Breaking the Cycle of Violence
What have we Brazilians been doing to break the on-going cycle of violence plaguing the country over the past three decades? Can we offer a safe environment to foreign visitors before we host the World Cup in two years? And in the Olympic Games in 2016? You may have seen some of the violent scenes on the streets of Rio de Janeiro or in the northeast: helicopters shot down by heavily-armed drug traffickers, gunfights in luxury hotel lobbies, mass murders and judges assassinated by police officers. This looks like an environment of urban warfare.
Claudio Beato is a professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, where he is the coordinator for the Center for Studies in Criminality and Public Security (CRISP). He was the 2009-10 Jorge Paolo Lehmann Visiting Scholar at Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.