Experts discuss paths for effectiveness of public security in Brazil
Public Policy
24 November 2017

Experts discuss paths for effectiveness of public security in Brazil

Hosted by FGV's EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance (EPGE) on November 17, the seminar brought together scholars and authorities on the subject to discuss how to build effective policies to promote social peace.

Experts discussed the paths for effectiveness in public security in Brazil. Hosted by FGV's EPGE Brazilian School of Economics and Finance (EPGE) on November 17, the seminar brought together scholars and authorities on the subject to discuss how to build effective policies to promote social peace. The central themes of the discussion were the structural reforms required to improve public security indicators in Brazil, and the implementation of security policies at a local level.

During the opening ceremony, Economic and Applied Research Institute (IPEA) researcher, Daniel Ricardo de Castro Cerqueira, presented data on public security in Brazil from the 1980’s to present day. The figures show a growing homicide rate until 2003, when the Disarmament Statute passed, and that has since remained stable. According to the researcher, it is necessary to make important structural reforms, including in management.

“There is no single recipe, but empirical evidence of success overseas shows that effectiveness in public security depends on the commitment of the leading authority, as well as the mobilization and coordination of all forces of society, combined with a planning and management system based on accurate indicators, dissemination of techniques, and construction of spaces of prevention, mediation, and negotiation of conflicts. Add to that a qualified repression, carried out with intelligence and control, and social preventive actions focusing on children and young people from the most vulnerable areas,” he said.

Cerqueira also stressed that only 2% of the municipalities accounted for 50% of the homicides in Brazil in 2015, while 10% of the cities (557) concentrated 76.5% of the total deaths in the country. Another fact that draws attention is that 53% of the victims were young, 71% were black, and 73% had not finished primary school. Based on a counterfactual study, he pointed out that if all young people over the age of 15 had at least started high school, the homicide rate would drop by 42%. The IPEA researcher also said that the Federal Government has an important role in the induction, qualification, and financing of public policies, despite not directly interfering with urban repression.

The first panel of the event discussed structural public security reforms. The President of the Brazilian Forum of Public Security, Renato Sérgio de Lima, pointed out that Brazil is going through a deep federal crisis between entities, with several managerial issues that make it difficult even for police authorities to purchase weapons and bulletproof vests. Federal Prosecutor Eduardo Santos de Oliveira Benones talked about the difficulty of obtaining information from police authorities during investigations.

The second panel discussed national and local public security policies. Arthur Trindade Costa, former Secretary of Public Security of Distrito Federal, pointed out that the governance capacity in the field of public security is very low, but that innovations such as the territorial, command and control, information and analysis integration may be beneficial. The former Governor of Espírito Santo, Renato Casagrande, spoke about the model adopted by the state during his term, which is considered a success case in public security.

The seminar was attended by professors Rubens Penha Cysne teachers (Dean of EPGE) and Aloisio Araujo (Deputy Dean of EPGE); and guests Arthur Trindade Maranhão Costa, (former Secretary of Public Security of Distrito Federal); Daniel Cerqueira (IPEA); Eduardo Santos de Oliveira Benones (Federal Prosecutor); Joana Monteiro, (Institute of Public Security); Luiz Eduardo Soares (former National Secretary of Public Security); Renato Casagrande (former Governor of Espírito Santo); and Renato Sérgio de Lima (Brazilian Forum of Public Security).

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