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Wagner argued that these attitudes toward violence, along with an indifference shown by the state in providing police protection and social services, allowed murders to go largely unchecked.But more rampant drug trafficking, fueled in part by criminal gangs operating out of São Paulo, has greatly worsened the situation, Mr. The arrival of crack cocaine has been particularly devastating.But in the northeast, security officials contend, people have historically settled disputes on their own — neighbor to neighbor, with deadly impunity.
They were the colonels, the outlaws that sought justice without the participation of the state.” Mr.
“If the consumer market is booming, the drug trafficker will come here as well,” said Jaques Wagner, the governor of Bahia. But at the same time we still have trouble with drug trafficking and with a lack of respect for human life.” In the states of Bahia and Alagoas, especially, there has been an explosion of violence in the past decade.
The number of murders in Bahia grew by 430 percent, to 4,709, between 19, Dr.
To counter criticism that its police have struggled to solve crimes, the Bahia State government established a dedicated homicide department earlier this year, with 150 officers focused on murder investigations. Conceição, the police did not set up security tape to prevent evidence contamination.
Among the challenges of the new unit is rooting out “extermination groups,” militias composed of police officers who have practiced vigilante justice and been suspected in dozens of murders, said Arthur Gallas, the homicide unit’s director. In the new department’s offices, investigators recently pored over stacks of files containing 1,500 unsolved homicides dating from before 2007. “Preserving evidence is very difficult here,” said Helder Cunha, a crime scene investigator, noting that a proposal to require crime scene tape in Bahia had yet to be put into practice.