Rio De Janeiro Governor Says State Needs A Guantanamo For Drug Dealers

Wilson Witzel refers to US prison in Cuba that keeps terrorism suspects

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro's new governor Wilson Witzel (PSC) said on Thursday (3rd) that the state "needs to have its Guantanamo" for drug dealers, referencing the controversial prison that the United States keeps in Cuba for terrorism suspects.

He mentioned Guantanamo after remarking that drug dealers "are once more dancing the samba in front of us" with machine guns in their hands. He promised to investigate "the strongest link in the chain, which is who is giving the money and weapons," and that he will lobby for a federal law to classify drug dealing as a terrorist act.

"The antiterrorism law can increase the sentencing limit from 30 to 50, and make a case for sentences in closed regimes only, with no visitation rights, in special prisons away from urban centers. We need to have our Guantanamo; we need to put the terrorists in places where society can get rid of them for good," he said. 

Guantanamo was opened in 2002 by US president George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. American authorities have acknowledged to using torture against inmates in the facility, that up to last year housed 41 prisoners.

Witzel made the remarks during the swearing-in ceremony of the new state civil police chief, Marcus Vinícius de Almeida Braga. The new military police chief colonel Rogério Figueiredo de Lacerda was also sworn in that same day.

During his speech, the governor also announced that he would allow military police officers to record minor infringements in the act, and send the information directly to the courts, without requiring the suspect's presence in a police precinct.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

Read the article in the original language