Murdered yesterday afternoon (4), former Rio councilor Jerônimo Guimarães Filho, known as Jerominho, was the 56th politician shot in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro in the last six years. The data are from the Fogo Cruzado Institute, which maintains a platform and an application aimed at monitoring shootings and their impacts in urban centers. Several indicators on armed violence are gathered, including the occurrence of deaths and injuries caused by the shooting of firearms.
The data show that, of the 56 politicians shot, 47 died and nine were injured. This year alone there are three occurrences, with no survivors.
Serving two terms, Jerominho was a councilor between 2001 and 2008. He was the victim of an ambush by men who were in a white vehicle and surrounded his car. Although he was rescued and taken to the Oeste D’Or Hospital, the former councilor did not survive his injuries. His brother-in-law, businessman Maurício Raul Atallah, accompanied him and was also hit, and was hospitalized at Rocha Faria Hospital in serious condition.
Jerominho is named as one of the founders of the Justice League, considered the first militia in Rio de Janeiro. The group operates in the West Zone and is accused of murder, extortion and irregular commerce in the sale of water and gas cylinders. The former councilor was imprisoned between 2007 and 2018. His activities were also denounced in the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry (CPI) of the Militias, established in 2008 in the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj).
In December of last year, he was arrested again in a Civil Police operation, accused of participating in extortion of alternative transport drivers in the West Zone. A week later, however, the arrest was revoked. Earlier this year, he even announced his pre-candidate for federal deputy.
“In the midst of this mixture of political power and illegal power, crimes happen,” says sociologist Maria Isabel Couto, director of programs at the Fogo Cruzado Institute. According to her, the west zone needs special attention because a large part of the neighborhoods suffers from the actions of militias. Maria Isabel claims that there is currently a rift in the Justice League, which is still the main group. “We need to think about security policy from the point of view of the population’s pain and the impacts of armed violence”, she points out.
Data from the Fogo Cruzado Institute also draw attention to the shootings against politicians in the Baixada Fluminense, which is part of the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro and comprises 13 municipalities. A report released about two years ago showed a worrying scenario. The Baixada Fluminense concentrated 76% of these crimes that occurred in the metropolitan region between 2016 and 2020. In May of that year, the former candidate for councilor in Nova Iguaçu (RJ), Rogério Nunes de Oliveira, died after ten days in hospital in serious condition. Known as Dudu da Kombi, he was also the target of an ambush.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News