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Disappearances in the Post-Transition Era in Latin America$
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Karina Ansolabehere, Barbara A. Frey, and Leigh A. Payne

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197267226

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197267226.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 07 December 2021

Systematic Recurrence of Murders and Disappearances in Democratic Brazil

Systematic Recurrence of Murders and Disappearances in Democratic Brazil

Chapter:
(p.148) 8 Systematic Recurrence of Murders and Disappearances in Democratic Brazil
Source:
Disappearances in the Post-Transition Era in Latin America
Author(s):

Marlon Alberto Weichert

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197267226.003.0009

In the post-transition period, Brazil has experienced extremely high levels of lethal violence, perpetrated by both criminal groups and public security forces, which has primarily targeted poor black youths. Despite this high level of violence in a democracy, state agencies persist in their failure to carry out effective measures to reduce and prevent systematic death and disappearance, and to investigate and prosecute homicides and disappearances that victimise this population. Evidence of summary execution and enforced disappearance, moreover, indicate that the Brazilian state is also responsible for a significant portion of these crimes. In response, public authorities have recently adopted a public discourse of crime prevention that exempts police from being held accountable for killing criminal suspects and even encouraging the murder of those criminal suspects during police operations. This chapter argues that the systematic death and disappearance of these civilian populations may be seen conceptually as a crime against humanity, as defined in the Rome Statute. While prior to 2019 it was possible to argue that the killing of poor black youths constituted a policy of omission, after that year evidence suggests that Brazilian security agents have crossed a threshold into actively committing a systematic crime against humanity against citizens.

Keywords:   Authoritarianism, Black youth, Brazil, Crime against humanity, Enforced disappearance, Genocide, International Criminal Court, Rome Statute, Summary execution, Transitional justice

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