Pacifying Police Unit
The Pacifying Police Unit (Portuguese: Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora, also translated as Police Pacification Unit), abbreviated UPP, is a law enforcement and social services program pioneered in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which aims at reclaiming territories, more commonly favelas, controlled by gangs of drug dealers. The program was created and implemented by State Public Security Secretary José Mariano Beltrame, with the backing of Rio Governor Sérgio Cabral. The stated goal of Rio's government is to install 40 UPPs by 2014. By May 2013, 231 favelas had come under the UPP umbrella.
For decades, many of Rio de Janeiro's favelas have been controlled by gangs of armed drug traffickers. Beginning with the first UPP that was implemented in Dona Marta in 2008, many of Rio's major favelas have received pacifying police forces. For decades, Rio has seen a cycle of police raiding favelas, having shootouts with traffickers, and then withdrawing again. And also part of the cycle were frequent wars between different traffickers, leading to more shootouts, endangering the lives of the people living in many of these favelas.
The favelas chosen for the UPP program have previously not paid for public utilities but would have to pay fees to whatever criminal organization controlled the area; this often leads to a recurrence of extortion and tax evasion.
Therefore the concept for the UPP (which was given even more impetus once Rio was chosen to host the FIFA World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games) was finally put into action as a first-step solution to deal with the urban cycle of violence.
Before a UPP is established in a favela area, gang leaders are driven out by Rio's elite police battalion, BOPE, who search for heavy weaponry and drug caches (during this stage, and thereafter, there is an effort to encourage residents to report criminal activity to an anonymous phone number managed by Rio's government called Disque Denúncia). The inauguration of a new UPP is timed with the exit of BOPE from the area and the replacement of hundreds of newly trained policemen, who work within the particular area of favelas as a permanent police force.
As of September 2013, (34) UPPs have been established within Rio de Janeiro with the stated goal of Rio's government to install (40) UPPs by 2014. Some UPPs, such as for that for Rocinha, only cover the territory of one specific favela, while other UPPs such as Manguinhos or Jacarezinho, also each cover smaller favela communities under their administrative umbrella.
Other favelas that now have UPPs include, Cidade de Deus, Dona Marta, and Morro da Babilônia. Where the UPP has been implemented, violent crime has fallen dramatically, while property values have increased.
The UPP has generally been regarded as a major success in the fight against organized crime in Rio, and is the main contributing factor to Governor Cabral's reelection. There are plans to extend the program to other areas in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Because the favelas with UPPs had formerly been controlled by armed drug traffickers for more than twenty-five years, the fear of retribution, which was a mainstay of the 'law of the traffickers' is slow to die. For instance, in April 2012 when a drug trafficker who had formerly controlled the favela of Mangueira was shot and killed during a police operation in Jacarezinho (before the area had received its own UPP), others from the same criminal faction ordered businesses to close their doors early in Mangueira — which they did. This despite the fact that Mangueira has a permanent pacification police force as part of its own UPP. A similar occurrence of businesses closing their doors early in Mangueira because the traffickers ordered it occurred in February 2013.
In May 2012, Beltrame acknowledged that armed criminals had migrated from parts of Rio that have a large police presence due to pacification, to areas with less police and no UPPs, such as Niterói, which is nearby, across the bay. Beltrame has stated however that he believes based on analysis of crime data that only gang leaders higher in the hierarchy could reestablish in other favela communities (without UPPs); and that lower level traffickers have a much harder time integrating into other geographic areas.
While the favela areas under pacification have seen improvements, there has been an increase in the concentration of criminals in other parts of Rio de Janeiro that don't have the direct benefits of permanent pacification police forces actively patrolling these neighborhoods. Among these areas are those of the Baixada Fluminense, Niterói, and certain neighborhoods in the North Zone.
It was obvious early on that criminals were fleeing particular favelas before BOPE entered to establish a groundwork for a permanent police presence. Previously, when police had attempted to encircle a favela by surprise in order to arrest and kill traffickers, large-scale shootouts would ensue, and innocent favela residents were caught in the crossfire.
While more high-profile gang leaders (also referred to in Rio's media as "traffickers") have been forced to leave favelas now administered by UPP police forces, their familial connections remain. Also, gang members from other favelas who are of the same faction as residents under UPPs, still coordinate and visit each other. Exemplifying this point, one of Rio's newspapers reported on July 9, 2012 that groups of criminals fired upon police in different locations within the Complexo do Alemão on the same day that military forces completed their final withdrawal from the area.
There is a well known history of police abuse and corruption in Rio de Janeiro, and for years this only added fuel to the war between drug traffickers controlling Rio's favelas and the police.
In recent years there have been concerted efforts under Secretary Beltrame to root out corrupt police; and this is the very reason that the community policing of the favelas under the UPP program are staffed by new recruits coming straight from the UPP police academy — such as the 750 officers who will be policing the large Rocinha favela beginning in August 2012.
There have been encouraging signs, such as when honest police officers turned down a million dollar bribe offered by the drug lord who had controlled the Rocinha in exchange for allowing him to escape a police roadblock (these officers were a unit from the Batalhão de Polícia de Choque (Shock Battalion) and not members of a UPP police force).
Beltrame has stated that the main purpose of the UPPs is more toward stopping armed men from ruling the streets than to put an end to drug trafficking. A 2010 report by the World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) did note the drop in the homicide rate within Rio de Janeiro's favelas.
A survey that was conducted among Rio's favela residents in July 2012 (where UPP's have been implemented) showed that there has been a reduction in the number of violent crimes and deaths. Other crimes that previously went unreported in favelas are now showing up in the crime statistics such as theft, domestic violence, and rape. Other results of the survey showed that people felt more free to discuss previously taboo topics such as street violence and illegal drug activity, but many are still intimidated to speak out, fearing that the UPP measure is only temporary.
Unemployment is reportedly quite low in some South Zone favelas such as Pavão-Pavãozinho, (in Copacabana) where the unemployment rate was reported as 5% in July 2012, compared with neighborhoods in the North Zone where life is often more difficult, where the median income is 34.4% less than in pacified favelas in the South Zone. In the South Zone favela of Chapéu Mangueira, (near Rio's famous beaches) 92.2% of residents own a cell phone.
Journalists within Rio studying ballot results from the 2012 municipal elections observed that those living within favelas administered by UPPs distributed their votes among a wider spectrum of candidates compared to areas controlled by drug lords or other organized crime groups such as milícias.
Area of sporadic violence
On July 23, 2012, the first police officer to die in a UPP administered favela was shot and killed by criminals within the Nova Brasília area of the Complexo do Alemão. At the time of the shooting, the female officer, 30 year-old Fabiana Aparecida de Souza, who had only been on the force a few months, was at a small UPP station within the favela, when the building was shot at by 12 assailants and she was hit in the abdomen by a rifle bullet. Ten minutes before this occurred, eight assailants shot at two officers patrolling the Pedra do Sapo part of the Complexo, but nobody was injured.
The previous week, police were patrolling the area of Fazendihna within the Complexo when they were attacked two different times. In one of the incidents, a grenade was thrown which exploded near their patrol car (As a result of the attack resulting in the death of the police officer, an additional 500 UPP police officers were assigned to the Complexo, raising the total number to 1,800 officers working within that particular community).
UPPs in Rio de Janeiro
|Date UPP established||Unit (Unidade)||UPP name||Neighborhood (Bairro)||Zone within Rio|
|December 2, 2013||36ª UPP||Camarista Méier||Méier (UPP includes communities of Camarista Méier, Cachoeira Grande, Santa Terezinha, Nossa Senhora da Guia, Morro do Céu Azul, Pretos Forros, Ouro Preto and Outeiro)||North Zone|
|December 2, 2013||35ª UPP||Lins||Lins de Vasconcelos (UPP includes Lins, Encontro, Bacia, Cotia, Amor, Barro Vermelho, Barro Preto, Vila Cabuçu, Dona Francisca and Cachoeirinha)||North Zone|
|September 2013||34ª UPP||Parque Arará/Mandela||Benfica (Formerly part of UPP Manguinhos, the area of the UPP comprises Parque Arará and Comunidade do Mandela)||North Zone|
|May 2013||33ª UPP||Cerro-Corá||Cosme Velho (Area of UPP includes communities of Cerro-Corá, Guararapes, Vila Cândido, Coroado and Júlio Otoni)||South Zone|
|April 12, 2013||32ª UPP||Barreira and Tuiuti||São Cristóvão (UPP area is Barreira do Vasco and Tuiuti)||Centro|
|April 12, 2013||31ª UPP||Caju||Caju (UPP includes communities of Clemente Ferreira, Chatuba, Parque Alegria, Vila dos Mexicanos, Vila Boa Esperança, Vila Tiradentes, Ladeira dos Funcionários (also known as Vila São Sebastião, Cantinho do Céu or Vila dos Sonhos), Nove Galo (also known as 950 or Parque da Conquista), Quinta do Caju, Manilha, Parque Vitória and Parque Nossa Senhora da Penha)||North Zone|
|January 16, 2013||30ª UPP||Jacarezinho||Jacaré (UPP includes Tancredo Neves, Pica-Pau Amarelo, Vila São João, Xuxa, Marlene, Vila Viúva Claúdio, Marimbá, Jacarezinho, Carlos Drummond de Andrade and Vila Jandira)||North Zone|
|January 16, 2013||29ª UPP||Manguinhos||Manguinhos (Area of UPP includes Manguinhos, Vila Turismo, Parque João Goulart, Parque Carlos Chagas (or Varginha), Parque Oswaldo Cruz (or Amorim), CHP2 (or Vila União), Conjunto Nelson Mandela, Higienópolis, Vila São Pedro and Vitória de Manguinhos (or Cobal)||North Zone|
|September 20, 2012||28ª UPP||Rocinha||Rocinha (Area of UPP includes Rocinha, Bairro Barcelos, Largo do Boiadeiro, Vila Verde, Curva do S, Cachopinha, Cachopa, Dioneia Almir, Vila União, Cidade Nova, Rua Um, Rua Dois, Rua Três, Rua Quatro, Portão Vermelho, Vila Laboriaux, Vila Cruzado, 199, Faz Depressa, Vila Vermelha, Capado, Terreirão, Macega, Roupa Suja and Parque da Cidade)||South Zone|
|August 28, 2012||27ª UPP||Vila Cruzeiro||Penha (UPP includes Vila Cruzeiro, Cariri and Mira)||North Zone|
|August 2012||26ª UPP||Parque Proletário||Penha (UPP includes communities of Parque Proletário, Vila Proletária da Penha and Laudelino Freire)||North Zone|
|June 2012||25ª UPP||Chatuba||Penha (Area of UPP includes the communities of Chatuba, Parque Proletário do Grotão, Caixa d’água, Caracol and Laudelino Freire)||North Zone|
|June 27, 2012||24ª UPP||Fé/Sereno||Penha (UPP area includes Fé, Sereno, Paz, Frei Gaspar and Maturacá)||North Zone|
|May 30, 2012||23ª UPP||Alemão||Complexo do Alemão (Area of UPP includes Morro do Alemão, Pedra do Sapo, Morro da Esperança, Armando Sodré and Areal)||North Zone|
|May 11, 2012||22ª UPP||Adeus/Baiana||Bonsucesso (Area of UPP includes Morro do Piancó and the communities of Itararé and Horácio Picoreli)||North Zone|
|April 18, 2012||21ª UPP||Nova Brasília||Bonsucesso (Area of UPP includes Nova Brasília, Ipê Itararé, Mourão Filho, Largo
Gamboa, Cabão, Joaquim de Queiroz, Loteamento, Prédios, Jardim Guadalajara, Aterro I and Aterro II)
|April 18, 2012||20ª UPP||Fazendinha||Inhaúma (Area of UPP includes Fazendinha, Relicário, Palmeirinha, Morro das Palmeiras, Vila Matinha, Parque Alvorada, Te Contei, Rua Um and Casinhas)||North Zone|
|January 18, 2012||19ª UPP||Vidigal||Vidigal (Area of UPP includes Vidigal and Chácara do Céu)||South Zone|
|November 3, 2011||18ª UPP||Mangueira||São Cristóvão Mangueira, and Benfica (Area of UPP includes the communities of Mangueira, Morro do Telégrafo, Parque Candelária, Vila Miséria, Bartolomeu Gusmão, Marechal Jardim, Buraco Quente, Minhocão and Parque dos Mineiros)||North Zone|
|May 17, 2011||17ª UPP||São Carlos||Estácio and Rio Comprido (Area of UPP includes Morro do São Carlos, Querosene, Mineira, Zinco, Azevedo Lima, Clara Nunes and Favela do Rato)||Centro|
|February 25, 2011||16ª UPP||Escondidinho/Prazeres||Santa Teresa (UPP area includes Morro dos Prazeres, Escondidinho, Vila Elza, Augusta de Sá, Favelinha and Vila Anchieta)||Centro|
|February 25, 2011||15ª UPP||Coroa, Fallet and Fogueteiro||Rio Comprido (UPP area includes Morro da Coroa, Morro do Fallet, Fogueteiro, Vila Santa Bárbara, Luiz Marcelino, Eliseu Visconti, Unidos de Santa Teresa, Vila Pereira da Silva and Amigos do Vale)||Centro|
|January 28, 2011||14ª UPP||São João, Matriz and Quieto||Engenho Novo (UPP area includes Morro do São João, Morro da Matriz and Morro do Quieto)||North Zone|
|November 30, 2010||13ª UPP||Macacos||Vila Isabel (Area of UPP includes Morro dos Macacos, Pau da Bandeira, Parque Recanto do Trovador and Parque Vila Isabel)||North Zone|
|September 30, 2010||12ª UPP||Morro do Turano||Tijuca, Rio Comprido (Area of UPP includes communities of Turano, Bispo, Pantanal, Parque Rebouças, Chacrinha, Matinha, 117, Liberdade, Pedacinho do Céu, Paula Ramos, Acomodado, Santa Alexandrina, Rodo and Sumaré)||North Zone|
|September 17, 2010||11ª UPP||Salgueiro||Tijuca (Area of UPP includes Morro do Salgueiro and Coréia)||North Zone|
|July 28, 2010||10ª UPP||Andaraí||Andaraí (Area of UPP extends until Grajaú and includes the communities of Nova Divineia, João Paulo II, Juscelino Kubitschek, Jamelão, Morro de Santo Agostinho, Borda do Mato, Arrelia and Rodo.)||North Zone|
|July 1, 2010||9ª UPP||Formiga||Tijuca (Morro da Formiga)||North Zone|
|June 7, 2010||8ª UPP||Borel||Tijuca (Area of UPP includes the communities of Morro do Borel, Buraco Quente, Chácara do Céu, Casa Branca, Indiana, Catrambi, Morro da Cruz and Bananal)||North Zone|
|April 25, 2010||7ª UPP||Providência||Santo Cristo, Gamboa and Saúde (Area of UPP includes Morros da Providência, Vila Mimosa, São Diogo, Moreira Pinto, Conjunto Vila Portuária and Pedra Lisa)||Centro|
|January 14, 2010||6ª UPP||Tabajaras/Cabritos||Copacabana, Botafogo (Area of UPP includes Ladeira dos Tabajaras, Morro dos Cabritos, Pico do Papagaio, Nova Mangueira (in Botafogo) and Morro da Saudade||South Zone|
|December 23, 2009||5ª UPP||Pavão-Pavãozinho||Copacabana, Ipanema (UPP area includes Pavão-Pavãozinho, Cantagalo e Vietnã)||South Zone|
|June 10, 2009||4ª UPP||Babilônia and Chapéu-Mangueira||Leme (UPP Area includes Morro da Babilônia, Chapéu-Mangueira)||South Zone|
|February 18, 2009||3ª UPP||Batan||Realengo (UPP Area includes Batan, Vila Jurema, Jardim Água Branca, Vila Nova, Itaporanga and Duarte Coelho)||West Zone|
|February 16, 2009||2ª UPP||Cidade de Deus||Cidade de Deus (UPP area includes Cidade de Deus, Quadras, Apartamentos, Caratê, Beirada do Rio, Jardim Novo Mundo, Rua Davi, Banca da Velha, Coroado, Sítio da Amizade, Moisés, Praça da Bíblia, Pantanal, Santa Efigênia, Moquiço, Efraim, Vila Nova Cruzada, Vila da Conquista and Jardins do Amanhã)||West Zone|
|November 28, 2008||1ª UPP||Santa Marta||Botafogo (UPP area encompasses Dona Marta also known as Santa Marta)||South Zone|
- "Novo comandante das UPPs já esteve à frente do Bope e do 12º BPM (Niterói)". O Globo (in Portuguese). 2012-12-18.
- "UPPs do Jacarezinho e de Manguinhos serão inauguradas nesta quarta-feira". O Dia (in Portuguese). 2013-01-15.
- Bairros com UPP tiveram queda na criminalidade
- Mesmo sem querer, Beltrame ajuda Cabral na disputa por votos
- Rocinha vai ganhar UPP até 2014, diz vice-governador do Rio
- "Beltrame admite: bandidos migraram para Niterói" (in Portuguese). oglobo.com. 2012-05-01.
- Magalhaes, Maria Inez; Savedra, Paloma (2013-02-18). "Mangueira revive passado de terror com luto por morte de traficante". O Dia (in Portuguese).
- "Chart showing from which pacified favelas have criminals migrated to Niterói" (in Portuguese). oglobo.com.
- Goulart, Gustavo (2012-09-09). "Beltrame diz que UPP da Rocinha vai quebrar paradigmas". O Globo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2012-11-06.
- Barros, Jorge Antonio (2012-12-24). "Repórter de Crime: Dores de Natal" (in Portuguese). O Globo.
- Trezena, Bruno (2012-09-01). "Dois homens morrem em operação na Nova Holanda". O Dia.
- "Exército sai e traficantes atacam PM no Alemão" (in Portuguese). 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Cunha, Vania (2012-07-20). "Pesquisa aponta que UPPs provocaram redução no número de assassinatos". Jornal O Dia (ODia.com.br).
- "Video mostra a hora que o traficante Nem é retirado do porta-mala do carro" (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2012-07-12.
- Baena,V. Favelas in the spotlight: Transforming the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Harvard International Review. Spring 2011: 34-37.
- Dia, Diogo, Alves, Edson Francisco (2012-07-20). "Cidade partida também cria abismo entre UPPs". O Dia (in Portuguese).
- Bruno, Cassio; Onofre, Renato (2012-11-10). "Liberdade política é reforçada com implantação das UPPs". O Globo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2012-11-11.
- Magalhaes, Maria Inez (2012-08-05). "Polícia encontra explosivos em casa na Fazendinha". O Dia (in Portuguese).
- Barreto, Diego (2012-24-2012). "Tráfico ataca UPP do Alemão e mata uma PM" (in Portuguese). O Globo.
- "Mais 500 policiais para tentar pacificar o Alemão". O Dia. 2012-07-28.
- "Sob críticas, PM do Rio troca comando de 25 UPPs".
- Official website (Portuguese)