The Public Civil Action of Maré
In 2018, while the records of violence in Rio de Janeiro increased, those of Maré decreased. The possible cause for these numbers is the permanent mobilization of the population of Maré for the right to public security and the recognition of a Public Civil Action as an instrument of social control over public security policy. With this action, we are trying to build mechanisms to guarantee collective and individual rights for Maré’s residents, contributing to the reduction of police brutality in poor territories. It is mandatory that we have a security policy that include planning, intelligence, transparency in actions and constant dialogue with civil society, guaranteeing rights and preserving the lives of all citizens, regardless of where they reside.
The Public Civil Action of Maré is still preliminary, that is, provisional.
Had been established for two years, The Public Civil Action of Maré gradually pointed to a decrease in the rates of lethal violence in the region, as shown in the editions of The Right to Public Security Bulletin, which has been tracking data of police operations since 2016.
In 2019, police operations intensified and, with that, the direct violations of Maré residents’ rights. Between June 10 and 12, 2019, police spent three days inside the favela, culminating in the death of 34-year-old Sheila Machado de Oliveira, shot in the chest as she left for work. She left three children. Less than a month later, on July 19, the Public Civil Action was suspended.
Shortly after, the State Public Defender's Office filed an appeal for its reinstatement and, at the same time, Redes da Maré began a series of mobilizations in order to reverse this decision. One of the proposed actions was for residents, especially children and youth, to write letters to the judges expressing how they feel in the middle of crossfire and asking for the re-establishment of the Public Civil Action.
On August 12, the same day that the Public Defender's Office formally requested the reinstatement of the Public Civil Action of Maré, a group of Maré’s residents went to the State Court to deliver the letters to the president of the house, but they weren’t received. But the "Letters of Maré" had huge repercussions in the national and international media and were finally able to sensitize Judge Jessé Torres, who decided on August 14 to resume the PCA, which is still under provisional regime.
In addition to the “Letters of Maré”, a campaign called “Dweller is not a target” is running and the special edition of the Bulletin Right to Public Security in Maré was launched with alarming data from the first half of 2019. The “Letters of Maré” continue to receive contributions and reverberate other voices.