Rosario, Argentina

Rosario, Sanfa Fé, Argentina/ Image: Fabian
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By GLAUBER FRANCO*

What is happening in Rosário is the realization of the old failed strategy of police offensive, mass incarceration and prison control

Between March 11th and 15th, I was at the VII ALA Congress (Latin American Anthropology Association), hosted in the center of the city of Rosario, Argentina. During this Congress, politically intense as it was short in days, I observed a climate of social insecurity among workers and drug trafficking organizations in Rosario, a silent hornet's nest shaken at the 100-day mark of a tragic government, the ultra-neoliberal government of Javier Milei, also recognized as the “Argentine Bolsonaro”. With the elections bipolar for a long time, Javier Milei capitulated to the Kirchnerist Peronism that dominated the elections.

Despite the political climate of graffiti resistance throughout the city center against Javier Milei (“The homeland does not come","Fuera Milei”), her daily rejection by Rosarinos and the dose of hope with the great March 8th in Buenos Aires (International Women's Day and the traditional mobilizations of feminist collectives), there was something cold and planned in this period.

In less than a week, there were the murders of two taxi drivers, a gas station attendant, a bus driver and bursts of gunfire at a penitentiary and a police station in the city – following a series of attacks the previous month. Many of these actions were directly demanded by the association of drug trafficking organizations in the region in response to government repression on the streets and in prisons. On the body of the murdered gas station attendant, a note was left demanding “rights for prisoners” and the threat of “killing more innocent people”.

Faced with these deaths, the government of Javier Milei, through its Secretary of Security and former presidential candidate, Patricia Bullrich, set up a crisis committee and intervened in the city with federal security forces and the Argentine army. The governor of the province of Santa Fé, Maximiliano Pullaro, from the same party as Bullrich, the “Together for Change”, joined the committee.

Patricia Bullrich, “law and order” candidate during the elections, on her profile on the social network since December 2023, when he joined Javier Milei's management. Between drug trafficking in Rosario, which shoots at police officers, threatens politicians and judges and dominates the city's economy and territories, and the government's history of ineffectiveness with its incarcerations and police ostentation, there were reactions from Rosario's citizens during this week of homicides. They mobilized “panelaços” inside houses, protests by taxi drivers and a strike by bus drivers against drug trafficking and the government’s irresponsible way of handling the crisis.

But see, the story does not begin with these random street attacks on workers by drug trafficking organizations, just as the sensationalist headlines and their Manichaeism of “good guys vs. bad guys” so terrorized the city – which, for a long time, had spread the totally unmeasured term of “Argentine Medellín”, in allusion to Pablo Escobar. In fact, it is possible to give another name to the drug trafficking problem in Rosário, that name is: capitalism. Now, this drug commodity is not a commodity?

Doesn't drug trafficking seek market shares, capital acquisitions (buildings, submarines, ships, weapons, trucks), influence on routes, its space in the State and, above all, ever-increasing profit rates by exploiting the workforce? The railway-port city, for example, suffers structurally from its veins open to imperialism in this capitalist branch. There is, therefore, a societal project in dispute and a structural issue for Argentina, in general, and Rosario, in particular.

In this, it is possible to start from some premises: there is a certain moralizing “drugphobia”, a set of myths and ideologies that try to support the concept of drugs and discriminate against those who use them; the “war on drugs” is a global failure, as it is more about how capitalist groups manage their monopoly in this market than a moral, police or public health issue; the distinction between legal and illegal, public and private, and finance and drug trafficking is tenuous and ineffective in the analysis of this issue, as they are organically interconnected within the State, society, economy and politics; and, finally, it is an extremely profitable market, despite the large “costs” of its criminalization.

In the midst of this week of homicides, the ALA Congress was taken by surprise, but it was also an academic and political expression of this ancient reality in Rosario. The ALA held its VII Congress, “Anthropologies Made in Latin America and the Caribbean in Urgent Contexts: Violence, Privileges and Inequalities”, and held part of its round in Latin America at the National University of Rosario. Between symposiums, round tables and artistic, performance and cinematographic exhibitions, it is no surprise that the event focused on many of the emergencies that are imposed on hermanos. Particularly, says the organizing team, the growing neoliberalization and the rise of Latin American political rights are worrying. Amid the alarming climate, the academic event was also political and carried out its full program.

A structural fact of Rosário

With 1,3 million inhabitants, Rosário has Argentina's main port, located on the west bank of the Paraná River, part of the Paraná-Paraguay waterway. The city is connected by railroad with several cities in the province of Santa Fé and is interconnected by the Puente Nuestra Senora del Rosario, which crosses the Paraná River and connects Rosário to the city of Vitória. Historically coveted by capitalists from different sectors, it is a railway-port region that suffered from the strong restructuring of North-American imperialism after the Pablo Escobar phenomenon in Colombia, receiving part of its flow from drug trafficking – however, by the way, the Colombia is still the largest cocaine producer in the world.

Rosário, in addition to being strategically located on the main trafficking route, Route 34, which begins on the border with Bolivia and ends in Rosário, is a privileged region for the transoceanic exit of commodities from the Brazil-Bolivia-Paraguay circuit for the supply of many European and Asian countries, with cocaine and marijuana being a billion-dollar part of this circulation. It is a point of great importance for Mercosur and the geopolitical alignment of Latin Americans.

Furthermore, during the Covid-19 pandemic, drug production in countries such as Peru and Bolivia was directed to this Paraná-Paraguay waterway as an alternative to crossing South America to the port of Santos, in Brazil, dominated by the PCC (First Command of the Capital) — a powerful faction in São Paulo, Brazil, which operates strongly inside and outside prisons. Other ports, such as Asunción, in Paraguay, are also dominated by the PCC, operating in the capitalist drug commodity sector in countries such as Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay. With these factions closer than one might imagine, the presence of the PCC was also identified in several Argentine prisons, such as those in the cities of Resistencia, Misiones and Santa Fé.

Similar to the Brazilian drama, Argentina has a history of class struggle, coups, territorial disputes and the uneven and combined division of imperialist capitalism. The country concentrates a class of landowners in the Pampas region (productive region dominated by Argentine agribusiness), the consolidation of an internationalized and monopolized financial and commercial system, saw the construction of its industrial enclosure using external debt (it has even ordered large remittances for their “payment”), suffered from military dictatorships, and, from 1990 onwards, just as in Brazil, it became impoverished with deindustrialization, hyperinflation, financialization, privatization and the advancement of neoliberal ideas.

From 1990 onwards, there were also intense policies for private control of the public structure of transport, storage and commercialization of grains, with Argentina being the third largest soybean exporter in the world. Industrialization projects, deprimarization of the economy and promotion of the internal market are quickly opposed in the country by the liberal-conservative right.

Not coincidentally, the Tobas, indigenous peoples organized today in Rosário, experienced an intensification of the process of forced migration to the city from 1990 onwards, intensifying the dispute over territories against them — an old reality for the Tobas since colonization and “national unification”. ”. Today, the Tobas denounce the allocation of unproductive land to their families in the agrarian reform processes. Similar to the violence of the whitening project in Brazil, the Tobas are discriminated against as “mestizos” in the cities, intensified with the European immigration project to Argentina. They are pressured by a mechanism of de-identification and the subordination of their ethnic, economic and cultural traits in order to make it difficult to claim their original rights on productive lands.

With the deindustrialization in Rosário since 1990 and the historical dependence on its commodity exports by agribusiness, which inverted the priorities of the labor market, youth was a mass of the workforce organized by factions of drug trafficking capitalism to the extent that it was losing their right to formal work. This process was combined with the privatization of ports in the same decade, removing responsibility from the State and failing to protect the youth workforce, which made it possible to advance the structuring of the monoculture and export system in a corporate manner and with private armed groups.

In this context, for example, terms such as “child soldiers” emerge, not only due to poverty and vulnerability, but also due to a technical aspect, their small hands are able to operate in “bunkers” (fortified storage and defense structures). These “child soldiers” are the main target of Bullrich, who since his election campaign has proposed guidelines for reducing the age of criminal responsibility to 14 and the militarization of prisons.

In other words, as in every capitalist company today, it is possible to observe the capitalist division of drug trafficking. In this sector there are capitalists, who profit from drug merchandise, including single-producer and exporting agribusiness, weapons sellers, owners of ports, commercial routes, means of transport and clientele; and its workers, who are direct producers, sellers, transporters, managers, assistant managers and security agents, in general, involved in manual work, which is poorly paid (taking into account the profitability of the sector) and is the part that dies the most, kills and is arrested.

These young people organized by drug trafficking in Rosário are from impoverished neighborhoods, such as Empalme Granero, Nuevo Alberdi, 7 de Septiembre, Santa Lucia, Villa Banana, Cristalería and Parque Casas, and which have this already rooted and historical export structure, limiting their opportunities and dreams. The territory is disputed by different factions, such as The monkeys, which makes money, in addition to drug merchandise, in offering “business protection” (they often blackmail businesspeople into accepting their services) and in the real estate market for more than two decades in the city.

However, even though it is an international business, regionalized groups predominate in Rosário, there are different drug trafficking organizations and many factions are disorganized. Even though, challenging the opposition inside and outside prisons by major drug trafficking leaders, it is possible to perceive the inefficiency of the incarceration of these leaders, who build types of “bunkers” in prisons and in the neighborhoods themselves to control their businesses.

These are capitalist businesses that do not dissociate themselves from the issue of an expanded State, determined by the LOBBY and by the confusion of public and private. The context does not motivate government actions for structural changes, with education, employment, health and social assistance that enable security and prevent the capitalist growth of drug trafficking on the youth workforce. Within the State, the budget allocated to export structuring is disputed as opposed to the allocation for social policy, typical of neoliberalism in the periphery. Drug trafficking is part of the export structure. This management of poverty and crime is a blatant case of Argentine underdevelopment.

It is difficult to measure how much of Rosario is operated by the money laundering of drug trafficking capitalists, that is, it is difficult to characterize how much of the reintroduction of their profits into the formal economy and its normalization are operating in Rosario's social life, hidden or not. For example, it is common to see expressions such as “narco mayors” in the media and on the streets. Thus, in addition to money laundering, there are everyday forms that naturalize the presence of drug trafficking, inside and outside the State. For example, the leaders own several commercial establishments in the cities, manage the existence of “bunkers” already known by residents of the region and even play on football teams (just like in Rosario Central e Newell's Old Boys), in organized fan groups and in the agency of internationally traded football players. Almost metaphorically, there is a technique in transporting drug goods by mixing cocaine or marijuana with cereals for export through ports.

Argentina shares extensive borders with two important production centers for these commodities, cocaine in Bolivia and marijuana in Paraguay, which are precariously monitored. Bolivian cocaine often arrives in the city by land or air, while Paraguayan marijuana often arrives by river, expressing the logistical diversity of drug trafficking. The State has difficulties intervening in regions with their high complexity of occupation and territorial disputes. Furthermore, drug trafficking expands the war to the fields, forests and rivers, creating forced migrations and the consequent criminalization of these migrants in the cities.

For example, at the ALA Congress, a paper was presented with the aim of analyzing how the State of Colombia faced difficulties in establishing its peace policy in a region where they had different and irreconcilable occupations, namely: quilombolas, multinational companies, drug traffickers, FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces), indigenous people and squatters, each with their own projects and interests.

Territorial war, geopolitics, the creation of routes for the internal and external circulation of commodities, capital accumulation, migration, lobbying, money laundering, the inversion of priorities in the budget, the dispute over the State and the organization of youth form a complex problem of the sale of drug goods in Rosario. It also goes beyond the issue that simply comes down to strictly discussing production in the fields by agribusiness, as there is the intense and brutal exploitation of the workforce of Rosarina's youth in the circulation process and in power relations within the cities. Railways, waterways, air traffic and ports are the focus of investments and territorial disputes by multiple national and international agents. In all this complexity, a “buffoon” appears in the federal government of Argentina that is not at all sensitive.

Ultra-neoliberal government in Argentina

In the hundred days of Javier Milei's ultra-neoliberal government in Argentina, GDP shrank, there was hyperinflation, workers' salaries were not readjusted and there was a loss of purchasing power, an increase in poverty, a reduction in government subsidies for important sectors of the economy ( transport, fuel, among others), closure of a public and state news agency, ministerial downsizing of the State in sectors important for workers' rights and policies, the “audit” of social programs for workers and the deregulation of medical and of rents to capitalists. Javier Milei's most recent economic reform is the change in the calculation of social security, which is generating protests from workers.

Javier Milei aligns himself with the level of ideological and aesthetic irrationalism of the Brazilian extreme right. The tragic as the foundation of the political is crossed by the comic in the aestheticization of this subject. As neo-Pentecostalism is not strong in Argentina, Javier Milei needed another mysticism, he consults in the afterlife with his dead dog, Conan (from the film Conan the barbarian), whom he honored at his inauguration event. He dresses up as a “buffoon”, a type of contemporary court jester, in this case, the North American court. He counters his opponents with generalizations, calling them “stupid” who “know nothing about economics” and presenting “irrefutable data”. Even more comical, he walks around with a replica chainsaw, shouting at his voters that he will “use the chainsaw on the parasites”, in this case, on public servants and the “political caste”.

He is, in short, an ultra-neoliberal, as the range of his self-proclaimed names does not escape the scope of the old neoliberal primer practiced in Latin America, deepening them in historical particularity. He follows all the prescriptions: he attacks public servants, calling them “parasites” (even the Central Bank he threatens to close), he proposes to use the chainsaw in teaching (creating vouchers), in public companies and public works, praises “traders” (transformation of financial capital into a type of game), calls himself a “miniarchist”, proposing the “minimum State”, defends tax exemption for the rich and the collection of taxes for the poor, carries out a brutal surplus policy primary and reinforces the Argentine everyday use of the dollar.

Argentina, today, suffers from the highest inflation in the world under the administration of Javier Milei who, paradoxically, promised to end inflation by increasing it. His most liberal expression is a big market dream, he is in favor of the sale of organs.

Javier Milei created an “internal enemy”, in the fight against the “political caste” for anti-system ideology. Attacks Latin America, Russia and China in alignment with the USA. He claims to be an “anarcho-capitalist”, leading every minimal debate to a moral and cultural issue, personifying the fight against “cultural Gramscism”. Throughout his campaign, he proposed Argentina's exit from Mercosur and breaking off trade with China, under the pretext that they were all communists. That is, he embodies the old anti-communism. Part of this ideology materialized in its formalization, in December 2024, for the exit from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

For him, in the midst of the Palestinian genocide, only the United States and Israel are the “free world”, they are not communist. President Lula, economic, commercial and political leader in the Southern Cone, is “communist and corrupt”, similar to Javier Milei’s attack on Pope Francis, who is a communist and “representative of the evil one on earth”. Contradictorily, Javier Milei is in favor of individual freedoms, but against abortion. Likewise, he attacks sexual education in schools and neutral language — focusing on the Argentine ESI (Comprehensive Sex Education).

Their affections act from fear and insecurity, creating the emergence of immediate and desperate actions. Your affections create the urgency of a bomb agenda according to your interests. Manipulation of hyperinflation, in this case, is the most dangerous fiscal austerity policy tactic in Argentina. From there, it is possible to instrumentalize fear with a real fact: the daily and open depreciation of the consumption of essential goods and services. Javier Milei operates according to the need for an “anti-system” savior, just like the experience of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. And this cannot be anything new, because several of his campaign technicians, such as political consultant Fernando Cerimedo, were advisors to the campaigns of the Bolsonaro family and José Antonio Kast, the far-right presidential candidate in Chile. Javier Milei, on the political far right, is hegemonizing anti-system ideology against this position that was previously occupied by the left.

In his 100 days in government, Javier Milei has already sent Congress a “Decree of Necessity and Urgency” (DNU), which aims to deregulate the country's economy, “making Argentina free”. The megadecree, together with the “Ómnibus Law” (liberating package), forms the hard core of his ambitious ultra-neoliberal reforms, which go beyond even conservative notions of Republic and democracy, making him super powerful. Together, the DNU and the Ómnibus Law total more than a thousand articles that, according to Javier Milei, attempt to “dismantle the impediment machine”.

This “mega-reconstruction” of Argentina sought by Javier Milei foresees a “repeal”, the repeal of the state companies regime and regulations that prevent the privatization of public companies, the repeal of the rent law (which protects tenants from abusive contracts, such as the reference to the dollar), the revocation of the prohibition on football clubs becoming public limited companies (i.e. the privatization and transnationalization of football clubs) and the revocation of the prohibition on the total or partial transfer of the shareholding of Aerolíneas Argentinas, a renationalized company of great importance for the Argentine economy and one of the main targets of privatizations in the country. Among many other deregulatory, liberalizing and privatizing proposals.

The decree intends to repeal the “Supply Law”, which provides for sanctions against companies in cases of shortages of certain products (price deregulation) and the “Gondola Law” (the end of a policy that encourages purchases from small companies), further deregulating consumer markets, essential for the working class. Furthermore, the measures also include the reform of the Customs Code, with the aim of facilitating the internationalization of trade and “prohibiting the prohibition of exports”, reinforcing Argentina's underdevelopment of primary goods exports.

Against social movements, the “Ómnibus Law” deepens the criminalization and bureaucratization of social movements, which already need to negotiate with the police to organize social movements. The measure increases the punishment for those who organize social protests and “prevent the free movement of the public”, requires the carrying of cards to participate in mobilizations (!) and gives the police more permissiveness to act based on – what is already known in the Brazilian police – “self-defense”.

But, unlike Jair Bolsonaro's Brazil, what still holds Javier Milei back is his lack of a majority in Parliament and the opposition of provincial governors, in addition to his great lack of governability. Milei cuts provincial funds against governors and ignores Congress in his negotiations when he is unable to achieve total deregulation. Faced with this impasse, Javier Milei still threatens to govern through plebiscites, and, when more moderate, resorts to the opposition “dialogueist” – similar to the “Brazilian center”.

This extends to its international image, Javier Milei never tires of praising Margaret Thatcher, the “iron lady”, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom who formed the neoliberal triad with Ronald Reagan, former President of the United States, and Augusto Pinochet, Chilean dictator. Paradoxically to these compliments, Argentina is historically pressured by a military occupation by the United Kingdom very close to its coast, in the Falkland Islands (or rather, in the “Falkland Islands”), the result of Argentina's defeat in the war against the United Kingdom for the occupation of the territory precisely by the command of the “iron lady”.

The defeat of the war triggered the end of a period of dictatorship in Argentina and the rise in popularity of Margaret Thatcher, a still high price for history and national sovereignty. On this sensitive issue for the Argentine people, Javier Milei calls for “diplomacy and trust” in the recovery of these islands under the British government, which has been an issue since his election campaign. Meanwhile and oppositely, its neighboring country, Chile, which was an experimental laboratory of neoliberalism by the dictator Pinochet, makes great resistance to the memory of the fight against neoliberalism and fascism that crossed the country. Gabriel Boric, in a dispute with José Antonio Kast, won the Chilean elections in 2021 for the left-wing coalition “I appreciate the dignity” against the far-right candidate.

Ultra-neoliberal pyrotechnics in Rosario

What is happening in Rosário is the realization of the old failed strategy of police offensive, mass incarceration and prison control. Around this, electoral pyrotechnics are manipulated through operations via social network X and sensationalist headlines for political calculation. And the choice of social network X is not a coincidence, the social network is the old Twitter which was purchased by billionaire Elon Musk, known for his support for the extreme right in the world, for his lack of regulation of hate speech and for his coup speeches, where he said “”We will coup whoever we want”, responding to criticism from Evo Morales in a case where Elon Musk and the US government aimed to gain access to Bolivian lithium.

Javier Milei, Patricia Bullrich, Pullaro and the mayor of Rosario, Pablo Javkin, reinforce the ultra-neoliberal idea that the State serves only as a murderous force. Added to this, Javier Milei transforms the issue into an ideological case, blaming the socialists. This government direction projects the opposition of emancipatory justice x punitive justice, democratic state x neoliberal state and human rights x violations of human dignity.

Patricia Bullrich, praising and following the same pyrotechnics as the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, published a photo of organized crime leaders being tied up, naked, in the prison yard, in addition to systematically worsening their lives in prison. Nayib Bukele, acclaimed by the Salvadoran extreme right, promoted mass incarceration in his government as a “public security policy” – despite several reports of human rights violations and arbitrary arrests – and Bullrich replicated his recipes, inaugurating a type of Bukelism and vengeful populism.

Something similar had already happened in Rosário, in 2014, when the government carried out a cinematic operation with helicopters flying over the city as a way of intimidating drug trafficking in the face of a crisis that was going on. Latin America had already experienced, in January 2024, a live invasion by the mafia with weapons and hoods in Ecuador, during the administration of Daniel Noboa Azin. Noboa promised a “firm hand” and “restoring peace in families” (of the mafias) in the face of a public security crisis, with rising homicide rates. Los Choneros, Los Lobos, Los Tiguerones or the Balkan mafia control large regions in Ecuador. In the campaign, Noboa bet on the same failed proposal as Patricia Bullrich, prison control, innovating with a proposal to install floating prisons on barges to confine dangerous criminals and cut off their communications from inside prisons, and further penalize small-scale drug use. and monitor routes.

We were already aware of these practices on the part of the government with Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, who, in addition to using them as an electoral device, contributed to the “good criminal is a dead criminal” ideology in the Brazilian police. In this context, many American governments are eyeing Donald Trump's victory to unify their neo-fascist ostentation, each country with its particularity. Portugal has already marked the neo-fascist advance in Europe, with André Ventura's Chega party, exerting great pressure on the government of Luís Montenegro, by having significant shifts of votes to the right and extreme right. The same happens with the high support for Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch extreme right.

This far-right movement has in common the widespread idea of ​​mass incarceration, police operations and the total privatization of prisons, with Rosario having high incarceration rates compared to Argentina. Promoting this reality, there is an understanding in public security due to this movement of opposition between the “flagrant” and the “investigation”, which consequently makes the police and drug trafficking go all or nothing like a certainty of death, as there would be no investigation for both parties. Likewise, there is great opposition between the military police and the civil police, who do not integrate their actions, ending up reproducing this failure within the Public Ministry, which often endorses precarious acts.

Within prisons, the process can be summarized, in general, in a tragedy also experienced by Brazil: the government represses and scraps overcrowded prisons, inmates organize themselves in hatred, react and, thus, a vengeful, hateful and violent environment is created. from insecurity to the unrestricted action of the military police against drug trafficking in promoting murderous operations.

This is an ongoing project. Why aren't we investing in prevention, intelligence, training and technology to combat drug trafficking, following money and transfers instead of youth and turf wars? This priority would reach its sources of financing and, above all, it would produce a multiplier effect against the different fronts the fight against drug trafficking: it would reduce police vs. drug trafficking clashes and their various consequences, reduce the judicial burden in the courts, reduce overcrowding in prisons, among other effects.

This priority would be to treat drug trafficking as a capitalist branch, seeking its fundamental core: profit and power. Why aren't we investing in social policy for youth, creating opportunities for schooling and formal work? This would structurally compete with the demand for drug trafficking.

Instead, Patricia Bullrich initiated the “Plano Bandeira” in mid-December 2023, aligning federal forces with provincial forces and creating maximum security pavilions to separate inmates by categories, that is, a policy of policing and prison control . In the newspapers, peace is made difficult, they do not refer to Rosário as a large and important Argentine city, but as the “most violent city in Argentina”. Semiotics is an essential part of this pyrotechnic, which uses the city's high homicide and incarceration rates to produce insecurity. They place armed forces on the streets, advance into territories dominated by drug trafficking and torture and humiliate them in prisons. The discourse, little by little, replaces the expression “drug traffickers” with “narco-terrorists” and spreads terror with an “internal enemy”.

Brazil is not for amateurs

Brazil, in this matter, is not for amateurs in this matter. Brazil is in the process of developing two projects that share Argentina's experiences. After being a militia member in the presidency of the Republic, today, in the government of Lula III, Parliament is about to approve the limitation of “outings” (when inmates can visit their relatives and carry out integration activities outside the institution) and Progress in the privatization of prisons in Brazilian states is happening every day. This happens in the reality of a country that ranks third in terms of mass incarceration, dominated by factional disputes, having one of the police forces that kills and dies the most in the world and with completely unconstitutional prisons.

There is a large number of people in prison who are still awaiting trial, with an extremely slow and unequal judiciary, and another large number of people incarcerated only for possession of a small amount of marijuana. Projects for the use of cameras on police uniforms and vehicles and distinctions of “port” for “trafficking” are highly disputed steps and cost a lot of negotiation and concessions in Brazil.

There is a strong division of the police in Brazil that favors the military police over the civil police. The military police carry rifles in neighborhoods with family homes in favelas where the majority are black and poor. Many times there is no legal, criminal or legal process for peripheral black people in Brazil, and there is a large specific Military Court to judge military personnel.

The militia is not a parallel power in Brazil, it is the State itself, which competes with other organizations in the exploitation of workers. It has offices to manage murders, it has elected parliamentarians organized into benches (for example, the “bullet bench”), it has strongholds for draining public budgets and systematic cases of laundering and theft of public money. The most tragic case in Brazil is the Bolsonaro family, with members at different levels of power. Cell phone robberies, prison escapes and the increase in feminicide have intensified the constellation of affections for the far right to grow and continue to reproduce the massacres, for example, those that happened and are still happening in the Brazilian states of São Paulo, Bahia, Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro.

*Glauber Franco is a Master's student in philosophy at the Federal University of Alagoas (UFAL).


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