Illegal, so what?


Source: O Globo, 09/01/2008

It is even commonplace to speak of anarchy in the metropolitan region of Rio. The concept designates a state of affairs in which, among other symptoms, favelas expand in a disorderly manner, informality prevails in camelotage and public transport, much of the vehicle fleet circulates illegally, without paying IPVA, and so on.

The difference, for the worse, in this scenario, is the evidence observed in recent times that this anarchy is rising. The signs are not only seen in the strengthening of crime. The toxins of the disorder become more insidious, and not always noticeable, as society as a whole, including the government, lets down its guard and allows it to be wiped out. At this stage comes the culture of “illegal, so what?”, Through which one slips into barbarism. It is when the news about robberies is seen with the same apathy with which the countless transgressions to the traffic rules committed in the city are observed. When the action of militias made up of police, firefighters and prison officers was denounced, there were those who hoped that these groups would be an effective opponent of trafficking and would help enforce the law in favelas.

Wrong. They are gangs that struggle to replace other gangs. More seriously, they are made up of people paid by the taxpayer to supposedly defend it. There is the absurdity of the citizen paying the salary of those who threaten him. In the same case, parliamentarians are accused by the police of acting in the clandestine militia and van transport business.
They are representatives of voters, supported by the treasury, but in the service of crime. In this context, Governor Sérgio Cabral proposes, inspired by Bogotá, that the circulation of motorcycles with a ride be prohibited, because, here and here, many assaults are usually practiced by motorized pairs. It worked in Colombia, where bikers also need to have the vehicle's license plate inscribed on their helmet and vest.

The proposal corresponds to the sense of urgency of the moment. Regardless of the discussion, no single measure will work without an attentive, well-informed, informed and honest police force on the streets. The year is electoral and therefore makes it difficult for politicians to get closer. But security in Greater Rio, in the broadest possible sense, needs to be addressed by all public administrators in the region. Also out of respect for the voter himself.