Crime: Packaging and Content

Discussions on crime, especially after the many recent kidnappings and conflicts in public security, have crystallized two aspects of opinion, both with some nuances and both of them incurring radicalism and some misunderstandings. On the one hand, those who support the need for more punitive rigor, more policing, more prisons, more severe sentences, the death penalty, more punishment.


On the other hand

On the other hand

Those who present themselves with a supposedly humanistic discourse, advocating long-term solutions through better income distribution as a factor of crime containment, more effective education and opportunities to open the way out of crime and to which several segments seem condemned of the population.

Some immediate and primary others have a speech covered with naivety, which they do not really have. Both aspects have positive and negative aspects: since each of them is uncompromising with a global approach to the problem, because they do not contain the real Brazilian scenario. Have the media registered any proposal regarding crime outside of the clichés that have been shattered by another current?

Brazilian criminality has historical, socio-economic, political, behavioral, structural, and conjunctural causes. Criminal violence has created a specific syndrome, visible to all. The symptoms are there, one must look for the causes and arrive at a clear and comprehensive diagnosis. Then, X-ray the causes and understand the question in all its fullness interfacetada.

Then, determine what are the curative and preventive measures. Among the curatives, which are those of an emergency character, type CTI, which are curatives of surgical character, those of post-surgery, those of convalescence. At the same time, preventive measures will take care of strengthening the weakened social organism so that other opportunistic ills do not take advantage of the critical state in which we find ourselves.

That is, what we will do in a very short time, so that things will not get worse, which will be done in short, medium and long term, until our patient – the society – can be discharged from this strange hospital to which she herself condemned.


Violence begins in Brazil at the same time the country is born

Violence begins in Brazil at the same time the country is born

This one arrived in the caravels of Cabral, expressed in the physical violence – slavery – and in the spiritual violence – the catechesis – against Indians and blacks. He came with the degredados, through the general governors and the chief captains, who implanted the current European model and that was to root roots that have remained until today to govern the relations of power. It was then constructed, in a wicked sovereign Nation, whose negative differentials were so humiliating, that it became vitally necessary to construct compensation mechanisms. Aggravating the picture. A country in the context of Latin America – in the words of Eduardo Galeano, a continent with a vocation for defeat.

From then on, in an attempt to rationalize, little by little, the story is created that the Brazilian is “smart, trickster, flipper, safo, always gets a way and ends up winning the stops.” Nda more false than this self-image: if we were really “smart” we would not be in the situation in which we are. We needed to invent a compensatory mystique of our sense of inferiority, often cloaked by a one-eyed and manipulative patriotism, capable of distracting the masses from their true priorities. Thus, with the image of the “rogue” [and that coincidentally (?) Is more rooted in Rio de Janeiro], we made our preferred option for the anteroom of marginality. And worse: we embellished and deified marginality as a native quality to be contrasted with the qualities of the “gringos” … Proof of this, if it is necessary proofs, is Zé Carioca, a character that Walt Disney chose to personify the Brazilians: not at all marginal, but always at the frontier, ready to enter and leave it, as indeed, befits the “good trickster.”

The social, educational, and economic causes are too obvious and repetitive to deserve a greater reference. They are at the center of the causes, and better still, of the concauses and are well known. From them derive the structural causes, whose greater expression is the maintenance of the relations of power and its political representativeness, usually at the service of the own power.

From the conjunctural point of view, Rio de Janeiro has been paying a very expensive price for this deliberate emptying that borders the criminals. Productive emptying, educational, cultural, political emptying, with the consequent decrease in quality of life. Analyzing what and why Rio de Janeiro has been punished for so long deserves a broader approach than parochial political disagreements between state and federal authorities. There is much to consider in addition to these approaches.

Thus, we have a contest of causes that could only give in what it gave: violence, marginality and criminality. If there is something to be surprised, we must consider the collapse of the picture, reaching the critical state we can see today.

To believe, now, that this situation is reversed with a direct attack on banditry, is not to see far ahead of the nose. As well as preaching a slow revolution through social, educational, welfare and economic changes, it is schooling itself in a “good-humor”, which seems to be nice to certain audiences. But it is fundamentally dishonest, just a rhetoric uncompromising with reality. But both positions – the repressive and the liberal – have sought only minor political dividends.


Some concepts accepted today deserve to be questioned

Some concepts accepted today deserve to be questioned

What is organized crime? Was the crime, before, disorganized? Years ago, the government placed common criminals in common with political prisoners, another byproduct of perfecting the criminal concept: the party structure set the example for the gang’s structuring, political ideology served as a model for “doctrinal foundations” of confrontation with the system, the solidarity of the political atavism adapted to the solidarity of the phalanges. But this was only possible because society was already deteriorating the bridge of allowing criminal intelligence to organize itself in what could be paradoxically called “crime values”.

If an organized crime exists today, it is because crime has found “values” around which it has organized itself. The organization presupposes order, which, as St. Augustine presupposes, in turn, the stability of values. This is the most worrying question: even if it is focused on what might be called simply evil. The organization of the crime found its own values, stabilized and solidified them. From there the power relation was altered, with the entrance of one more determinant in its composition. And what worries us the most is the possibility of this new component being installed as an element that conquered its social space, seeking its “right” in the force of the fact.

In the coming decades we would have two social extracts in which the general principles of universally accepted and consecrated law would have before them the general principles of the “wrong”, dialectical antithesis that is enutriated from the same source and, in the last analysis, as powerful as the present tenets of civilization, such as natural law, subjective law, and equity. Is this the picture, a critical panorama at the beginning of this century? Great cities (and later, every country) besieged by the confrontation of two orders of organized power?

For this reason, the treatment of issues related to crime can not be confined to the discussion about maximum security prison (by the way, is there a maximum security prison?) Any person can list the necessary measures in the very short term: adequacy of our positive law (and not only more rigor) strengthening of the mechanism, training of preventive policing, restructuring of the judicial police, among many other measures. This is a list of things that reminds us of anyone, with a complete list of grocery shopping.


The penitentiary system

The penitentiary system

It is not necessary to emphasize their ills, their atavistic, congenital, hereditary defromability, which everyone knows. But how to reformulate the system? Starting with human material: have you heard of someone who said, “When I grow up do I want to be a prison guard?”

And what would the prisons look like? Security “supermaximum”? Agricultural, industrial colonies? Will they segregate or recover? Recover, how? Outside the prison, is there a structure to receive the recovered? In a country with a high unemployment rate, does this speech make sense? In a country without an educational project, how to educate in prisons?

We do not have all answers, not even most of them. We know, however, that there is no point in trying isolated solutions. Any one of them will be exhausted in interaction with the next contiguous sphere and thus lead to nothing. For example, adjusting the legal order depends on the ideological nature of a National Congress and so on.

The same is true with regard to the organs destined to combat crime and its concrete action: the reformulation of military and civilian police depends on … and so on. In other words, combating crime requires the restructuring of the entire social environment, its legal systems, economic relations, cultural and educational values ​​and, above all, changes in the power relations that are currently in force.

But this is not enough. As we restructure the long-term task society, crime grows, society is languishing, moods are radicalized, violence is reacted with violence, both by criminals and by society. That is why we must think of this sick society with a triple treatment: one, to combat the effects already, to reduce crime immediately: it is a matter of hemorrhage that has to be stopped before everything, without which there will be no patient to be medicated short, medium and long term.

The other treatment of curative character, through real transfusions of considerable sums to calm the pains of classes that have nothing. A care program. Hunger does not wait, the cold does not wait, the disease can not stay for a tomorrow that perhaps there is not. You have to give yourself help now. The third path of treatment would be long-term: preventive treatment, in the sense of reformulating the ethical values ​​that, one way or another will come.

These are the present values ​​of this beginning of the century, which have to be revised. In fact, only a great deal of blindness can prevent us from seeing that the changing values ​​of human society have already begun to be drawn in the new world geopolitics, in ecological movements, in the search for alternative paths to medicine, to food, to the production of goods , for the relations of exchange, for the symbolism of the spirit.

In this way, we should not continue to discuss the packaging of crime. We must know its contents. The sick nation requires the election of priorities, above operational and structural questions, within the prior choice of objectives related to the process of building a Nation. If we do not have goals, any priority serves – and any chosen path will always lead anywhere.

Crime is a phenomenon that involves the person and exists anywhere and at all times. Crime is a social disease, where crime starts to have colors of profession, developing and occupying more and more space, imposing its typical rules.

Reflection on crime must contain a holistic view, in the sense of contributing to an efficient national construction project.