27.08.2020

The Politics of Crime and Militarised Policing in Brazil

This article queries the effects of international police assistance in the Global South, focusing specifically on Brazil. Utilising recently declassified documents accessed in Washington, DC, this article shows how United States officials sought to intervene in Latin American politics through international police assistance to Brazil during the 1960s–1980s. The article considers the geopolitical motivations behind these programs and highlights the connections between international police assistance, weak democratic institutions in Latin America and legacies of authoritarian policing in the region. The academic objectives are twofold: to foreground debates that emphasise the need for Southern Criminological research perspectives and to explore the broader effects of international police assistance programs in the Global South. By drawing attention to these issues, the article contributes to studies of policing, politics and public security in contexts like Brazil, where extreme levels of everyday violence are a threat to democracy and human rights.

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