war on drugs

Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, 1960


Public security cannot be guided solely by the ideology of war or the “Bukele model”

The North American right needed to further criminalize and marginalize the black and poor population. Taking advantage of a wave of violence due to the arrival of crack, mainly in Miami, in the 1980s, he declared what he called the 'war on drugs' nationwide. Based on the repression of users and traffickers, a lot of police violence and a brutal increase in the number of people in prison, this war, which today in a large part of the country is mitigated by more modern legislation, has proven to be ineffective.

Brazil, whose underlying culture is to import fads and cultures, mainly from what the Brazilian right sees as 'the motherland', the USA, also imports and uses this culture of war ideology to this day.

This ideology of war, taught as doctrine in military police schools mainly, obviously presupposes the existence of a war. In this war, as in all wars, there is an enemy, and the territory where this enemy lives and operates, as well as the population that lives there, is considered hostile.

In wars populations considered hostile must be treated hostilely and their losses as collateral damage. In territories and populations considered hostile in a war, there are always violations of human rights and the commission of barbarism, but in the culture of war this is implicit. In short, this is how our police, especially the military, deal with situations in favelas or low-income communities.

As this aforementioned way of dealing with public security is fatally victimizing more and more innocent people every day, especially the lives of children, the right that always predominates due to mistakes and the omission of the left in the security agenda brings the so-called 'Bukele solution' into discussion. , where[look here].

Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez, president of El Salvador, understood that to combat the power of criminal gangs, such as Mara Salvatrucha among others, he decreed a State of Emergency incarcerating all those suspected of belonging to gangs, taking 2% of the country's population to Salvadoran jails, making El Salvador the country with the highest percentage of incarceration in the world. In fact, in addition to arrests made without any legal basis, executions also occurred in hundreds, making it appear that violence only and momentarily changed hands, becoming a State monopoly.

Changing this concept of war and seeing it as a solution begins, and the transformation is in the medium and long term whether we like it or not, in changing the constitutional mission of the military police that gives them and determines the right and duty to carry out repressive and ostentatious. A police that starts from the assumption that it is a repressive police will act like this as a first reaction in any circumstance.

The basic and constitutional mission of the military police should be to carry out protective and overt policing. Protection of the population must be the first guide of the role and mission of the police officer who I saw being on the streets and having direct contact with the population in situations of stress and risk. Without that changing, the rest is just applying new layers of paint and varnish to a rotten and damaged structure.

Segadas Vianna is a journalist.

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