The politics of crime and militarised policing in Brazil

Roxana Pessoa Cavalcanti, Jeffrey Garmany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article queries the effects of international police assistance in the Global South, focusing specifically on Brazil. Utilising recently declassified documents accessed in Washington, DC, this article shows how United States officials sought to intervene in Latin American politics through international police assistance to Brazil during the 1960s-1980s. The article considers the geopolitical motivations behind these programs and highlights the connections between international police assistance, weak democratic institutions in Latin America and legacies of authoritarian policing in the region. The academic objectives are twofold: to foreground debates that emphasise the need for Southern Criminological research perspectives and to explore the broader effects of international police assistance programs in the Global South. By drawing attention to these issues, the article contributes to studies of policing, politics and public security in contexts like Brazil, where extreme levels of everyday violence are a threat to democracy and human rights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-118
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2020

Bibliographical note

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.


  • Policing
  • police assistance
  • crime
  • USA
  • Brazil
  • Southern Criminology
  • Police assistance
  • Crime


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