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Brazilian president pushes legislation to protect police who kill

Brasilia, November 23 (RHC)-- Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has sent a proposal to Congress that seeks to extensively protect the police and soldiers who kill while on specific operations.

The legislation would represent a “major shift” in the fight against violence in Brazil, the far-right president said in Brasilia as he defended his proposal.  “We will now depend on lawmakers, congressmen, and senators to approve this,” he added.

Known as the Guarantee of Law and Order (GLO) missions, the bill is nonetheless expected to face major opposition from some lawmakers and human rights activists especially as it comes amid a remarkable surge in killings by police across the country.

The law would allow security officers to avoid prosecution and get away with murder if they kill in situations in which they face “unfair, current or imminent aggression,” either to themselves or another person. Instances of “unfair aggression” would include terrorism, and any “conduct capable of causing death or personal injury,” such as carrying a firearm.

A broader crime-fighting proposal pushed earlier this year by Justice Minister Sergio Moro, also sought to offer greater protection to officers who kill.

However, Moro’s draft law is currently awaiting its fate to be decided in Congress, where lawmakers removed the section offering police more cover, arguing it could give them incentives or even the green light to kill more as they would enjoy impunity.

Conducted under the president’s direct supervision, GLO missions are temporary military operations to face sporadic cases of "uncontrollable violence" or "high-risk situations."

So far this year, Brazil has used GLO missions to provide security at the BRICs Summit in Brasilia, in the fight against Amazon rainforest fires and in the transfer of high-risk prisoners to federal prisons.

Edited by Ed Newman
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