, as was the young
judge Alexandre Martins de Castro Filho, who was a courageous
collaborator of the mission.
After a year of intense activity and impressive
operations that involved about 200 federal agents, the Special
Mission was dissolved. Its final activity was to denounce the
President of Court Accounts and some of his counselors.
The mission requested that these people be distanced
from their responsibilities, but this request was rejected by
the magistrate. Today,
all of the accused during the work of the mission, except for
Colonel Ferreira, remain at liberty for their crimes.
August 8, 2003, the Office of Integrated Administration for
Public Security was created in order to plan the actions of
the state and federal forces.
This measure was also aimed at securing the
continuation of combating organized crime through special
means. Based in
this goal, Espírito Santo was the first state to adhere to
the Sistema Único de
Segurança Pública – SUSP (Single Public Security
Criminality and Violations of Human Rights
after all the measures mentioned above, it has not been
possible to contain the growth of violence and criminality in
Espírito Santo. The
exemplary cases involving “crimes of power” remain
example, in the beginning of October, one more witness of the
murder of attorney Marcelo Denadai was executed.
This attorney died on March 15, 2002 and his death
became one of the facts that justified the creation of the
Special Mission. Contrary
to the obligations taken on by different responsible parties
in that mission, this crime was never cleared up and all of
the witnesses are being eliminated: in March of 2003, Eduardo
Victor Ferreira was the first to go.
In December of 2003, a former policeman, one of the
gunmen who killed Denadai, but who was now collaborating with
the mission, was murdered.
In June of 2003, Gilson Pontes Alves became the next
victim. In June
of 2004, Leonardo Maciel Amorim was assassinated, and, now,
the 5th witness, former military police Bandeira
was eliminated on October 8, 2004.
on one hand, the efforts to protect life had not yet produced
effective results, on the other hand, the putting down of
crime resulted in a significant growth in the number of
detained without the state having available space in the
prison system. In
2002, there were 3,774
detainees. Now, according to the Pastoral
Carcerária (Prison Pastoral), the number has surpassed
5,500. There is a
deficit of 1,400 spaces, according to the current secretary of
the State of Justice, Fernando Zardini Antônio. The
overloading of the police stations and the poor conditions of
the jails prompted the prosecutor, Gustavo Senna Miranda, to
ask for a judicial action condemning the situation. He
affirmed that in the Departamento de Policia Judiciária-DPJ (Department of Judiciary
Police) of that municipality there were 50 detainees in a
space that would fit at most 16 people.
In this action, he even went as far to denounce:
we went to the DPJ of Campo Grande, where, in a space that was
completely inhuman. There were 60 men thrown into a small
patio where all of them shared a hole in the cement as a
toilet, a small hose as a shower, and they were all together
The ceiling – a large
piece of metal – kept them in constant contact with the
elements: rain, sun, cold, wind, in an environment prone to
the transmission of various types of illness.
Such circumstances lead to
a disorderly climate contributing to rebellions, deaths, and
so many other moments serious tensions with which we are
Erivaldo Franklin de Medeiros, warden for the
municipality, gave the state 60 days to reform DPJ or face a penalty of 5,000 reais for every day until the reform
would be completed. He
determined that the DPJ
could no longer hold prisoners beyond its capacity.
the Conselho Estadual de Direitos Humanos (State Counsel of Human
Rights) receives denouncements of the serious conditions with
which the prisoners have to live.
Prisoners make pleas for safety and survival, such as
that the ridiculous food at least be served to all or that
permission be given so that families can bring food to the
starving. They asked that prisoners have a place where they
can perform their physical necessities; that they receive
medical treatment for tuberculosis, AIDS, and bullet wounds;
and that those held without a sentence have access to justice.
For all of these reasons, it is not an exaggeration to say
that the incarcerated are submitted to the conditions that
were imposed in concentration camps.
rebellions became frequent occurrences.
In the beginning of October, there were riots in
various units: in the Custody House of Viana, in the State
Mental Asylum, and in the Women’s’ Penitentiary in Tucum,
Cariacica, amongst others.
Detainees broke out of the Custody House and prisoners
were taken from that location and transferred to other
penitentiaries in order to reform the former. One of those other locations was the Presídio de Segurança Máxima – PSMA (Maximum Security
Pententiary) which received 200 men. The Secretaria
de Estado da Justiça – SEJUS (State Secretary of
Justice) took some security measures, such as cutting family
visits. The detainees at PSMA threatened to have a “mega-rebellion” and the SEJUS
sent in the shock troops. The families of the detained became
worried and sought out human rights entities.
On October 13, during the 2nd Social Forum
of Espírito Santo, the families of the detained met with the
judge responsible for the serving of penalties and with the
Secretary of Justice. They asked that the representatives of
the human rights entities be allowed to visit that
penitentiary to verify the situation of the detainees.
There was an agreement and the representatives went the
State Secretary of Justice, the Undersectary of Penal Cases,
other civil servants of office, judge responsible for the
serving of penalties, the Prosecutor of the Municipality of
Viana, representatives of the Prison Pastoral of the
Archdiocese of Vitória, the National Movement of Human
Rights, and a representative of Deputy Iriny Lopes, who is a
member of the Human Rights Commission of the Federal Chamber,
all participated in the prison visit.
this visit, we were informed by the detainees and we could
testify to the aggressions that they have suffered.
Almost all the people listed below had visible physical
lesions, many of which were found exclusively on the buttocks.
All of them affirmed that the lesions occurred during
the beatings that they received from the military police
responsible for the incarceration.
All of them complained of pains and some of them were
unable to walk well. The
Secretary of Justice sent the prisoners to be physically
examined and requested a copy of the results in order to
proceed with the corrections of the responsible parties.
detained that were sent to be examined are:
Claudino Nascimento , born on June 10, 1979 in Linhares
Roberto César Sanches de Oliveira, born on
July 16, 1978 in Vitória
Agnaldo da Silva, born on 04/01/1981
Eduardo Alves Rocha Ou Luis Carlos Nascimento, born on
June 4, 1979 in Rio Bananal
Batista Antunes, born on November 5, 1978 in Vila Velha
Derli de Almeida Amorim, born on November 9, 1978 in São
Gabriel da Palha
César Dias Pereira, born on October 28, 1978, in Vila
José Roberto Ferrari, born on August 29, 1973
Marcio Martins Oliveira, born on March 8, 1972, Rio de
Campos Silva, born on October 10, 1974, in Vitória
Josevaldo Natividade ou Joanilson Carlos de Araújo,
born on March 5, 1975, Ilhéus-BA
Garcia de Aguiar, born on October 9, 1979, in Vitória
Marcolino Vicente, born on February 3, 1982, in Vitória
Marcos Silva Teodoro, born on March 23, 1972, Vitória
Marcelo Diniz Alves, born on December 12, 1976, in Vitória
Francisco Gadelha Costa Neto, born on July 7, 1969, Rio
Grande do Norte
is necessary to construct a new mechanism to protect human
operations of the federal police, named “Vampiro”,
“Anaconda”, and the investigations of the Comissão Parlamentar Mista de Inquérito, CPMI-Banestado (Mixed
Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry) demonstrated that
criminal activities in other parts of the country have a base
in the same operational mode that has been verified here.
analyzing the relationship between crime and the politics of
the state of Espírito Santo, Professor Célia Maria Vilela
Tavares affirmed that this phenomenon could be extended to
other Brazilian regions:
“The association of authoritarian practices with the politics of
“repaying favors” increased corruption in public
administration, which contributed to the instalation of
organized crime in instances of the State.
Therefore, we began to live with the absence of the
law, which, in its turn, opened the way for arbitrary
enforcement in detriment to the practice of respect for the
law and the notion of limit. The corruption, criminality,
disorder, and transgression mutually reinforced one another in
a viscous circle creating a network of complicity that grew
between the Executive, the Legislative, the Judicial, and part
of civil society.”
being the case, we report that the gravity of the problem is
the fragility of the State. However, it is up to our society
to establish the parameters of a responsible structure through
perseverance of the people of Espírito Santo in the battle to
confront organized crime during these three long decades owes
itself to an alliance between civil society and some sectors
of the State. Political and social alliances are fundamental
in this process.
recent results we obtained are promising. For example, in the
2004 municipal elections, more than 50% of the local
administrations changed hands, which means the defeat of
important centers of the municipal Mafia.
the other hand, in the short term, there is a great deal of
work to be done within local public organizations. The
defenders of human rights are reinforcing their activity in
the search for changes in conduct, especially from justice and
security agents who need to redeem human and social values.
Tânia Maria Silveira is a member of the State Counsel of
Human Rights and an advisor to Congresswoman Iriny Lopes.
TRIBUNA, page 16, Vitória / Espírito Santo, 10/10/2004.
TRIBUNA , page 19, Vitória / Espírito Santo, 10/10/2004.
OF/Nº 24/2004 –
14, 2004, Viana / Espírito Santo0
TAVARES, Célia Maria
Vilela; Crime e Política
no Espírito Santo (Crime & Politics in Espírito
Santo) ; Universidade Federal Fluminense; Niterói;