hey now woo look at that did she nearly run you down
at the end of the drive the lawmen arrive
you make me feel alive, alive, alive
On the accidental killing by British police of Jean Charles de Menezes:
British opposition politicians largely have supported the actions of the government, but Brazil's foreign minister, Celso Amorim, said he was "shocked and perplexed" by the killing and demanded an explanation of the killing after speaking to his British counterpart, Jack Straw, by telephone and meeting a Foreign Office minister in London. "Here was a peaceful, innocent person who was killed," Amorim told reporters, adding, "Even in the fight against terrorism we should also be cautious to avoid the loss of innocent life."
Indeed. But methinks the Brazilians aren't exactly unacquainted with police brutality:
In São Paulo, throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, Human Rights Watch/Americas documented a steady increase in the rate of civilians killed by on-duty military police officers. During this period, Rio de Janeiro state authorities did not release figures on the number of civilians killed by police, thus rendering a precise numerical comparison impossible. However, other indicators suggested that São Paulo police were killing civilians at a rate substantially higher than their Rio de Janeiro counterparts. Indeed, by 1992-the record year for military police killings in São Paulo-the number of civilians that these police killed reached 1,470, one-third of the total number of homicides in the state of São Paulo that year. By way of comparison with another notoriously violent city, the São Paulo figure represents more than sixty-one times the number of civilians -- twenty-four - that the New York City police killed in 1992, and more than fifteen times the number of police killings per capita when compared with New York.
'arry 'utton ('e could be a Cockney, Guv'nor!) weighs in from Venezuela:
If the police fired eight rounds into my head as I was boarding a train I would be disappointed, but not particularly surprised. For I live in Caracas, and the Venezuelan police, like many Latin American police forces, operate British-style death squads.
A couple of weeks ago they massacred three young men in a car, in what bore all the hallmarks of a UK-style extra-judicial execution. Which is scandalous, but nothing unusual. Normally, no one would mind; but this time their victims turned out to be university students, instead of ordinary riff-raff, so it ended up being a real pain in the arse for the authorities.