Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais

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Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais
Common name BOPE
BOPE Faca na Caveira.svg
Bope Patch & Beret Badge
Bope Rio de Janeiro Insignia.png
BOPE Logo
Motto Faca na Caveira
Knife in the Skull
Agency overview
Formed 1978
Employees 400
Legal personality Non government: Military Police (Brazil)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Brazil State RiodeJaneiro.svg
Location of the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
Legal jurisdiction Rio de Janeiro
Governing body Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State
General nature
Specialist jurisdictions
  • Counter terrorism, special weapons and tactics, protection of VIPs.
  • Paramilitary law enforcement, counter insurgency, armed response to civil unrest, counter terrorism, special weapons operations.
Operational structure
Agency executive Lieutenant Colonel Wilman René Gonçalves Alonso, Commander
Parent agency Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State
Website
http://www.bopeoficial.com/
Footnotes
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (PMERJ) (Portuguese: [bataˈʎɐ̃w dʒi opeɾaˈsõjs poliˈsjajs ispeˈsjajs]; literally "Special Police Operations Battalion") or BOPE is a special police unit of the Military Police of Rio de Janeiro State (PMERJ) in Brazil.

Due to the nature of crime in favelas, BOPE units have extensive experience in urban warfare as well as progression in confined and restricted environments. It also utilizes equipment deemed more powerful than traditional civilian law enforcement.

BOPE PMERJ, although probably the most well known, isn't the only unit of it's kind among Brazil's military police districts. Military Police of Alagoas and Military Police of Santa Catarina also call their large tactical units BOPE, while the military police of the Federal District and the State of Piauí call theirs the Batalhão de Operações Especiais or BOE.

Significant roles[edit]

BOPE officers during a training exercise.
BOPE officers
  • Providing additional security at special events
  • Break barricades constructed by drug dealers
  • Shoot to kill at any criminal threatening both civilian or member life
  • Exterminate drug trafficking criminal factions and all of its members
  • Extract police officers or civilians injured in confrontations and combats
  • Rescuing officers and citizens captured by criminals or endangered by gunfire
  • Serve high-risk arrest warrants
  • Hostage rescue
  • Stabilizing situations involving high-risk suicidal subjects
  • Suppress prison riots at any cause
  • Support civil police in combats of any kind
  • Providing superior assault firepower in certain situations
  • Armed patrols around the favelas
  • Special missions in swamps or mountainous terrains such as reconnaissance, planning and infiltration
  • Engage in combat serving state sovereignty
  • Crime suppression to minimum
  • Resolving high-risk situations with a minimum loss of life, injury, or property damage
  • Engage strongly armed criminal factions

Weapons and vehicles[edit]

The force has a fleet of armoured fighting vehicles, which are known as "Pacificador" ("Peacemaker"), or "Caveirão" ("Big Skull") and one UH-1 Huey.[1] These vehicles are used in operations in the slums (favelas) where BOPE face intense conflicts with heavily armed drug dealers. BOPE also operates a wheel loader in order to remove obstacles, barricades and street blockades.[2] BOPE soldiers are equipped with heavy armament:

In popular culture[edit]

Tropa de Elite[edit]

Main article: Elite Squad

In 2006, the book Elite da Tropa was published. Written by sociologist Luiz Eduardo Soares and two BOPE officers, Major André Batista and Captain Rodrigo Pimentel, it provides a semi-fictional account of the daily routine of BOPE as well as some historical events, based on the experiences of the latter two. It describes BOPE as a "killing machine" and details an alleged aborted assassination attempt by some police officers on then-governor Leonel Brizola. The book was controversial at the time of release, and reportedly resulted in Batista being reprimanded and censured by the Military Police.[4] The book has been made into a movie, Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad), directed by José Padilha (the director of Bus 174), with a screenplay by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Bráulio Mantovani. In 2010 the movie gained a sequel, Elite Squad: The Enemy Within.

Controversy[edit]

BOPE has generated notoriety due their role in the violent drug war in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro and they have been referred to as a "Death Squad" by multiple newspapers.[5][6][7] One aspect that has been pointed out specifically is their logo, which bears a knife in a skull over crossed pistols.[6][8] According to the official BOPE website, the knife in the skull symbolizes "victory over death" and the crossed pistols are the symbol of the military police.[9]

A 2005 report on extra judicial executions by the New York University School of Law indicated that BOPE was involved in the deaths of 4 teenagers under the pretext that they were drug traffickers who were resisting arrest: "BOPE officers falsified the crime scene in order to incriminate the victims. Hoping this way to make them appear to be gang members. No weapon was found on any of the victims. None of them had any previous history of criminal activity."[10]

Amnesty International declared that "the police forces in Brazil adopt violent and repressive methods. These cause violations of fundamental rights of large parts of the population on a regular basis",[11] and attributes a certain number of killed civilians to BOPE in particular. In March 2006, Amnesty International specifically condemned the use of vans with armoured plating, known as a Caveirão. It stated that deploying the vehicle aggressively, indiscriminately targeting whole communities, highlighted the ineffectiveness of excessive use of force.[12]

Similar police units of the Brazilian police force[edit]

BOE or BOPE are acronyms that can refer to the following specialized military police units:

BOE (Batalhão de Operações Especiais) units:

BOPE (Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais) units:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Campanha Contra o "Caveirão"". Justiça Global. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2008. [dead link]
  2. ^ "Bope recebe veículo para quebrar concreto e derrubar barricadas do tráfico". UOL. 12 August 2009. 
  3. ^ Lasterra, Juan Pablo (2008). "La Police Militaire Brésillienne en état de Guerre" (in French). Police Pro No. 11 (September 2008).
  4. ^ Mario Hugo Monken (29 April 2006). "Livro sobre elite da PM do Rio causou punição, diz autor". Folha de S. Paulo. Archived from the original on 17 October 2007. Retrieved 5 September 2007. 
  5. ^ http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/police-death-squad-bope-called-calm-brazilian-slums-1440534
  6. ^ a b http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/14/world/americas/14tropa.html
  7. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/3556607/Elite-Squad-the-movie-that-shook-Brazil.html
  8. ^ http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aTxaaYlnFMLw
  9. ^ http://www.bopeoficial.com/valores/simbolo/
  10. ^ Report on extra judicial executions of the New York University School of Law: "BOPE officers falsified the crime scene to incriminate the victims in an attempt to make them seem like members of a drug trafficking gang. No weapons were found with the victims and none of them had a history of criminal activity."
  11. ^ «They come shooting…». Amnesty International, The maintenance of order at the heart of socially excluded populations, report of 2005.
  12. ^ "Brazil: Caveirão – Rio’s real "bogeyman"". Amnesty International. 13 March 2006. Retrieved 19 September 2008. "The caveirão has become a powerful symbol of the failings of public security policies in Rio de Janeiro. It typifies the police's confrontational and divisive approach to Rio's public security crisis," said Marcelo Freixo of Global Justice at the launch of a campaign against the use of the Caveirão in Brazil's favelas. 
  13. ^ http://www.agencia.ac.gov.br/noticias/acre/batalhao-de-operacoes-especiais-conta-com-um-novo-quartel-e-canil
  14. ^ http://www.pmdf.df.gov.br/bope
  15. ^ http://www.pmdf.df.gov.br
  16. ^ http://segurancapublica.net/?p=718
  17. ^ http://www.seguranca.mt.gov.br/telefones.php?IDCategoria=3026
  18. ^ [[1]] ()
  19. ^ http://www.mp.pi.gov.br/internet/attachments/Contatos%20-%20Pol%C3%ADcia%20Militar.doc
  20. ^ http://www.pm.al.gov.br/bope/
  21. ^ http://www.pm.rr.gov.br/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=28&Itemid=1 Polícia Militar de Roraima. Batalhão de Operações Especiais
  22. ^ http://www.pm.rr.gov.br/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=86&Itemid=1 Polícia Militar de Roraima. PM reforça operação Fecha Quartel nesta quarta-feira
  23. ^ http://www.bopesc.com.br/estrutura_organograma.php Página oficial do BOPE - PMSC
  24. ^ http://tropasdeelite.5gbfree.com/Brasil-BOPE-PMERJ.html%7C3=tropasdeelite.5gbfree.com
  25. ^ http://www.pm.rn.gov.br/Conteudo.asp?TRAN=ITEM&TARG=7997&ACT=null&PAGE=null&PARM=null&LBL=NOTÃ+CIA

External links[edit]