By Tânia Rêgo

In 2006, Mexico adopted a national security policy firmly focused on the “war on drugs”. Under the justification of combating crime, the Armed Forces were called on to perform the role of the police and, twelve years later, hundreds of people have been killed in conflicts and thousands of others are missing.

The Mexican case bears similarities with what is being done in Brazil with the operations to Guarantee Law and Order (GLOs) and, more recently, the federal military intervention in public security in Rio de Janeiro. Both in Mexico and in Brazil, soldiers have taken on functions they are not equipped to perform and if they kill civilians, they are judged by military courts.

Data from the Rio de Janeiro Public Security Institute reveal that, in the first month of the military intervention in the state, the main indices that measure violence worsened and there was also a significant reduction in police activities, such as the seizure of weapons and drugs.