The successful experience of the Police Pacifying Units (UPP, in Portuguese), confirm the need to invest in training. The results achieved in the favelas where they have been placed are encouraging. The initiative, whose author is precisely Luiz Eduardo Soares, consists in the installation of permanent UPP centers in the areas that have most hit by drug trafficking. Its task is to crush criminality and also prevent it through dialogue with the local active forces. These centers exist in twelve favelas in Rio, covering around 300,000 people. Progress has been extremely positive: communities were pacified and the atmosphere of confidence and social integration that drug trafficking had shattered, have been recovered.
Even so, the UPP must be looked upon as the beginning of a process of dismantling of criminality and drug trafficking. Antonio Testa believes that “with no urbanization, electricity, paved streets, health care, schools, employment, entertainment, etc., without social promotion, police activity won’t get anywhere.”
Solving the social issue implies the combined work of the Federal State and the State of Rio de Janeiro. For a very long time, political disputes hindered collaboration, which damaged the population as they didn’t get any important improvements. The good news is that both Rio de Janeiro’s current mayor as well as the governor of the State are showing that they have overcome that mentality by supporting the implementation of the Federal Program of Acceleration of Development, with investments to promote the areas with the biggest shortages in the area of public policies.
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