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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Killings by Police in Brazil: Not a Game

Thursday, June 9, 2016 - 3:30pm
Capitol Visitor Center Congressional Meeting Room South


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on the use of lethal force and extrajudicial executions attributed to the military police in Brazil. 

Brazil is one of the world’s largest democracies and economies, and has enjoyed a strong bilateral relationship with the United States in recent years.  But for years the country has been plagued by reports of excessive use of force by the military police, including killings and extrajudicial executions. In the state of Rio de Janeiro, there has been an escalation of violence: homicides due to police intervention increased significantly in 2015 and have continued to rise in 2016. Abuses often occur around major sporting events. Young black men are the primary victims: according to Amnesty International, of the 1,275 registered homicides by police in Rio between 2010 and 2014, 99.5% were men, 79% were black and 75% were between the ages of 15-29. A culture of impunity prevails: few cases are investigated, and still fewer prosecuted, thus deepening distrust between the police and those they are sworn to protect.

This briefing will examine the excessive use of force by police, including killings and extrajudicial executions in Brazil, and related impunity.  Panelists will also discuss United States assistance to Brazilian police forces and prospects for accountability.     

Hosted By:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Joseph R. Pitts, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC


Opening Remarks

  • Rep. James P. McGovern, Co-Chair, Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission
    Written remarks


  • Elizabeth Leeds, Senior Fellow, Washington Office for Latin America 
  • Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
  • Marselha Goncalves Margerin, Advocacy Director for the Americas, Amnesty International, U.S.A. 
    Written statement
  • Elizabeth Martin, Relative of Joseph Martin


  • Peter J. Meyer, Analyst in Latin American Affairs, Congressional Research Service.


114th Congress