Brazil, Federative Republic of

Brazil, Federative Republic of

Case Studies

Gender and Security Sector Reform: Examples from the Ground

Selected Resources

Training Resource Package: Guide to Integrating Gender in SSR Training- DCAF

Video: Gender in SSR-Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff at the UN Office in Burundi

The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.

The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:

• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender

For downloading individual examples and case studies in Integrating Gender into SSR Training on Kosovo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Tajikstan, Rwand, Brazil, Israel, Jamaica, Nepal, the United States, and the regions of West Africa and the Pacific, kindly follow the link. 

case study

Brazil: Civil-Military-Police Joint Training

Civil-military relations and security sector reform in the Caribbean and Latin America face distinct challenges. During Spanish and Portuguese colonialism, the conqueror’s military forces used a strategy of pacification to put down rebellions and to control or even to destroy native peoples. Afterwards, this repressive attitude toward society continued, defining most of the history of military-civil society relations in Latin America. Yet in general, since the 1980s, there has been a transition away from military-led governments toward greater democracy and citizen participation in all aspects of public life. Latin American governments are increasingly working together on regional issues, particularly in response to regional challenges of trafficking in drugs, weapons and people.

Civil-military relations in the Caribbean and Latin America are distinct from Western countries in a variety of ways, due to a different historical evolution of the security forces and different governance arrangements. Since 2012, there has been an effort to build up a civil society network of university scholars and NGOs to work with military officers to improve civil-military relations in the Caribbean and Latin America. This “Military and Security in Latin America and the Caribbean” network aims to produce an overview on the recent experience of safety, different reports, and possibilities to create a human security/human rights oriented policy. It has been mostly a joint effort spread among military and scholars.

Brazilian efforts to use universities as an intermediary to provide a safe space for civil-military-police dialogue on issues of public safety and national security could eventually spread throughout the region. Formulas that connect civilian scholars, civilian graduate programmes and military graduate courses – or even hybrid graduate programmes – have been part of this recent Brazilian experience. If analysed in its first outcomes, and adapted respecting local dynamics and expertise, this model could be translated more widely in Latin America, using this kind of cooperation established with military schools.

Brazil itself has assisted in SSR/D efforts in other countries such as Haiti, Guinea-Bissau, and Timor-Leste, both bilaterally and through organizations such as the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP). Yet as with other countries assisting with SSR, civil-military relations within Brazil and internal SSR/D efforts still need attention.

Within Brazil, the history of military interventions and military rule has created lasting mistrust between the military, police, and civil society. Historically, the military viewed political opposition as “the internal enemy” that must be “eliminated” rather than addressed through democratic processes. While democratization occurred within the government’s political sector, the military and police sector still run based on a model established during the authoritarian regime (1964-1985). This model gives to the military police a primary repressive task in ordinary law enforcement activities and a secondary competence as National Army´s auxiliary troops (exactly the same as during the dictatorship period). In Brazil, each state federal unity in Brazil has its own military police corps. These police corps are militarized in a gendarmerie-like corporation under state Governor’s authority.

On the other hand, the National Army has a contradictory history. Officially, the Army main prerogative is to protect national sovereignty, and as a second level of competence, to act in internal issues such as law enforcement. It means that training and weaponry is geared toward identifying and fighting enemies and not as much on protecting and serving the population.

Nevertheless, Brazil’s military has had a significant role in responding to internal humanitarian crises, such as floods or the recurrent support to minimize desertification effects on vulnerable populations. This degree of competence has increased since the beginning of the deployment of Brazilian troops to lead the security work in UN missions, especially in Haiti (2004 onwards). In preparation for this mission, Brazilian forces trained in urban combat simulations in order to act in Port-au-Prince slums.[1] This experience exposed Brazilian forces to training on UN values and concepts on Protection of Civilians and related concepts.[2]

The Brazilian military experience of policing operations in Haiti could lead to a shift in how the Brazilian military operates side by side in public safety issues within Brazil, particularly in favelas (slums). The Brazilian Ministry of Defence, answering to a formal request by Rio de Janeiro’s Governor, formed two “Pacification Forces” that occupied three sets of slums in two phases, the first one from December 2010 to July 2012, and the second between May 2014 and April 2015. Part of the Army’s troops operating in Rio’s slums included former UN troops in Haiti. Besides that, the operations were connected to a state Military Police programme called Police Pacification Units (UPP) aimed to occupy communities where drug trafficking takes place. There are many questions stemming from this kind of collaboration between the Armed Forces and the Military Police.[3] The memory of the military participation in the so-called “dirty war” against political opposition during the 1960’s and 1970’s ignites a difficult debate among scholars, military staff, politicians, and civil society organizations.[4]

If it is true that the move toward civilian governments in Brazil has opened the door to new conversations on security, Brazilian society has not had practice in participating in security discussions. Brazilian academics point out that in a democratic country, society must think about these issues and provide oversight to ensure that the military is accountable to civilian leadership and the civilian population. On June 20th, 2013, close to 1.5 million people marched in over eighty cities across Brazil in the largest public demonstrations since redemocratization in 1985. Then, state Military Police used extreme force on the protestors, indiscriminately using tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets.[5] Political leaders and media portrayed the protests as illegal acts, while civil society perceived the protests as legitimate acts of political opposition. After the Military Police brutality even traditional political parties and the major media turned against the security forces.

In such a context, Brazilian academics and NGOs are trying to build bridges of communication between the military, police and civil society to offer forums for dialogue on the emphasis on public safety versus national security. However, there is an increasing consensus of the importance to discuss these issues more openly among Brazilian society, not only in silos of those directly involved. The educational field seems to be a respected intermediary to provide forums for civil-military-police dialogue. In Brazil, universities can provide a safe space for civil society and the military to interact, and therefore serve as an entry point, whilst overcoming stigma from talking to the military.

The Institute of Strategic Studies (ISS) of the Fluminense Federal University, in Niterói, Rio de Janeiro is the first academic institute in Brazil devoted to civil-military relations. ISS opened its doors in 2012 after a ten-year process of consolidation within the Political Sciences Department. Scholars engaged in its creation had a historical involvement with civilian-military issues and had helped to establish organizations such as the Brazilian Association for Defence Studies (ABED), in 2008. ISS has cooperation agreements with high-level military schools in Brazil (Army, Navy, Air Force), with special attention to their graduate courses. Besides that, ISS offers an undergraduate course in International Relations and a postgraduate course devoted to civil-military relations. There are around 20 military officers in the institute, under civilian supervision, and among its professors there are forms military officers.

Following ISS experience, other Universities in Brazil started their own graduate programmes on Strategic Studies or Defence Studies, including the Army’s and Navy’s high-level schools based in Rio de Janeiro. The Institute is establishing connections between these two separate worlds in Brazil – the world of the military and police’ and their perspectives on security and the world of civil society and their perspectives on public safety.

Excerpt from the book Local Ownership in Security: Case Studies of Peacebuilding Approaches edited by Lisa Schirch with Deborah Mancini-Griffoli and published by The Alliance for Peacebuilding, The Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict, and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Footnotes

[1] Kai Kenkel (2010). New missions and emerging powers: Brazil, Peace Operations and MINUSTAH In: LEUPRECHT, Christian; TROY, Jodok; LAST, David (Eds.). Mission Critical: smaller democracies’ role in global stability operations. Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press.
[2] Thiago Rodrigues. Brazil’s South-South Humanitarian Actions: Paradigm Shift and Domestic Consequences. in LSE Ideas. London: London School of Economics. Nov. 26th 2012. Found at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/ideas/2012/11/brazil%C2%B4s-south-south-humanitarian-actions-paradigm-shift-and-domestic-consequences/ (accessed 22 August 2014)
[3] Thiago Rodrigues (2015). Drug trafficking and security in contemporary Brazil In: RYAN, Gregory (ed.). World Politics of Security. Rio de Janeiro: CEBRI/KAS, p. 235-250.
[4] Jorge Zaverucha. The Increased Role of the Brazilian Army in Activities of Public Security. Nueva Sociedad. January-February 2008. p. 213. Found at: http://www.plataformademocratica.org/Publicacoes/Publicacao_8630_em_31_05_2011_12_43_30.pdf (Access 27 August 2014.)
[5] Thiago Rodrigues and Fernando Brancoli. “A Brazilian Spring? No, not really” in LSE Ideas. London: London School of Economics. 16 July 2013. Found at: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/ideas/2013/07/a-brazilian-spring-no-not-really/ (accessed 22 August 2014)

case study

Podcasts

Peaceful Prisons

Brazil is a world leader in crime, particularly violent crime. Part of the dynamic is the prison system, which serves as an incubator for even more violence. David Van Patten, Chief Operating Officer of Prison Fellowship International, explains the PFI model and why the overwhelmed Brazilian government has entrusted Prison Fellowship Brazil with the rehabilitation of about 4,000 prisoners convicted of violent crimes. The PF-run prisons, which operate in 117 countries (including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay), cost less and show lower recidivism rates.

To listen to the podcast Peaceful Prisons, kindly follow the link. 

Podcast

Policy and Research Papers

The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World

The governments of Brazil, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland convened the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies to fulfill the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that all people should live in peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. The Pathfinders include member states, international organizations, and major partnerships and networks.

For full access to The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

For the UN video on The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

Paper

Is Brazil's Military Police Training Too Brutal?

An article originally published in Spanish by Agencia Pública and translated here by InSight Crime, this investigation into Brazil's military police training reveals the extent of physical, psychological and disciplinary abuses to which soldiers are subjected. It sheds light on the the deshumanisation of the military police during training, accusing the current curriculum and rules of being "antiquated" - therefore not training the police force to protect the population, and further fueling a culture of violence.   

Read it online.

Paper

The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change Our World

On 21 September 2017, the governments of Brazil, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland launched the roadmap for peaceful, just and inclusive societies. The roadmap, which covers all of 2030 Agenda targets provides, for the first time, a shared vision for how SDG16+ can be delivered. The group will work with regional and international pathfinders to strengthen strategies for implementation, and will shape a global debate through ‘grand challenges’ on justice, inclusion, and violence prevention. 

For full access to The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change Our World, kindly follow the link. 

For a summary, see the overview and presentation.

For the UN video on The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

Paper

The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World

The governments of Brazil, Sierra Leone, and Switzerland convened the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies to fulfill the vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that all people should live in peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. The Pathfinders include member states, international organizations, and major partnerships and networks.

For full access to The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

For the UN video on The Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies: A Call to Action to Change our World, kindly follow the link.

Paper

UNDP’s Engagement with the Media for Governance, Sustainable Development and Peace

This report features 13 case studies that together highlight the range and impact of UNDP’s engagement with the media for the purpose of achieving development outcomes. First, it seeks to demonstrate that, across development contexts, UNDP has increasingly identified media engagement as a priority for its policy and programmes. Second, the report seeks to outline UNDP’s comparative advantage and unique role in this area of work as well as to spark new approaches on media engagement and build new partnerships with media actors, the private sector, civil society and governments. Finally, by delving into the challenges and lessons learned across UNDP’s initiatives, the report seeks to contribute to broader debates among a range of stakeholders on how to design more effective and sustainable policies and programmes to support the roles of the media, which can better meet the needs and challenges of today’s complex media ecosystems.

To access the full report, UNDP’s Engagement with the Media for Governance, Sustainable Development and Peace, kindly follow the link. 

Paper

Defence White Papers in the Americas

In preparation for the October 2000 Defense Ministerial of the Americas (DMA) in Manaus Brazil and at the request of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) studied the global trend toward the creation of Defense White Papers. The study aimed to understand the nature of these documents in order to prepare the U.S. delegation to discuss the tendency in Latin America and the Caribbean during the DMA. The INSS study team found no agreement about what constitutes a 'white paper' other than each is a consensus statement on a topic. The team examined 15 defense documents worldwide and interviewed participants in the development process and independent analysts. The results suggest that the formative, often difficult, process through which governments must move to solidify their approach to national security defense policy, and the structure to implement it and build consensus for it is the essential part of a 'white paper,' providing a constructive experience that benefits the country. Governments tended not to want a template for this process, although at the working level there is some interest in the experience of other states. Defense White Papers become highly stylized nationalistic documents that reflect a state's unique domestic circumstances and international geopolitical situation. The attached chart provides an overview comparison of the Defense White Paper processes of Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa. Past efforts by U.S. agencies to design templates have failed.

Paper