Security & Strategic Review - March 2020

Power, police and politics in Brazil’s paramilitaries

The intersection of politics and crime at local level is nothing new in Brazil, but looks set to come under increased scrutiny as the country prepares to elect mayors and municipal councillors in October. Much of this scrutiny will focus on ‘milícias’, vigilante paramilitary groups which, in their more established forms, vie with drug trafficking organisations (DTOs) for control of disadvantaged neighbourhoods, and have privileged access to local politics due to their structure and links to the security forces.

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