From 2016 to 2020, the Baixada Fluminense region had at least 361 cases of enforced disappearances and the municipality of Rio totaled 417. The data are from unprecedented research carried out by the Grita Baixada Forum (FGB), in partnership with the Federal Rural University of Rio of January (UFRRJ).
Preliminary data has been released today, August 30to mark the International Day of Victims of Enforced Disappearances, established by the United Nations (UN) in 2010.
The executive coordinator of the Grita Baixada Forum, Adriano de Araújo, explains that enforced disappearances are related to urban and state violence in circumstances of socio-political conflicts or periods of repression, with acts such as persecution, arrests or illegal detentions to kidnappings, summary executions, corpse concealment and clandestine cemeteries.
According to him, as there is still no legal classification of forced disappearance in Brazil, the research cross-referenced data from the Instituto de Segurança Pública (ISP) and the Disque Denúncia, with reports from family members and pages on social networks that register cases.
“ISP and Disque Denúncia were very important sources, but they were not the only ones. We carried out two more types of exploratory surveys, with groups of mothers and family members who were victims of violence and also on social networks where there are reports of missing persons, information regarding the existence of clandestine cemeteries or the activities of militia groups in certain territories”.
The Inter-American Convention on Forced Disappearance of Persons defines cases as “deprivation of liberty of one or more persons, in any form whatsoever, carried out by agents of the State or by persons or groups acting with the authorization, support or consent of the State, followed by of lack of information or refusal to recognize the deprivation of liberty or to inform about the whereabouts of the person, preventing the exercise of legal remedies and the relevant procedural guarantees.”
lack of data
Araújo explains that the ISP discloses data on disappearances, but that the characterization of enforced disappearance is not included in the statistics. He cites the example of four young people from Nova Iguaçu, who disappeared on August 12th after being approached inside an application car.
“The dynamics of this crime already indicated that they were forced disappearances, that is, they did not disappear on their own, they did not get drunk and end up in another city, nor did they have a mental problem or fight with their family. They were subtracted from their location and would likely have been executed. They were approached by heavily armed, hooded men in an area occupied by the militia”.
The research coordinator, professor Nalayne Pinto, from UFRRJ, explains that the information from the Disque Denúncia is very rich in detail, indicating places and people with whom the missing person was seen, places used as clandestine cemeteries and for dumping bodies. However, according to her, it is not known whether the police investigation takes advantage of these anonymous reports.
“The variables that Hotline collects have an interesting description of the citizens who call. Now, the data is also not real, because we don’t know how many of these complaints were actually verified. The police don’t say, when they receive this information, whether they check it or not, because the Hotline gives it to the police, but we don’t know if the police check it”.
Nalayne also highlights the testimony of the mothers of the disappeared, who report a lack of investigation.
“What the mothers say is that there is a negligence on the part of the police, that they do not investigate because they assume such involvement with drug trafficking, right? ‘Your son was a drug user or involved with drugs’. It is an assumption of involvement that causes the police not to give due recognition and attention to the case. So, these mothers feel unworthy for being poor, humble, black and brown and for associating their children with criminal activities, which is not always true”.
The final result of the Exploratory Mapping on Disappeared and Enforced Disappearances in Municipalities of Baixada Fluminense and Rio of January will be released at the end of the year, together with the documentary Desova, produced by Quiprocó Filmes. The researchers will live at 4 pm on today to discuss the matter. The broadcast will be on Facebook from the Grita Baixada Forum.
Sought by the report, the ISP reported that it does not receive detailed information from the Civil Police records, and it is not possible to separate the cases of enforced disappearance from the others.
THE Brazil Agency contacted the Civil Police and awaits a return.
Translated to english by RJ983
From Brazil, by EBC News