On Wednesday 5 April, 2017, a large convoy a state police vehicles was dispatched to the indigenous community of Arantepacua, in the municipality of Nahuatzen in the central highlands of Michoacán, Mexico. Nahuatzen is a municipality in which more than 80% of the population live below the official poverty line. This part of the state … Continue reading What are state police doing in the Meseta P’urhépecha and why are they doing it?
As I explained in another post seven months ago, following the release from prison of Cemeí Verdía the regional self-defence forces led by the indigenous community of Ostula were able to offer greater protection to local people against the depredations of criminal groups. But remnant cells of the Caballeros Templarios cartel, led by people whose … Continue reading Relative calm ends on the Michoacán coast
This first week of January has seen two massacres of inmates in Brazilian prisons. The first took place in Manaus. Fifty-six inmates died, the highest number to be killed since the Carandiru prison complex massacre in São Paulo in 1992. But in that latter case it was the police who did the killing. In Manaus … Continue reading Brazil’s prison crisis
This post is mostly about a recent event in a community in Salvador, the capital city of the state of Bahia, which I began to study in 2006. Bairro da Paz is an irregular settlement with a population of 60,000 residents, formed by a land invasion during the last years of military rule. The remarkable … Continue reading Calling police to account in Bairro da Paz
5,450 people were murdered in the state of Bahia in 2014. In terms of absolute numbers of deaths, this is the highest level in the country and far higher, for example, than São Paulo. Bahia's capital, Salvador, is now the sixth most violent metropolitan city in Brazil according to the Federal Justice Ministry. It is … Continue reading Violence in Bahia
The Brazilian cities of Osasco and Barueri, in greater São Paulo, have been witnessing a spate of execution-style killings that left at least eighteen people dead and six wounded on the night of August 13. The killings were committed by masked men using cars and motorbikes, observed by residents in different locations. In some contrast … Continue reading Violence(s) in the Brazilian urban periphery