Brazil Country Profile


Key Statistics

Population: 202,0  million (World Bank 2014)

Capital: Brasilia

Languages: Portuguese, Spanish, Amerindian

Major Ethnic Groups: white 47.7%, mulatto (mixed white and black) 43.1%, black 7.6%, Asian 1.1%, indigenous 0.4% (CIA Factbook)

GDP per Capita (current US dollars): 11,527 (IMF World Economic Outlook, 2015)

GDP per Capita PPP (current international dollars): 15,518 (IMF World Economic Outlook, 2015)

Security Sector Stats

Active Armed Forces: 359.386 (Ministry of Defence, Brazil 2014

Police Force: 318,500 (Military Balance, 2014)

Small Arms: The estimated total number of guns (both licit and illicit) held by civilians in Brazil is estimated between 16,800,000 to 17,600,000. The defence forces of Brazil are reported to have 1,300,000 firearms, and Police in Brazil are reported to have 800,000 firearms (Gun Policy 2015)

Military Expenditure: 1.4% of GDP (World Bank 2013)

Executive Summary

Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy, has seen some important security advancements in the past several years, implementing an ambitious plan to secure its nearly 17,000 kilometer-border, and retaking control of dozens of urban communities in Rio de Janeiro once ruled by criminal gangs. However, it still faces the threat posed by two large domestic criminal gangs who are becoming increasingly involved in the international drugs trade, as well as operating extortion and kidnapping rings at home.

The judicial system continues to struggle to push through badly needed reforms that would improve the efficiency of the courts and tackle high impunity rates. According to Ministry of Justice research published in 2011, only eight percent of Brazil’s annual homicide cases are ever solved.

The increased availability of cocaine and its cheap derivatives has ensnared thousands of addicts, helping to create one of the largest drug markets in the world, while abusive police and violent criminal groups continue to keep homicide rates at high levels (See Figure 1). Though security forces in areas like Rio de Janeiro have been praised for reclaiming previously lawless areas, much of rural Brazil remains neglected in terms of resources. 

There have been important advances in the fight against corruption, including the increased monitoring of judges, and the Supreme Court trial of 37 people charged with misuse of public funds, many of them former political operatives for former President Lula da Silva. However, much still needs to be done to improve the judicial system.


Fig. 1 Brazil Homicide Rate 2004-2010

Security and Justice Context

Brazil has made some important advances in improving security in certain areas of the country in recent years, particularly in Rio de Janeiro, the country’s second-largest city which will host the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. During the first five months of 2012, the city saw its lowest homicide rates in 21 years[1] . Despite the advances in Rio, however, the national homicide rate has remained relatively steady; in 2004, the rate was 22.5 murders per 100,000 inhabitants; in 2010, the most recent year available for national statistics, it decreased to 21 per 100,000.

Brazil faces several significant threats in terms of internal security. Organised criminal groups are well established in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. The largest groups include the Red Command (Comando Vermelho) and the First Capital Command (Primeiro Comando da Capital-PCC), both of which were founded in the country’s prisons. These groups are involved in the transnational drug trade, arms trafficking, robberies, extortion and kidnapping.

The Red Command at one point controlled 53 percent of Rio de Janeiro's most violent areas, according to some estimates, though the group’s influence is believed to have been drastically reduced in the city, due to the favela pacification campaign (see below). Nevertheless, it still maintains some presence in the city and in the neighbouring countries of Paraguay and Bolivia. The PCC’s historic area of influence is São Paulo state, which bore witness to a bloody feud between the gang and the police force throughout 2012. The group is believed to currently have members in two-thirds of Brazil’s states, and controls drug trafficking routes between Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay, moving cocaine and marijuana shipments.

Vigilante groups made up of current and former members of the police, known as militias, have emerged in cities under the premise of fighting local drug gangs. However, they have been found to operate their own criminal rackets, including extortion and kidnapping schemes. These militias typically have contacts or even direct support from local politicians. The militias and other organised criminal groups are known to issue threats against judicial authorities who threaten their interests.

Like other countries in Latin America, express kidnappings—in which victims are held for less than 24 hours and often forced to withdraw money their bank accounts—are a problem in some parts of Brazil, especially in larger cities such as Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. In Rio de Janeiro, for example, there were 143 express kidnapping cases reported in 2011, a 62.5 percent rise from the previous year. Nevertheless, the problem is nowhere near the same levels as other countries such as Mexico, and Venezuela.

Regular kidnappings have also been on the rise in Rio de Janeiro, with 13 reported cases from January-October 2012. This was almost double the number of cases (seven) registered in 2011.

Brazil is playing an increased role in offering counter-narcotics and security aid to other countries in Latin America. Brazil has trained anti-drug forces in Bolivia and conducts anti-drug operations in other neighbouring countries including Peru and Paraguay. Since President Rousseff took office, it has placed increased emphasis on securing its borders (see below).

The emphasis on increased border security is interlinked with concerns that Brazil is an increasingly important transit nation for the cocaine trade, as well as a significant consumer country. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that much of the cocaine seized in Europe first passes through Brazil. Brazil is also the second largest consumer of cocaine in the world. In addition, there is a large market for cheap cocaine derivatives such as crack-cocaine and a cheaper derivative known as “oxi.” In response to the country’s rising addiction rates, Rousseff has pledged $2.19 billion for the treatment of crack addicts.

Brazil’s domestic security strategy has focused primarily on the retaking of urban shantytowns, or “favelas,” in Rio de Janeiro that are under the control of gangs and criminals. Under the strategy, the city first deploys the military and the military police to drive criminal groups out of the favelas, then stations new community policing units, known as the Police Pacification Unit (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora–UPP), in these neighbourhoods. The UPP have been described as the government’s most important tool to regain control of favelas long ruled by criminal gangs. The first UPP unit was deployed in 2008; at the time of writing there were 30 based across the city with over 3,000 police officers, monitoring a population of over 250,000. As a community policing force that reportedly emphasises winning the “hearts and minds” of local communities, the UPP are viewed as a shift away from the militaristic policing traditionally employed in Rio de Janeiro.

Rural Brazil faces another set of security challenges. Violence linked to land conflict is one significant problem, especially in the northern Amazonian states, where poor farmers and powerful ranching and logging interests frequently clash over land rights. Some 1,200 murders have been linked to this conflict over the past 20 years. Another problem in rural Brazil is slave labour: some 40,000 workers are thought to work in slave-like conditions in the country. The practice is seen in the ranching, mining, and sugar cane industries, among others.

There are an estimated 3.8 million to 9.5 million illegal firearms in Brazil.  The number of registered firearms is reported to be 5.2 million to 5.3 million, while the number of military firearms is thought to be 1.3 million to 2 million. Most of the weapons on the black market are believed to have been supplied by Brazil’s legal arms industry, the second largest in the Western Hemisphere. Nearly 80 percent of the weapons produced in Brazil are exported, with a large number then smuggled back into the country. Corrupt soldiers and police officers who steal guns from military and police arsenals are another supplier of illegal weapons to the black market. This widespread availability of illegal weapons has contributed to the high number of gun deaths in Brazil which stands at roughly 70 percent of all homicides, according to the Small Arms Survey.

Brazil’s modern financial sector and its role as a transit point for illicit narcotics have helped make it a hub for money laundering, although there are no official measures for the levels of money laundered in Brazil.  Prior to 2012, money laundering could not be prosecuted unless it was connected to terrorism, drugs, arms trafficking, and several other offenses. However, this changed in July 2012 when President Dilma Rousseff signed into law a bill that increased the penalties against those convicted of laundering money. The bill was interpreted as part of a wider effort to root out corruption in the government.

Perceptions of Insecurity

According to Vanderbilt University’s Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), the perception of insecurity in Brazil decreased between 2010 and 2012 from a score of 38.1 points to 36.9[2] (See Figure 2.).

Fig. 2 Perceptions of Insecurity 2010 and 2012

The number of Brazilians who see violence and security as the country’s biggest concern has been declining. In 2007,18.83 percent of respondents said that violence was the biggest problem that the country faces, according to the LAPOP. This dropped to 15.77 percent in 2010.

Security and Justice Institutions

Justice Institutions

Brazil’s judiciary is comprised of lower courts, which are divided into federal and state branches, and specialised courts, which include the military, labour, and electoral courts. Each of these specialised courts answers to a superior tribunal: the Superior Military Court (Superior Tribunal Militar), the Superior Court of Labour (Tribunal Superior do Trabalho), and the Superior Electoral Court (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral). The Military Court has three regional courts, based in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul.

For state and federal courts, the superior tribunal is the Superior Court of Justice (Superior Tribunal de Justiça). Higher than any of these bodies is the Supreme Federal Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal)—the country’s highest court of law and the equivalent to the Constitutional Court—and the National Justice Council (Conselho Nacional de Justiça) which oversees the judiciary and investigates those accused of corruption.

Brazil’s Office of the Attorney General of the Union (Advocacia-Geral da União–AGU) is responsible for providing legal advice to the state, and for representing the federal government before the courts. Responsible for overseeing criminal prosecutions and protecting the public interest is the Office of the Prosecutor General (Procuradoria Geral da República-PGR), part of the Public Ministry (Ministério Público Federal). There is also a Comptroller General’s Office (Controladoria-Geral da União–CGU) which oversees transparency within the federal government. Additionally, there is a special commission meant to curb abuses within the Public Ministry, the National Council of Public Ministry (Conselho Nacional do Ministério Público-CNMP).

There are two Ombudsman offices; the Ombudsman-General of the Federal Government (Ouvidoria Geral do Governo Federal), responsible for processing citizen complaints against government institutions from 152 local Ombudsman offices across the country, and the Ombudsman-General of Citizenship (Ouvidoria-Geral da Cidadania), a special office of the presidency responsible for looking at reports of human rights violations.

Brazil has prosecutors who work at both the state and federal level. The country has is an accusatory legal system.

Brazil implemented a series of judicial reforms after 1988, but they were not successful at making the judiciary more effective. While the reforms greatly increased the independence of the courts, they failed to address the issue of judicial efficiency. As the number of cases entering the court system increased, the courts became overwhelmed, to the point that, on average, judges became responsible for 10,000 cases at any given time. Congress passed another judicial reform package in 2001, aimed at reducing the backlog of cases being handled by the courts, as well as other measures meant to reduce nepotism. However, repeated reports of judicial scandals have fed the public impression that the court system remains corrupt, inefficient, and slow.

In the World Economic Forum’s 2012-2013 Global Competitiveness Report, Brazil placed 71 out of 144 countries on judicial independence.

In addition to an inefficient judiciary is a prison system that non-government organisation (NGO) Human Rights Watch (HRW) describes as “plagued by inhumane conditions, violence, and severe overcrowding.” According to HRW, in 2009 some 60,000 inmates were being held arbitrarily. This has helped swell the prison population, which stood at approximately 549,577 in June 2012. As of that date, Brazil’s prisons were operating at a 172 percent of capacity. Just 56 percent of prisoners have been convicted, with the other 44 percent awaiting trial. Groups like the PCC and Red Command, both established in prison, are able to run drug trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion schemes from their inside the penitentiary system.

The penitentiary system is managed by the National Penitentiary Department (Departamento Penitenciario Nacional) which is housed under the Ministry of Justice (Ministério da Justiça).

Security Institutions

The police are divided into Federal (around 15,000 members), Military (over 400,000 active members), and Civil (some 123,403 members) forces. The Military and Civil police are subordinated to the state government, while the Federal Police serve under the Ministry of Justice. Some states have elite units within the Military Police, including Rio de Janeiro, Alagoas, and Santa Catarina, where Special Forces units are known as the Special Police Operations Battalion (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais–BOPE).

There is also a national force—the National Public Security Force (Força Nacional de Segurança Pública-SENASP)—made up of Military Police from various states which includes an elite force, the Quick Deployment Special Battalion (Batalhão Especial de Pronto Emprego-BEPE).

Brazil’s police have long faced accusations of abuse, especially in connection to misreporting the extrajudicial killing of civilians as acts of self-defence. According to a 2009 report by Human Rights Watch, in 2008 Rio de Janeiro police killed one person for every 23 arrests, compared to the United States, where one person is killed for every 37,000 arrests.

In addition to the issue of police brutality, corruption remains a problem within the police, especially at the local level. Aside from the illegal militias operating inside urban slums, which have a history of killing judicial and government officials who investigate these illegal armed groups, corrupt elements of the civil and military police have been accused of working with local drug traffickers and running arms trafficking networks. Even Rio de Janeiro’s new community police force, the UPP, has reported several cases of corrupt officers[3] .This has contributed to widespread public distrust: according to a December 2012 study released by the Getulio Vargas Foundation's Law School in Sao Paulo, 63 percent of those surveyed said they were dissatisfied with police performance.

While there is no current plan to increase the size of state security forces, private security forces have grown 74 percent over the past decade. According to Federal Police statistics, there are currently 700,000 private security personnel in Brazil.

Brazil has 339,365 active members in the armed forces, the largest in Latin America. The military’s primary role is enforcing border control, particularly in the Amazon states. The army has also traditionally participated in United Nations peacekeeping missions to countries like Haiti and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Federal Police are responsible for investigating international drug trafficking, among other federal crimes. The Military Police are responsible for enforcing public order in the states, and have taken a leading role in the pacification of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. The Civil Police handle criminal investigations at the state level.

While the military was a deeply corrupt institution during the 1964-1985 military government, it has since seen some notable improvements. According to the Getulio Vargas Foundation study, 75 percent of those surveyed said that the military is the country’s most trusted security institution. Though the military is viewed as less vulnerable to corruption by organised crime in comparison to the state police forces, it has nevertheless been criticized for not doing more to support the investigation of military abuses committed during the dictatorship. The approval of a non-punitive truth and reconciliation commission in late 2011 was seen as an important step for confronting military impunity.

As of January 2013, no current or former members of the military had been convicted for torture, disappearances, and other crimes committed during these past decades. One landmark step was taken in March 2012, when federal prosecutors announced they would charge a retired army colonel in connection to several disappearances registered in 1974.

Brazil’s umbrella intelligence group is the Brazilian Intelligence System (Sistema Brasileiro de Inteligência-SISBIN), which oversees the set of agencies responsible for producing and processing intelligence. The SISBIN’s central office is the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Agência Brasileira de Inteligência–ABIN), which coordinates the processing  of intelligence from a sub-agency, the Public Security Intelligence Subsystem (Subsistema de Inteligência de Segurança Publica-SISP), as well as various government ministries, including the Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Defence (Ministério da Defesa). The army intelligence branch is the Centre for Army Intelligence (Centro de Inteligência do Exército–CIE).

The SISP is responsible for collecting intelligence from the intelligence branches of law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Police intelligence branch, known as the Police Intelligence Directorate (Diretoria de Inteligência Policial-DIP), as well as the civil and military police of Brazil’s 26 states.

Under the “Strategic Border Plan” which began in 2011 and will see $6.3 billion allocated to border security over an eight year period, President Dilma Rousseff has deployed thousands of troops to secure Brazil’s frontier, one which is five times longer than the US-Mexico border. President Rousseff has said the strategy is seeing enormous success, with the announcement in early 2013 that more than 3,650 tons of drugs had been seized since the plan was implemented in mid-2011.Brazil has conducted cross-border raids to destroy coca cultivation and cocaine processing labs in other countries, which has caused some tensions with Bolivia and Paraguay.

The plan operates through the temporary deployment, or “surge,” of thousands of Brazilian troops to certain border areas for a number of weeks under the so-called Operation Agata. By the end of 2012, six such operations had been carried out and a further three were planned for 2013.

State of Security and Justice Sector Reform

Justice Sector Reform and Initiatives

The speed with which the court system handled the “mensalão”[4]  scandal is typically cited as an example of the judiciary’s new efforts at improving efficiency. One of Brazil’s biggest ever political scandals, the “mensalão,” resulted in the conviction of ten politicians and business figures  on charges of money laundering, bribery, and other charges, in connection with setting up a cash-for-votes scheme. Among those convicted is the former chief of staff of former President Lula da Silva.

While the case represented an important breakthrough, its speedy processing remains the exception rather than the rule in Brazil’s judiciary.

Several significant reform initiatives have been undertaken by the National Council of Justice. The organ received praise for pushing through a wave of reforms between 2010 and 2012, forcing judges to become more transparent about their salaries and pushing several corrupt officials out of office.

The Council also oversaw the creation of a special government commission that will oversee court cases related to press freedom. Press censorship is common in Brazil, as courts are frequently used to sue journalists and block them from publishing sensitive information, according to a 2011 report by the Inter American Press Association. The new government commission, known as the National Forum of Judicial Authority and Freedom (Fórum Nacional do PoderJudiciário e Liberdade), will monitor court cases related to the limitation of the freedom of the press.

Another significant step towards reform was the passage of Brazil’s first ever Access to Public Information law in 2011, which makes it easier for citizens to request information about  corruption and inefficiency in public bodies, including the court system.

The issue of military courts is generally not seen as controversial in Brazil, although some have questioned whether military justice should remain distinct from the civilian judicial system. Following a meeting with the National Justice Council in November 2012, President of the Supreme Court Joaquim Barbosa said he would create a committee to review the decisions of Brazil’s regional military courts. Barbosa said it was worth questioning whether the courts should exist, as they primarily handle matters which could be “absorbed by ordinary justice.” Under current law, only the states can choose to dissolve the regional military courts, but Barbosa’s meeting with the National Justice Council is nevertheless an example of ongoing discussion about whether the military courts are necessary in the country.

One of the most significant reforms passed under President Rousseff was a revision of the penal code in mid-2011. The law expanded the power of the courts to rely on other methods besides pre-trial detention to monitor suspects awaiting trial. It is aimed at decongesting Brazil’s prisons, and there are some indications that it could already be having an impact. According to the Federal Police, since the law’s approval in July 2011 the force has made 40 percent fewer arrests. In another attempt to ease the strain on Brazil’s prisons, the law also banned the use of pre-trial detention for suspects accused of crimes that have a maximum four-year prison sentence.

Security Sector Reforms and Initiatives

One of the most promising initiatives is Rio de Janeiro’s community police force, the UPP, widely credited with contributing to decreased violence rates in the city. According to a July 2012 study of the UPP’s impact commissioned by the Brazilian Forum on Public Safety (Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública) and the Development Bank of Latin America (Corporación Andina de Fomento), the UPP significantly reduced violence in the neighbourhoods where they serve. There has been some discussion over whether the UPP could provide a public safety model for other major urban areas in Brazil. That being said, the force is still a nascent one, and despite its achievements, the study points out that the UPP will need to continue to develop in order to remain effective.

A major challenge will be the attempts to professionalize and clean-up of the Civil and Military Police. There have been a few efforts at the state level aimed at reducing violence committed by these branches of the police, particularly in São Paulo state. In 2010, the state’s attorney general created a special unit of prosecutors to investigate alleged police abuse. More recently, in 2013 São Paulo’s Secretary of Public Security passed a resolution that bans civil and military police from taking crime scene victims to the ER. This forms part of an effort to curb incidents in which police transport allegedly wounded civilians to the ER, kill them, then misreport the death as the result of a shootout while resisting arrest.

The federal government has also moved against police brutality. Notably, the Human Rights Defense Council (Conselho de Defesa dos Direitos Humanos) issued a resolution in 2012 laying out new procedures that police should follow in order to reduce unlawful killings, a move which Human Rights Watch described as an “encouraging” sign of the federal government taking the lead on the issue.

Security and Justice Opportunities

Currently the world’s sixth-largest economy, Brazil is already a significant provider of foreign aid, with a current budget of over $1 billion for foreign aid projects. At the same time, however, opportunities still exist for the strengthening of Brazil’s institutional capacities.

President Rousseff has said rooting out corruption in the government is a major priority. The country ranked 69th out of 174 countries in Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index. This is only a slight improvement from its 2011 score.

Despite the landmark success in tackling the “mensalão” scandal, Brazil’s legal system still faces significant challenges ahead in confronting corruption and inefficiency.

Justice Sector Opportunities

The two main government agencies in Brazil dedicated to judicial reform are the National Justice Council, and a special office of the Ministry of Justice, the Secretariat of Judicial Reform (Secretaria de Reforma do Judiciário). Efforts to support and strengthen these institutions would help bolster reform efforts. In one promising sign, in February 2012 Brazil’s Supreme Court ruled to uphold the power of the National Justice Council, in a case that would have significantly limited the powers of the special body. This shows that the will remains within Brazil’s very highest courts in order to preserve the Council’s ability to push reforms through.

Opportunities for engagement include supporting measures aimed at easing the caseload within Brazil’s courts, as well as efforts to decongest the prison system. Additionally, the Secretariat of Judicial Reform is currently focused on expanding the access of adequate public defence to underserved areas in Brazil. Working with the Secretariat to increase marginalised groups’ access to justice in Brazil could provide another opening for engagement.

Security Sector Opportunities

Supporting the continued development of Rio de Janeiro’s UPP force could help build a model for community policing that could serve the rest of Brazil in the future. Rio de Janeiro’s goal is to have 40 UPP units by 2014, based across the city’s most violent favelas. Efforts could be made to help intensify and improve the training that UPP officers receive, as the force continues to expand.

The United States currently contributes training and technical support to the Federal Police. Help should be directed toward improving the performance of state and military police and ensuring that the government make efforts in earnest to clean up these forces given worrying levels of corruption and their possible involvement in extrajudicial killings.

Another opportunity is the support of Brazil’s drug addiction rehabilitation plans. As noted by the US State Department, while Brazil has already committed significant resources on drug prevention and treatment plans, currently the programs “are not yet commensurate with the size of the addict population.”

Civil Society Actors for Engagement

There are a number of think-tanks and civilian NGOs dedicated to studying Brazil’s security situation and publishing policy recommendations. Among the most prominent are Igarape[5] , which works on violence prevention and drug policy; Conectas[6] , which lobbies for criminal justice reform and monitors human rights violations; and Viva Rio[7] , which works to combat violence in Rio de Janeiro.

The Secretariat of Judicial Reformhas highlighted the policy research conducted by the Observatory of Brazilian Justice (Observatório da Justiça Brasileira), a research institute based out of the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, as particularly helpful in identifying action plans for judicial reform.


Cepik, Marco. “Intelligence in Brazil,” in Reforming Intelligence: Obstacles to Democratic Control and Effectiveness, edited by Thomas C. Bruneau and Steven C. Boraz. University of Texas Press, 2007

Human Rights Watch, “Lethal Force: Police Violence and Public Security in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo," December 2009

Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa, “Measuring the Efficiency of Brazilian Courts from 2006 to 2008:  What Do the Numbers Tell Us?” 2011

Prillaman, William C. “Brazil: A Shotgun Approach to Judicial Reform,” in The Judiciary and Democratic Decay in Latin America: Declining Confidence in the Rule of Law.Greenwood Publishing Group, 2000

Red de Seguridad y Defensa de América Latina, “Atlas Comparativo de la Defensa en América Latina y Caribe Edición 2012,” October 2012

Small Arms Survey, “Small Arms Survey 2012: Moving Targets,” August 2012

Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney, “Brazil – Gun Facts, Figures and Law,” Data retrieved from

The AmericasBarometer by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), Vanderbilt University, “The Political Culture of Democracy in the Americas, 2010: Democratic Consolidation in the Americas in Hard Times,” December 2010

The AmericasBarometer by the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP), Vanderbilt University, “The Political Culture of Democracy in the Americas, 2012: Towards Equality of Opportunity,” November 2012 (Preliminary Version)

Transparency International, “Corruption Perceptions Index 2012,” December 2012

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “Homicide Statistics 2012,” Data set retrieved from

U.S. Department of State, “2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report Volume 1: Drug and Chemical Control,” March 2012

U.S. Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011,” May 2012

World Economic Forum, “The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013,” September 2012


[1] The homicide rate for the first five months of 2012 in Rio de Janeiro was 10.9 per 100,000, according to the Regional Institute of Public Safety.

[2] LAPOP recodes respondents’ answers into a scale of 0-100 with a higher score representing a higher perception of insecurity.

[3] While the government says these are isolated incidents, they also serve to undermine the UPP’s reputation as Rio de Janeiro’s well-paid, well-trained police force that is supposedly more resistant to corruption.

[4] The scandal first came to light in 2005.

[5] More information on their website:

[6] More information on their website:

[7] More information on their website:

Igarapé Institute

The Igarapé Institute is a southern think tank devoted to evidence-based policy and action on complex social challenges including global drug policy, citizen security and international cooperation. Its goal is to stimulate humane engagement on emerging security and development issues. Across all its programs, the Institute adopts a three-prong approach:

  1. Diagnose challenges through cutting-edge research;
  2. Trigger informed debate and action across public and private spheres; and
  3. Design tailor-made solutions that are people-centered.

The International Security Sector Advisory Team

The International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) provides practical support to the international community in its efforts to improve security and justice, primarily in conflict-affected and fragile states. It does this by working with a group of member states and institutions to develop and promote good security and justice reform practices and principles, and by helping its members to build their capacity to support national and regional security and justice reform processes.