Policing as Pacification: Postcolonial Legacies, Transnational Connections, and the Militarization of Urban Security in Democratic Brazil

  • Markus-Michael Müller


In this chapter, Markus-Michael Müller examines the (post)colonial and international dimensions of police abuse in democratic Brazil. He argues that Rio de Janeiro’s “successful” experience with Pacification Police Units (UPPs) is best assessed with pacification, rather than policing, at the center of the analysis. The chapter reveals that the UPPs are the direct result of the reimport of urban counterinsurgency practices from Colombia and Haiti (in the latter, Brazil is in charge of the military component of the UN peacekeeping mission MINUSTAH). Müller shows how this reimport of counterinsurgency practices to Brazil is embedded within a larger (post)colonial institutional legacy of police repression in the name of pacifying the racialized and marginalized “urban other” to support a particular political economy.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus-Michael Müller
    • 1
  1. 1.ZI Lateinamerika-InstitutFreie Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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