Julian Assange

terça-feira, 7 de dezembro de 2010



Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09RIODEJANEIRO353 2009-10-27 17:05 2010-12-07 09:09 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Consulate Rio De Janeiro

DE RUEHRI #0353/01 3001734
R 271734Z OCT 09 ZDS




E.O. 12958: N/A 

REF: a) RIO 346, b) RIO 329 

RIO DE JAN 00000353 001.2 OF 003 

1. (SBU) Summary: On 16 October 2009 Principal Officer and consulate 
officers joined Rio State Secretary of Security Beltrame and police 
officials for a visit to Dona Marta, the first favela formally
considered "pacified" under the state government's Favela Pacification
Program (ref b). Along with Dona Marta, four other favelas are
considered pacified at present. Rio police entered the Dona Marta
favela in December 2008, pushing out drug gang members who had
dominated the area, establishing community policing and introducing
public utilities and other services into the community. Dona Marta
now appears generally calm and secure, with a permanent Pacification
Police Unit (UPP) presence in place, but Beltrame said additional
services and assistance to the favela's population needed to consolidate
gains are lagging. The experience with Dona Marta seems encouraging
thus far, but also points up, per comment below, some lessons going
forward: i.e., that favelas will have distinctive characteristics that
must be taken into account, that there is a pressing need for additional
civilian agency and NGO support for the FPP, and that the momentum 
crucial for the FPP's success over time will require, in Beltrame's own
assessment, successful pacification of 30-40 favelas (out of more than
1,000 in Rio) where gang dominance and violence are most severe.
End summary. 

2. (SBU) On 16 October, one day before an outbreak of widespread drug
gang violence in Rio's northern zone (ref a), Principal Officer, 
accompanied by Rio State Security Secretary Jose Mariano Beltrame and
by state police and consulate officers, visited Dona Marta 
(aka Santa Marta), the first Rio favela to be formally considered
"pacified" under the state government's Favela Pacification Program 
(ref b). Four other favelas are currently considered pacified, i.e.,
mostly free of gang activity and with the population accessible for
city services and social assistance. Home to an estimated 15,000 
persons, the Dona Marta favela climbs a steep hill directly above the
Botafogo area of the city's affluent South Zone. It is a maze of 
improvised brick and plywood dwellings, spread along twisting, narrow
paths (recently improved with concrete surfaces). The favela fits within
a relatively compact space bordered by two walls that separate the 
favela from an ecological preserve. A funicular-type street car on a 
track runs along one side of the favela. The Dona Marta favela was 
occupied by authorities under the FPP plan in December 2008, and Beltrame
explained that state authorities had followed closely the FPP model in
entering Dona Marta. (Comment. This approach is reminiscent of "clear,
hold and build" in U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine, as discused in ref
b. End comment.) After Beltrame personally visited the favela to 
advise residents that the police "were coming in and coming to stay,"
state military police, spearheaded by the Special Operations Battalion
(BOPE), entered Dona Marta in late 2008, resulting in some confrontations
(accounts of the level of violence vary) with local elements of the 
major Rio drug gang Commando Vermelho (Red Command) which controlled the
area. Most gang members ultimately fled, and the gang leader who had 
ruled the favela for many years was arrested and transferred to a 
maximum security prison. His house - situated on commanding high ground 
in the favela - has been turned into a police observation post. 

3. (SBU) Within a month from the initial police invasion, Dona Marta 
was free of gang dominance, Beltrame said. State authorities established
a Police Pacification Unit (UPP) station in an abandoned crhche 
building at the summit of the favela, with 120 UPP police officers 
full time (2x 12-hour shifts) in the favela. The UPP policemen are 
specially trained in the community policing techniques that, under
the plan's doctrine, are intended to win the trust of the local 
population and increase their access to civil services and governance
(ref b). Utilities companies brought regular electrical power and 
sanitary plumbing to the favela for the first time, and Dona Marta 
residents willingly paid the new utilities bills, since a documented
history of paid city services can enable favela residents to claim 
legal title to the property on which their makeshift dwellings are built,
Beltrame explained. Beltrame lamented, however, that other services and
projects that needed to come into the favela quickly to consolidate 
hope for a better future within the population were not materializing 
rapidly enough. He stressed both civilian agencies in the state government
and civil society groups needed to be more directly and broadly engaged
in the FPP; "the police cannot do it all," he added. 

4. (SBU) Walking through Dona Marta with Beltrame and the UPP station
commander, a female military police captain who appeared to be a beloved
figure to many of the favela's children, PO noted a general sense of
calm (many favela residents were away at jobs during the weekday morning,
and mainly children, young mothers and elderly persons were in evidence).
Starting at the UPP station, PO saw police volunteers giving classes in
karate to several children and adolescents from the community, and also
coaching soccer on a field built by the police next to the station.
In a grim reminder of life in Dona Marta before pacification, one wall
of the former crhche-turned-UPP station was pockmarked with gun shots
- Beltrame indicated it had been an execution site used by favela 
criminals. The UPP station also had a small operations center, with
TV screens showing images from surveillance cameras posted throughout
the favela. Beltrame pointed out to PO several spots where 
traffickers had controlled access throughout the favela, and 
indicating the choke points and gang fighting positions had been 
mapped out by police in advance of the invasion. A young boy from 
the neighborhood acted as guide to lead PO and the group to a rough 
patio overlooking Rio - a location that is Dona Marta's claim to fame,
the site of the filming of a famous Michael Jackson music video from 
the 1990s. Beltrame said that persistent rumor in the favela indicated
Jackson's production group paid local traffickers to assure security
for the video's production. 

5. (SBU) Near the base of Dona Marta, Beltrame and PO waited for the
funicular cable car that serves three stops along the favela's steep
incline. A large group of print and media reporters interviewed PO 
and Beltrame, indicating the high degree of interest in the FPP - and 
the way it is being perceived abroad - in the Rio public. Leaving the
favela and entering the first paved street at the foot of the Dona 
Marta hill in Botafogo (favela residents call the regular neighborhoods
of the city "the asphalt"), Beltrame pointed out several snack stalls
along the street that appeared to have closed down. He said those 
small businesses had catered to Rio residents - many from the middle
class - who had driven the street at night, seeking to buy cocaine 
from Dona Marta's gang dealers. Those small-scale merchants had 
actually protested to police that the pacification of the favela had
been bad for their business, adding their complaints, Beltrame mused,
to others doubtless expressed by the drug gang's customers, who had
lost the "drive through" cocaine purchase venue afforded by Dona 
Marta's proximity to Botafogo's busy streets. As Beltrame and PO 
prepared to depart, the president of the favela residents association
approached and told Beltrame that "things are going well" and, 
despite some "specific problems" (NFI), the community is optimistic 
and will continue to cooperate with authorities. 

6. (SBU) Comment: Dona Marta is receiving a lot of attention as the 
test case for the FPP, and a bellwether of whether this new strategic
approach can actually create conditions for fundamentally altering 
Rio's abysmally violent environment for the better. That may be more
scrutiny than the relatively small community spreading on a hill 
above Botafogo can justify in terms of drawing clear and persuasive
conclusions, but the experience of the FPP in Dona Marta in its 
initial seems encouraging. The visit to the favela reinforced a number
of observations on favelas and the FPP approach: --Every favela will
be distinctive: Dona Marta is the FPP prototype, but its relatively
small size, terrain features and other social aspects make it a 
somewhat easier proposition than many other favelas, such as the Morro
dos Maccacos, where the police helicopter was shot down (ref a), or 
the massive Complexo de Alemao, which is a veritable fortress of the 
senior leaders of the Commando Vermelho. Successful pacification of
Complexo de Alemao will be iconic for the city's effort to reclaim 
the favelas, but also likely will be "traumatic" in terms of the scale
of violence, according to Beltrame (ref b), perhaps resembling the 
battles in Fallujah more than a conventional urban police operation.
Other favelas will be nearly as hard. Political leaders will have to
prepare Rio - and Brazil - for that reality. --Police are not enough:
The FPP strategy contemplates police pushing traffickers out, securing
favelas and winning their residents' confidence with the UPP. However,
it was never envisaged in the plan that police would also be the 
primary, long-term arbiters for provision of city services to residents,
and main providers of volunteers for social action projects. Yet that
is what is happening, according to Beltrame, as civilian government 
agencies and NGOs have yet to fall in on the FPP doctrine in any 
organized and robust fashion. In Dona Marta, with the exception of a
few tutors and computer instructors who volunteered individually,
police officers are doing everything from assisting residents with 
requests for utilities to coaching sports. There is no cadre of civilian
government and NGO personnel to handle those tasks, nor evidence of
systematic programming for additional services (beyond basic light and
water) on the horizon. If such a vacuum persists, it will wear down 
police capacity and lead to frustration among residents in pacified 
favelas, threatening the initial gains in those areas. --Momentum is 
crucial: The past week in Rio is an example of how events - especially
sudden and violent ones - can derail best-laid plans for the FPP's 
progression. Whatever next steps were planned under the FPP, the entire
machinery of Rio's security structure was suddenly deployed in dragnet
actions against favelas thought to house the leaders of the attack 
against the police helicopter, which captured national and world 
attention. The gunmen get a vote, and outlasting and besting them 
will require a combination of persistence and tactical patience - a
willingness to adjust and even delay action at times -- while 
remaining committed to the strategic plan. Beltrame seems aware of
this, and will also pick and chose his fights. Rio has an estimated 
1,000 favelas encompassing approximately 3 million people, but 
Beltrame cautiously believes he can achieve strong momentum if he
can pacify between 30-40 favelas with the largest concentrations
of criminal activity over the next two or so years. 

7. (SBU) While much of the current international attention on Rio 
stems from the Rio's selection to host the Olympics in 2016 and the
recent spectacular violence that closely followed the Olympics 
announcement, most Rio residents see the issue in even more profound
terms. As Rio Governor Sergio Cabral noted recently, Brazil has a
track record for successfully securing major athletic events, but
the greater challenge for Rio is to create a permanent change in 
the city, addressing the favelas and the profound social problems 
they present with a comprehensive and sustained strategy that can 
fundamentally alter the security environment, economy and quality of 
the life in the city for the long term. HEARNE

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