Government of São Paulo: organizations oppose appointment of military police officer charged in Carandiru Massacre

São Paulo Governor Tarcisio de Freitas appointed the reserve colonel Sérgio de Souza Merlo as Technical Advisor

Governador do Estado de SP. Foto: Alan santos/PR Governador do Estado de SP. Foto: Alan santos/PR

In a statement released this Tuesday, January 17, more than 60 civil society organizations, including Conectas, condemned the appointment of Sérgio de Souza Merlo to the position of technical advisor to the Office of the São Paulo State Prison Administration Department. The appointment was made by Governor Tarcísio de Freitas. 

The colonel was charged in the Carandiru case, for leading a platoon that was involved in the second stage of the operation, in 1992, called the “clean up”. 

According to the charge by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in the case, the “clean up” included acts of torture against prisoners who had surrendered. Merlo was never convicted, as the statute of limitations expired. 

Civil society warns that the appointment is a signal of authoritarianism that is in conflict with the fight against torture and the realization of human rights for the prison population.

“The appointment of Sérgio de Souza Merlo is an affront to the memory and honor of the victims and families of the [Carandiru] massacre, and it also symbolizes the state’s disregard for the commitment, internationally assumed by Brazil, to combat torture, especially institutionalized torture, in the Brazilian prison system,” reads an excerpt of the statement. 

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