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Half of Brazil Believes That 'the Only Good Criminal Is a Dead Criminal'

10/05/2015 - 10h15

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ROGÉRIO PAGNAN
FROM SÃO PAULO

Half of the residents of the biggest Brazilian cities believe that "the only good criminal is the dead criminal," shows a Datafolha survey.

Datafolha interviewed 1,307 people in 84 cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.

After they were asked if good criminals are dead criminals, 50% said they agreed with the statement, 45% disagreed and the others didn't answer or said they neither agreed nor disagreed.

As the survey has a three percent margin of error, there is a technical tie and the survey shows that the Brazilian society is divided.

Sociologist Renato Sérgio de Lima, the vice president of the Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública [Brazilian Forum on Public Security], beilieves that the division is a good sign.

"As the glass is half full and half empty, half of the Brazilian population is against [the statement], and that can be regarded as a window to the construction of public policies. There is room for change."

The overriding change Lima wants is in the police system, which mainly works by fighting criminals and violent confrontation.

The result of the survey reinforces the feeling of specialists in the area that society is tolerant of the killing of those suspected by police officers - the PM (Military Police) and the Polícia Civil (Police Department) killed at least 3,022 people in the country in 2014.

The ombudsman of the São Paulo police departments, Julio Cesar Fernandes Neves, believes the number of Brazilians who defend the idea of "dead criminals" encourages the killing done by the police departments.

The perverse effect of those actions is in the crimes triggered by police officers as well as in their deaths: 398 officers were killed in 2014.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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