INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER THE SITUATION OF PUBLIC SECURITY IN SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) wishes to convey its deep concern over the violent incidents that have taken place in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, since last Friday, May 12, 2006, and their impact on the situation of public security.
According to the national and international communications media, since last Friday there have been approximately 180 firearms attacks against State-owned facilities, besides the burning of 68 public transportation buses and attacks against 10 banks. Simultaneously, more than 70 riots took place over the course of the weekend in Penitentiaries, Centres of Provisional Detention (CDPs), Public Jails and Units of Febem that are located throughout the state of São Paulo. This Monday morning, 46 riots were still ongoing, and a total of more than 200 people were being kept hostage.
The violent incidents registered since Friday night left a death toll of at least 77 people, among which were members of the State security forces, civilians and persons deprived of freedom. Dozens of people were also left injured.
The IACHR wishes to remind States of their obligation to uphold the rule of law and enforce public security while ensuring to all persons subject to their jurisdiction the free and full exercise of their human rights. In particular, the IACHR urges the State authorities, both in the Federal Government and in the São Paulo Government, to coordinate their efforts in order to solve the grave situation currently affecting the public security of the citizenry of São Paulo, and to prevent its future repetition.
Washington, D.C., May 17, 2006.