Conectas today used the Freedom of Information Law (12,527/2011) to learn how the state of São Paulo plans to deal with street demonstrations in the months of June and July, during the World Cup. In all, 17 direct questions were sent both to the São Paulo State Public Security Secretary, Fernando Grella Vieira, and to the São Paulo State Military Police Commander, Colonel Benedito Roberto Meira.
Similar requests were filed by the partner organizations Justiça Global and Terra de Direitos in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Paraná. According to the law, the government has a period of 20 days, renewable for a further 10 days, to respond.
The questions were divided into five groups: the demarcation of security areas around the stadiums, the classification of criminal behavior, the weaponry to be used and the numbers of police involved, the use of the Armed Forces and the procedures in cases of detention and prosecution.
“The police cannot operate on a ‘case-by-case’ basis, nor can they continue to explain away illegal violence as ‘slip-ups’ or ‘excesses’ by individual officers. We want to know what the protocols are, how much ammunition has been purchased, when and how the Army may be employed in the World Cup, where detained people will be taken and what types of conduct will be considered criminal, such as the use of a visor, cap or t-shirt to cover one’s face, or the possession of vinegar or bleach. In other words, we want whoever is giving the orders to say what these orders are and how they are expected to be followed on the front line,” said the lawyer Rafael Custódio, coordinator of the Justice Program at Conectas.
The five-page document states that the concept of the “Commercial Restriction Areas or Exclusion Zones” has been expanded beyond the prevention of commerce around the stadiums. The concept “was also used to restrict the circulation of people around the soccer stadiums in some cities that hosted the 2013 Confederations Cup”. For this reason, Conectas is asking whether this will be repeated at the World Cup.
The organization is also asking “what the protocol will be for using non-lethal weapons by the Armed Forces or the National Security Forces” and in what circumstances will “auxiliary” forces be employed.