In 2006, while the country was celebrating Mother’s Day, the urban outskirts of São Paulo experienced a wave of terror and unprecedented violence. More than 500 people, the majority young and black, were murdered between May 12-21, in the episode that has become known as the Crimes of May. Most of the victims were killed at close range by death squads – hooded, heavily armed men in vehicles without license plates.

Indifference, flaws and negligence in the investigations conducted by the Civil and Military police, coupled with the inaction of the São Paulo Public Prosecutor’s Office – the body responsible for the external oversight of the state’s public security forces – led to the case being dropped and impunity for nearly all the crimes.

The investigations into the deaths were never concluded and, in 2009, Conectas asked the Office of the Prosecutor-General to federalize one of the most symbolic cases of the Crimes of May: the Parque Bristol shooting. The transfer of the case to the federal level would allow investigations to be reopened and carried out by independent experts from the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal Police.

Only in May 2016, ten years after the killings, did the then Prosecutor-General Rodrigo Janot accept the request and present the federalization request to the Superior Court of Justice.

The Superior Court of Justice unanimously decided in August 2022 to federalize the investigation into the shooting that occurred in 2006 in the south side of the city of São Paulo. The court therefore recognized the failings of state government bodies in the handling of the case. 

In practice, the ruling orders the case to be reopened, transferring it from the São Paulo Public Prosecutor’s Office, Public Security Department and State Court to the jurisdiction of the Federal Police, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and the federal courts.

Technical information:

  • Case: Federalization of the Crimes of May 
  • Court: Superior Court of Justice
  • Status: Court ruled to federalize the case


  • 05/11/2009: Federalization request submitted to the Office of the Prosecutor-General
  • 2016 – Office of the Prosecutor-General accepts federalization request  
  • 08/10/2022: Superior Court of Justice rules on the federalization of the case