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Drugs Trafficking and Public Safety in Brazil: what the candidates say.

Marina Silva - Jose Serra- Dilma Rousseff (credits to AE)

During this week, VEJA.com (website of brazilian Veja magazine) published a series on one of the problems that most afflict the Brazilian and it certainly will weigh in choosing the next president: public safety and crime. In order to address that situation , here are the main proposals of the leading candidates for the elections.

All political campaigns of Rousseff (PT), José Serra (PSDB) and Silva (PV) were sought by the Veja report, but only if the campaign coordination of the pro government PT expressed about Rousseff’s ideas, which are presented below. The main proposals of the other candidates on the issue were gathered from their statements made during the campaign and also of their government programs.

Dilma Rousseff says the public safety issue “involves not only the repression of crime, but the positive action of the state as provider of social policies.”  The former minister also advocated a partnership between municipalities, states and Union to overcome the challenges. To deal with the problem, she mentioned projects related to the Growth Acceleration Program (CAP) in the areas of housing, sanitation and school construction.

According to his statements and PSDB government program, the opposition presidential candidate Jose Serra is in favor of the creation of the Ministry of Public Security, which should address the smuggling and trafficking in arms and drugs, articulating policies in the brazilian states aligned to a coordination and national guideline. Mr. Serra also proposes creating a uniformed police, linked to the federal police to monitor borders, ports and airports. Dilma opposes the idea of creating a new ministry. According to PT, the Justice Department is already responsible for all policies in the area.

The PV presidential candidate Marina Silva (8% of vores according to last IBOPE poll) has advocated to improve the standards of those members of the police and armed forces, starting with better wages and modernization of the Armed Forces. She also preaches coordinated actions between the federal government, states and municipalities.

All three presidential candidates claim that public safety will be their priority in any government and that the Presidential Palace should be the main core of organization and policy development for the public safety sector.

In regard to the illegal drugs trafficking, unlike Dilma Rousseff and Marina Silva,  Mr. José Serra transfers the prevention and treatment of drug addicts to the security area.

Dilma Rousseff also speaks of “support” to these people (addicts), but she also says that the issue would continue as now. For PT, the “crack” should be the target of the repression. Marina Silva bet on a summit to discuss the legalization of drugs in the country and does not usually talk much about the topic.