Campaign Against Impunity
National Movement of Human Rights (MNDH)
The National Movement of Human Rights (MNDH) and the Permanent Forum Against Violence of Maceió launched recently the National Campaign Against Impunity in Alagoas.
The situation of violence in the Brazilian state of Alagoas is frightening. A Permanent Forum's report based on MNDH data on homicides shows that in the first 10 months of 1997, 652 people were killed, that is 65 dead each month and 2 dead each day.
Federal Police's investigations are finding out the connections between politicians, policemen and Alagoan organised crime.
In January, the Military Police chief, colonel Manoel Francisco Cavalcante was arrested and accused of leading a death squad. Investigation involves even a former president of the Legislative Assembly, a mayor, a state deputy and several policemen.
Institutional connivance may lead to a perpetuation of impunity, estimulating reiteration of crimes and increasing violence.
For that very reason struggle against violence is strictly linked with struggle against impunity. The National Campaign Against Impunity in Alagoas is based on a successful experience developed some years ago in the State of Espirito Santo.
The Campaign's aim is to develop an investigation process on exemplary unresolved cases of homicides, trying to discover for what reason the responsible persons remain unpunished. The Campaign will also start an educative process directed to the relatives of victims of violence, to request the improvement of justice and public security system.
Two working group will be established: a "processing commission" formed by personalities and human rights groups for Campaign publicising and monitoring; a "studying commission" formed by a restrict group of "experts" for cases' analysis.
The Campaign recommends the creation of a Witness Protection Program (as like as the Provita functioning in the State of Pernambuco), the urgent establishment of a State Council of Human Rights and of a Police Ombudsman, as well as increase of the budget for public security policy in the State.
This document is published online by Derechos Human Rights