Neither Hero nor Villain: The Determinants of Confidence in the UPP Police

Nem Herói, nem Vilão: Os Determinantes da Confiança nos Policiais das UPPs

Ni Héros, ni Méchant: Les Déterminants de la Confiance dans les Policiers des UPPs

Ni Héroe, ni Villano: Los Determinantes de la Confianza en los Policías de las UPPs

Ludmila Mendonça Lopes Ribeiro Márcio Grijó Vilarouca About the authors

ABSTRACT

In this article we analyze the determinants of confidence in the Police Pacification Units ( Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora – UPPs). During their existence (2008-2018), “pacification” was represented by the media as an institutional hybrid which moved between two extremes. The police were either presented as heroes, whom people wanted to guarantee the end of shootings and ensure security in areas previously marked by violence, or as villains, rejected because of the lethality of their actions and the arbitrariness of how they dealt with people. Taking these representations as ideal types, we sought to identify the determinants of confidence in the police, with the counterpoint being a domiciliary survey carried out between 2014 and 2016 with 2000 residents distributed among twenty “pacified” favelas in the city of Rio de Janeiro. The results indicated that the respondents had ambiguous sentiments towards the UPP police, mediated by the perception that shootings were part of daily life in these communities and that the “pacification” had improved security, making the police neither heroes nor villains.

UPP; confidence; police; Rio de Janeiro; favelas; pacification

RESUMO

Neste artigo analisamos os determinantes da confiança nos policiais das Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (UPPs). Durante a sua existência (2008-2018), a “pacificação” foi representada, pela mídia, como um híbrido institucional que se movia entre dois extremos. Ora os policiais eram apresentados como heróis, desejados por garantirem o fim dos tiroteios e a segurança em áreas antes marcadas pela violência, ora como vilões, rechaçados pela letalidade de suas ações e pela arbitrariedade de suas abordagens. Tomando essas representações como tipos ideais, procuramos identificar os determinantes da confiança depositada nos policiais, tendo como contraponto um survey domiciliar realizado entre os anos de 2014 e 2016, com 2.000 residentes distribuídos em vinte favelas “pacificadas” na cidade do Rio de Janeiro. Os resultados indicam que os entrevistados nutrem sentimentos ambíguos pelos policiais da UPP, mediados pela percepção de que os tiroteios faziam parte da rotina da comunidade e que a “pacificação” tinha melhorado a segurança, fazendo dos policiais nem heróis e nem vilões.

UPP; confiança na polícia; Rio de Janeiro; favelas; pacificação

RÉSUMÉ

Dans cet article, nous analysons les déterminants de la confiance à la police des Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora (UPP). Au cours de son existence (2008-2018), la “pacification” a été représentée, par les médias, comme un hybride institutionnel oscillant entre deux extrêmes. Parfois, les policiers étaient présentés comme des héros, obstinés a garantir la fin des tirs et la sécurité dans des zones autrefois marquées par la violence; désormais, comme des méchants, rejetés par la létalité de leurs actions et l’arbitraire de leurs approches. Prenant ces représentations comme des types idéaux, nous cherchons à identifier les déterminants de la confiance dirigée à la police, en ayant comme contrepoint une enquête auprès des ménages réalisées entre 2014 et 2016, avec 2000 habitants répartis dans vingt favelas “pacifiées” de la ville de Rio de Janeiro. Les résultats indiquent que les personnes interrogées nourrissent des sentiments ambigus pour la police de l’UPP, médiatisés par la perception que les tirs faisaient partie de la routine de la communauté et que la “pacification” avait amélioré la sécurité, faisant de la police ni héros ni méchants.

UPP; confiance à la police; Rio de Janeiro; favelas; pacification

RESUMEN

En este artículo, analizamos los determinantes de la confianza en los policías de las Unidades de Policía Pacificadora (UPP). Durante su existencia (2008-2018), la “pacificación” fue representada por los medios como un híbrido institucional que se movía entre dos extremos. Los policías eran presentados como héroes, deseados para garantizar el fin de los tiroteos y la seguridad en áreas antes marcadas por la violencia, pero también como villanos, rechazados por la letalidad de sus acciones y por la arbitrariedad de sus abordajes. Tomando esas representaciones como tipos ideales, buscamos identificar los determinantes de la confianza depositada en los policías, teniendo como contrapunto una encuesta domiciliaria realizada entre los años de 2014 e 2016, con 2.000 residentes distribuidos en veinte favelas “pacificadas” en la ciudad de Rio de Janeiro. Los resultados indican que los entrevistados nutren sentimientos ambiguos por los policías de la UPP, mediados por la percepción de que los tiroteos hacían parte de la rutina de la comunidad y que la “pacificación” había mejorado la seguridad, haciendo de los policías ni héroes ni villanos.

UPP; confianza en la policía; Rio de Janeiro; favelas; pacificación

INTRODUCTION

The Police Pacification Units ( Unidades de Polícia Pacificadora – UPPs) were a policing model implemented at Rio de Janeiro’s favelas in between 2008 and 20181 1 . We adopted 2018 as the moment when the formal weakening of UPPs began. , as the background of the megaevents held in the city ( Cavalcanti, 2015CAVALCANTI, Mariana. (2015), “Pacification Urbanism: a view from Rio’s old industrial suburbs”. In: J. D. Needell (org.), Emergent Brazil: key perspectives on a new global power . 1ª ed. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, v. 1, pp. 108-126. ). This enterprise, called “pacification”2 2 . This term will be used with quotation marks due to its use in distinct policies, despite the constancy in the signification of the term in Brazilian history. It is, “a central category which ran through five centuries, from colonial history to republican Brazil, until then uniquely used for the autochthone population, as they were supposedly governed by values and standards of behavior absolutely different from the Western ones” ( Pacheco de Oliveira, 2014: 127). , began with the occupation of Santa Marta favela in November 2008 ( Couto, 2016COUTO, Maria Isabel MacDowell. (2016), UPP e UPP Social: narrativas sobre integração na cidade. Tese (Doutorado, Sociologia). IESP/UERJ, Rio de Janeiro. ). Due to the reduction of shootings as a result of the police presence in the area, it was replicated in the favelas of Batan and Cidade de Deus in 2009 ( Carvalho, 2018CARVALHO, Monique Batista. (2018), “Bem-aventurados os pacificadores: práticas de militarização e disciplinarização dos corpos no programa de pacificação de favelas do Rio de Janeiro”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (ed.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 92-109. ). In subsequent years, the expansion of the project accelerated, reaching 38 UPPs in 2014 ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. ).

The UPP model aimed to construct a new model of policing in favelas ( Garau, 2019GARAU, Marilha G. Reverendo. (2019), “O impacto da UPP nas relações da polícia militar com os moradores de uma favela ocupada”. Revista Brasileira de Sociologia do Direito , v. 6, n. 1, pp. 126-150. ), capable of guaranteeing the provision of public safety services through the constant presence of the police in the area (Cano, Borges and Ribeiro, 2012). It was implemented to prevent the occurrence of gunfights between drug dealers and between them and the police to “capture” territory ( Menezes, 2018MENEZES, Palloma Valle. (2018), “Vivendo entre dois deuses: a fenomenologia do habitar em favelas pacificadas”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 70-90. ). The use of recruits, not contaminated by the traditional culture of the Polícia Militar of Rio de Janeiro (PMERJ)3 3 . In Brazil, overt policing is carried out by the military police, and each Brazilian state has its own. of corruption and violence ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ), allied to community dialogue ( Carvalho, 2018CARVALHO, Monique Batista. (2018), “Bem-aventurados os pacificadores: práticas de militarização e disciplinarização dos corpos no programa de pacificação de favelas do Rio de Janeiro”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (ed.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 92-109. ), was intended to contribute to the end of violence and, perhaps, to the integration of the divided city ( Ventura, 1994VENTURA, Zuenir. (1994), Cidade partida . Rio de Janeiro: Companhia das Letras. ).

Between 2008 and 2013, a moment when the expectations of citizens inside and outside favelas seemed to be satisfied with this new form of police work ( Leite, 2012LEITE, Márcia Pereira. (2012), “Da metáfora da guerra ao projeto de pacificação: favelas e políticas de segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , v. 6, n. 2, pp. 374-388. ), the UPP policemen were portrayed by the media as heroes4 4 . A great example of this is the series “democracy in the favelas” published by O Globo in 2009, winner of the Esso prize in journalism. Accessed on 22 May 2019 and available at: http://memoria.oglobo.globo.com/jornalismo/premios-jornalisticos/haacute-democracia-nas-favelas-9216055 . They had freed favelas from the tyranny of drug dealers, guaranteeing those living in these areas the right to come and go by ending gunfights and police violence (Cano, Borges and Ribeiro, 2012).

The following years did not bring such promising results, leading to the fear of the return to the previous situation ( Cunha, 2015CUNHA, Christina Vital. (2015), “O medo do retorno do medo: Um ponto de inflexão no programa das UPPs”. Dilemas-Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social , v. 8, n. 1, pp. 41-62. ). This change began to be perceived due the lack of definition of a program’s structural base – still undecided five years after the inauguration of its first unit ( Misse, 2014MISSE, Daniel Ganem. (2014), “Cinco anos de UPP: um breve balanço”. Dilemas-Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social , v. 7, n. 3, pp. 675-700. ). While initially the UPPs were orientated by a communitarian policing philosophy ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ), over time they were transformed into proximity policing ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. ) through the combination of repressive methods and “community action” ( Carvalho, 2018CARVALHO, Monique Batista. (2018), “Bem-aventurados os pacificadores: práticas de militarização e disciplinarização dos corpos no programa de pacificação de favelas do Rio de Janeiro”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (ed.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 92-109.: 93). Until the end of the project, their essence remained uncertain, since proximity policing did not have “a more systematic conception of its practice” (Ibidem).

The lack of a clear definition of “proximity policing” meant that the “pacification” process expanded without a detailed regulation of how police should behave ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ) and of what UPP’s policy effectiveness indicators would be (Cano, Borges and Ribeiro, 2012). This absence meant a huge power for local commanders and for the frontline police ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. ), resulting in enormous diversity among the 38 UPPs implemented ( Couto, 2016COUTO, Maria Isabel MacDowell. (2016), UPP e UPP Social: narrativas sobre integração na cidade. Tese (Doutorado, Sociologia). IESP/UERJ, Rio de Janeiro. ).

The point of inflection of the metaphor of the police officer as a hero was the disappearance of the bricklayer Amarildo in Rocinha favela on 14 July 2013 ( Leite and Farias, 2018LEITE, Márcia Pereira; FARIAS, Juliana. (2018), “Militarização e dispositivos governamentais para lidar com os inimigos do/no Rio de Janeiro”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 240-260. ). In turn, the strength of the narrative of the UPP as a strategy involving the “continuous militarization of territory as a form of responding to the problem of public security” increased ( Miagusko, 2018MIAGUSKO, Edson. (2018), “A pacificação vista da Baixada Fluminense: violência, mercado político e militarização”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 161-177.: 163), leading to the continuity of the logic of war, notwithstanding the constant presence of the human rights discourse ( Rocha, 2018ROCHA, Lia. (2018), “Democracia e militarização no Rio de Janeiro: ‘pacificação’, intervenção e seus efeitos sobre o espaço público”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 223-238.: 233). The police started to be portrayed in the media as villains5 5 . In relation to this, see: https://g1.globo.com/rj/rio-de-janeiro/noticia/pms-e-criminosos-trocam-tiros-durante-operacao-policial-na-rocinha.ghtml , accessed on 22 May 2019. who sought to “civilize” the urban poor through the use of violence ( Leite et al., 2018LEITE, Márcia Pereira et al. (2018), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula. ). A new “regime” of life under siege was thus established ( Machado da Silva, 2008MACHADO DA SILVA, Luiz Antonio. (2008), Vida sob cerco: violência e rotina nas favelas do Rio de Janeiro . Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, pp. 35-76. ), leaving the residents between the “minefield” (resulting from constant police surveillance and the drug trade, “to prevent contact between residents and the enemy side”), and “crossfires” (visible in the return of gunfights in previously “pacified” areas) ( Menezes, 2018MENEZES, Palloma Valle. (2018), “Vivendo entre dois deuses: a fenomenologia do habitar em favelas pacificadas”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 70-90.: 82).

The UPPs were run down6 6 . In relation to this, see: https://www1.folha.uol.com.br/cotidiano/2018/04/upps-serao-extintas-para-reforcar-policiamento-de-outras-regioes-do-rio.shtml , accessed on 22 May 2019. after federal intervention in Rio de Janeiro was decreed in 2018, reinforcing the perspective that they had only been aimed at preparing the city for the megaevents (Misse, Vargas and Couto Filho, 2020). However, since “the failure of the project cannot be a justification to abandon them as a heuristic object” ( Rocha, 2018ROCHA, Lia. (2018), “Democracia e militarização no Rio de Janeiro: ‘pacificação’, intervenção e seus efeitos sobre o espaço público”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 223-238.: 225), in this article we seek to understand which factors contribute to a greater or a lesser confidence in the UPP police by the residents of “pacified” favelas .

This exercise does not involve reinforcing the dichotomy of the police as a hero or as a villain, since this Manicheanism is counterproductive for the understanding of the legacy of UPPs. The proposal is to understand these two categories as ideal types 7 7 . In the Weberian meaning of the term, in other words, a simplified model of reality, based on essential traits to explain the characteristics of determined phenomena. , since they were constructed as mediatic narratives and reinforced in the academic environment. Through the dialogue with more contemporary studies of determinants of confidence in the police, we sought to identify how the residents of favelas with UPPs positioned themselves in relation to the project. Also, we sought to identify which factors might have been worked on for the “pacification” to move towards proximity with the community ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. ) in the expense of the reinforcement of the “war metaphor” – which consists in a “symbolic repertoire in which sides/groups in confrontation are enemies and extermination is one of the strategies for victory” ( Leite, 2012LEITE, Márcia Pereira. (2012), “Da metáfora da guerra ao projeto de pacificação: favelas e políticas de segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , v. 6, n. 2, pp. 374-388.: 379).

THE DETERMINANTS OF CONFIDENCE IN THE POLICE: A REVISION OF THE LITERATURE

The English language uses two words to refer to the confidence in the police: trust , which seeks to capture interaction between individual police officers and citizens; and confidence , a set of attitudes towards the police as an institution, intimately related to people’s expectations of police work ( Bradford and Jackson, 2010BRADFORD, Ben; JACKSON, Jonathan. (2010), Trust and confidence in the police: a conceptual review. Available at SSRN 1684508.: 1). Combining these two categories, we refer to the belief that the police will be effective, fair, and exhibit values aligned to the community (Ibidem), resulting in the desire to have them close as an element guaranteeing security and inhibiting crime ( Awan et al., 2019AWAN, Imran et al. (2019), “Understanding the public perception and satisfaction of a UK police constabulary”. Police Practice and Research , v. 20, n. 2, pp. 172-184. ).

In the international literature, there is a certain consensus that confidence in the police can be explained by three factors: a) contact with the police ( Lee et al., 2019LEE, Heeuk D. et al. (2019), “Police contact and confidence in the police in a medium-sized city”. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice , v. 56, pp. 70-78. ); b) expectations about the results of their work ( Skogan, 2005SKOGAN, W. G. (2005), “Citizen Satisfaction with Police Encounters”. Police Quarterly , v. 8, n. 3, pp. 298-321. ); and c) the sociodemographic characteristics of individuals, such as age, race, gender, and education ( Cao and Wu, 2017CAO, Liqun; WU, Yuning. (2017), “Confidence in the police by race: taking stock and charting new directions”. Police Practice and Research , v. 20, n. 1, pp. 3-17. ). However, there is a hierarchy among these factors – with the most important one being the individuals contact established with the organization, which can undermine the “unquestionable belief” that the institution exists to protect citizens ( Lee et al., 2019LEE, Heeuk D. et al. (2019), “Police contact and confidence in the police in a medium-sized city”. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice , v. 56, pp. 70-78. ).

Contact with the police can be voluntary, when individuals use the police to resolve a problem ( Skogan, 2005SKOGAN, W. G. (2005), “Citizen Satisfaction with Police Encounters”. Police Quarterly , v. 8, n. 3, pp. 298-321. ); or involuntary, when the subject is stopped by the police ( Cao and Wu, 2017CAO, Liqun; WU, Yuning. (2017), “Confidence in the police by race: taking stock and charting new directions”. Police Practice and Research , v. 20, n. 1, pp. 3-17. ). Depending on how police treat the individuals on these occasions, confidence can increase or decrease ( Bradford and Jackson, 2010BRADFORD, Ben; JACKSON, Jonathan. (2010), Trust and confidence in the police: a conceptual review. Available at SSRN 1684508. ).

When someone is stopped and searched, one of the principal methodologies of police work, the perception of discrimination has a profound impact on police-community relations, resulting in greater hostility, lack of confidence and suspicion of authority ( Awan et al., 2019AWAN, Imran et al. (2019), “Understanding the public perception and satisfaction of a UK police constabulary”. Police Practice and Research , v. 20, n. 2, pp. 172-184.: 174). Stopping people violently results in the rejection of the police, reinforcing the perspective that police practices have to be perceived as fair for institutional legitimacy not to be damaged ( Skogan, 2005SKOGAN, W. G. (2005), “Citizen Satisfaction with Police Encounters”. Police Quarterly , v. 8, n. 3, pp. 298-321. ). Not everyone is due to have direct contact with police to form an opinion of them. In the absence of contact, gossips about how the police work in the area, widely disseminated opinion polls by the media, or televised actions constitute other elements that help to form the roots of confidence ( Lee et al., 2019LEE, Heeuk D. et al. (2019), “Police contact and confidence in the police in a medium-sized city”. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice , v. 56, pp. 70-78. ).

These two dimensions – direct interaction with the police and “rumors” about the police actions – mean that in places where the police traditionally act in a biased way (publicly attacking individuals with certain profiles), confidence in the institution is low ( Skogan, 2005SKOGAN, W. G. (2005), “Citizen Satisfaction with Police Encounters”. Police Quarterly , v. 8, n. 3, pp. 298-321. ). Therefore, there is a constant rejection of the police presence in areas inhabited by marginal and excluded groups, particularly young people and ethnic minorities ( Bradford and Jackson, 2010BRADFORD, Ben; JACKSON, Jonathan. (2010), Trust and confidence in the police: a conceptual review. Available at SSRN 1684508.: 5). A past of police violence in the peripheries means that young people (more critical of police actions) and subjects belonging to minorities tend to be afraid of being attacked by the police ( Lee et al., 2019LEE, Heeuk D. et al. (2019), “Police contact and confidence in the police in a medium-sized city”. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice , v. 56, pp. 70-78. ).

For this reason, people who fit the “suspect” profile tend to be stopped more often and thus to distrust the police more, rejecting their presence ( Skogan, 2005SKOGAN, W. G. (2005), “Citizen Satisfaction with Police Encounters”. Police Quarterly , v. 8, n. 3, pp. 298-321. ). This is reinforced by the fact that their reference groups (family and friends) share long narratives of police abuse ( Cao and Wu, 2017CAO, Liqun; WU, Yuning. (2017), “Confidence in the police by race: taking stock and charting new directions”. Police Practice and Research , v. 20, n. 1, pp. 3-17. ). In the peripheries of the large cities, the effect of skin color surpasses age as a determinant of confidence in the police, making race one of the most consistent factors for predicting attitudes towards the local police ( Awan et al., 2019AWAN, Imran et al. (2019), “Understanding the public perception and satisfaction of a UK police constabulary”. Police Practice and Research , v. 20, n. 2, pp. 172-184.: 174).

In the attempt to reconstruct the image of the police on cities’ peripheries, police organizations have developed community police programs ( Arias and Ungar, 2009ARIAS, Enrique Desmond; UNGAR, Mark. (2009), “Community policing and Latin America’s citizen security crisis”. Comparative Politics , v. 41, n. 4, pp. 409-429. ), which consist in the decentralization of decision-making by the organizational police hierarchy; the development of local responses to locally defined problems; and on the resolution of problems to respond to the concerns of crime and disorder in the community ( Braga, 2015BRAGA, Anthony Allan. (2015), “Crime and policing revisited”. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice.: 12). These experiences have multiplied in recent decades, with the aim of improving interaction between the police and the neighborhood, improving institutional legitimacy and increasing confidence in the police ( Skogan, 2005SKOGAN, W. G. (2005), “Citizen Satisfaction with Police Encounters”. Police Quarterly , v. 8, n. 3, pp. 298-321. ). Some analyses indicate that, despite not being very efficient for reducing crime in the long term, this model produces immediate and sustainable impacts on police legitimacy, contributing to the trust of a traditionally suspicious population ( Braga, 2015BRAGA, Anthony Allan. (2015), “Crime and policing revisited”. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. ).

In Brazil, studies related to the determinants of confidence in the police have similar results to those found in the United States. Brazilian literature highlights that contact with the police reduces trust in the institution, especially when it is initiated by the police itself ( Silva and Beato, 2013SILVA, Geélison F.; BEATO, Cláudio. (2013), “Confiança na polícia em Minas Gerais: o efeito da percepção de eficiência e do contato individual”. Opinião Pública , v. 19, n. 1, pp. 118-153. ; Zilli and Couto, 2017ZILLI, Luís Felipe; COUTO, Vinícius Assis. (2017), “Servir e proteger: determinantes da avaliação pública sobre a qualidade do trabalho das Polícias Militares no Brasil”. Sociedade e Estado , v. 32, n. 3, pp. 681-700. ; Zanetic, 2017ZANETIC, André. (2017), “Ação institucional, confiança na polícia e legitimidade em São Paulo”. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais , v. 32, n. 95, pp. 1-20. ). This occurs because the way police approach people is sufficient for citizens not to trust them ( Silva and Beato, 2013SILVA, Geélison F.; BEATO, Cláudio. (2013), “Confiança na polícia em Minas Gerais: o efeito da percepção de eficiência e do contato individual”. Opinião Pública , v. 19, n. 1, pp. 118-153.: 149), making the greatest effects on the police’s assessment (positive or negative) stem from factors related to good or bad police action. Hence, being a victim of violence or extorsion by police officers, as well as experiences of direct contact with the police, reduce confidence in the institution and its members ( Zilli and Couto, 2017ZILLI, Luís Felipe; COUTO, Vinícius Assis. (2017), “Servir e proteger: determinantes da avaliação pública sobre a qualidade do trabalho das Polícias Militares no Brasil”. Sociedade e Estado , v. 32, n. 3, pp. 681-700.: 681).

Similar to international studies, the perception of efficiency in resolving problems related to violence is the variable that has the utmost positive impact on confidence in the police ( Silva and Beato, 2013SILVA, Geélison F.; BEATO, Cláudio. (2013), “Confiança na polícia em Minas Gerais: o efeito da percepção de eficiência e do contato individual”. Opinião Pública , v. 19, n. 1, pp. 118-153.: 118). It indicates that people want the presence of police when their actions reduce crime rates. Zanetic (2017ZANETIC, André. (2017), “Ação institucional, confiança na polícia e legitimidade em São Paulo”. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais , v. 32, n. 95, pp. 1-20.: 11) found that the capacity of police to keep streets quiet, which is an indicator of police efficiency, increased in 2.5 times confidence in them. Similarly, Oliveira Júnior (2011:19) stated that confidence in the police is explained by the assessment of police performance, and that is why poor service “has a negative effect on trust, with a 38.2% decrease in the odds of confidence”.

This intrinsic relationship between the perception of legitimacy and confidence in the police presents an additional challenge in cities where police action is violent, since expectations about police actions may be due to their brutality. Moule Jr., Fox and Parry (2019) emphasize that high levels of legitimacy can contribute to the reduction of the perception that the police are militarized8 8 . In this paper, the authors define militarization based on the conjugation of three variables “(a) indefinition about the function of the Army and the Police, specifically the idea that the police are too militarized; (b) excessive use of military equipment, vehicles, and weapons to enforce the law; and (c) the use of advanced surveillance technologies to apply the law” (Moule Jr., Fox and Parry, 2019:153). Militarization involves “beliefs, values, and assumptions which emphasize the use of force and the threat of violence as the most appropriate and efficient means to resolve problems” (Idem:154). , even when they use war tactics in daily activities. For this reason, many authors predict that a high level of confidence in the police can reverberate in support for militarized practices, which are seen as methodologies for police work and, therefore, efficient mechanisms for maintaining order.

Depending on what individuals consider to be good police actions, such as the use of violence to improve security, tactics that reinforce the war metaphor ( Leite, 2012LEITE, Márcia Pereira. (2012), “Da metáfora da guerra ao projeto de pacificação: favelas e políticas de segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , v. 6, n. 2, pp. 374-388. ) can increase confidence in the institution, which goes against what is expected from police in a democracy ( Arias and Ungar, 2009ARIAS, Enrique Desmond; UNGAR, Mark. (2009), “Community policing and Latin America’s citizen security crisis”. Comparative Politics , v. 41, n. 4, pp. 409-429. ). Brazil seems to be a favorable scenario for this intricate relationship, due to its high levels of police lethality and due to the fact that 57% of Brazilians support the idea that a “good criminal is a dead criminal” ( FBSP, 2017FBSP (FÓRUM BRASILEIRO DE SEGURANÇA PÚBLICA). (2017), Anuário Brasileiro de Segurança Pública . São Paulo: FBSP. ). With these numbers, it is possible to state that greater confidence in the police can be a defining element of police efficiency ( Silva and Beato, 2013SILVA, Geélison F.; BEATO, Cláudio. (2013), “Confiança na polícia em Minas Gerais: o efeito da percepção de eficiência e do contato individual”. Opinião Pública , v. 19, n. 1, pp. 118-153. ). After all, there is a certain consensus that politics exalting police violence are commonly put into practice because they are popular, although they are almost exclusively directed to the most poor and vulnerable ( Zanetic, 2017ZANETIC, André. (2017), “Ação institucional, confiança na polícia e legitimidade em São Paulo”. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais , v. 32, n. 95, pp. 1-20.: 6).

It remains to be known whether those who suffer most from police action are also those who most support this model of militarized action. Apparently, the answer to this question is a resounding yes, since the lower the income, the greater the confidence in the police (Oliveira Júnior, 2011). For Silva and Beato (2013SILVA, Geélison F.; BEATO, Cláudio. (2013), “Confiança na polícia em Minas Gerais: o efeito da percepção de eficiência e do contato individual”. Opinião Pública , v. 19, n. 1, pp. 118-153.: 148), this intricate relationship is due to the fact that individuals with a lower socio-economic status are less critical and demanding in relation to police work and, as a result, they tend to support authoritarian behavior with greater frequency. It could be due to a perverse correlation between poverty and support for militarized tactics by the police, in the expectation that their action guarantees the control of crime in peripheral areas of large cities ( Zanetic, 2017ZANETIC, André. (2017), “Ação institucional, confiança na polícia e legitimidade em São Paulo”. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais , v. 32, n. 95, pp. 1-20. ; Silva and Beato, 2013SILVA, Geélison F.; BEATO, Cláudio. (2013), “Confiança na polícia em Minas Gerais: o efeito da percepção de eficiência e do contato individual”. Opinião Pública , v. 19, n. 1, pp. 118-153. ). This finding goes against the international literature, in which the negative experiences that black Americans have with police can lead to lower levels of legitimacy, which, consequently, is related to the lesser willingness to support aggressive policing strategies or tactics such as militarization (Moule Jr., Fox and Parry, 2019:168).

In Brazil, although the poorest trust the police more, there are differences in the determinants of confidence among this segment of the population. This relationship is mediated by factors such as age and skin color. National studies on confidence in the police have found that young people tend to have a lower evaluation of police work; and those who are not white demonstrate lower satisfaction with the work done by police (Oliveira Júnior, 2011:20). These results reinforce the perspective that confidence in the institution varies according to sociodemographic characteristics.

There are studies that scrutinize the relationship between police and society in the municipality of Rio de Janeiro (Muniz et al., 2018). In most of these, the militarized strategies used by the Polícia Militar to patrol poor areas are emphasized as a reinforcement of the war metaphor ( Leite, 2012LEITE, Márcia Pereira. (2012), “Da metáfora da guerra ao projeto de pacificação: favelas e políticas de segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , v. 6, n. 2, pp. 374-388. ), meaning that residents of these areas are refractory to the presence of police ( Leite et al., 2018LEITE, Márcia Pereira et al. (2018), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula. ).

The novelty of this article is to examine only the population resident in favela areas, with the aim of understanding the elements that contribute to higher confidence in the UPP police. Using the history of “pacification”, we can see the UPPs as a project that aimed the construction of new relationship between the police and the community, that used recruits – something unprecedented in this kind of program. This element would lead to differentiated contacts between residents and police, with the end of the police brutality evidenced in shootings with drug dealers and in the arregos 9 9 . Popular jargon for bribes paid by criminals to police officers. that enables illegal markets. ( Musumeci et al., 2013MUSUMECI, Leonarda et al. (2013), “Ser policial de UPP: aproximações e resistências”. Boletim Segurança e Cidadania , v. 14, pp. 1-28. ; Carvalho, 2018CARVALHO, Monique Batista. (2018), “Bem-aventurados os pacificadores: práticas de militarização e disciplinarização dos corpos no programa de pacificação de favelas do Rio de Janeiro”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (ed.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 92-109. ; Cano, Borges and Ribeiro, 2012; Misse, 2014MISSE, Daniel Ganem. (2014), “Cinco anos de UPP: um breve balanço”. Dilemas-Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social , v. 7, n. 3, pp. 675-700. ). By treating favela’s residents with respect, guaranteeing people security and reducing the odds of violence in these territories, it was believed that residents’ evaluation of the police work would improve and reverberate in greater trust in the UPP police.

To guarantee the expected effects in relation to the engagement of the population with the police ( Braga, 2015BRAGA, Anthony Allan. (2015), “Crime and policing revisited”. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. ), the policy could not have an expiration date. In the case of the UPPs, it means that they had to last longer than the megaevents ( Cavalcanti, 2015CAVALCANTI, Mariana. (2015), “Pacification Urbanism: a view from Rio’s old industrial suburbs”. In: J. D. Needell (org.), Emergent Brazil: key perspectives on a new global power . 1ª ed. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, v. 1, pp. 108-126. ). This dimension is related to the memory of the discontinuity of other projects of community policing in favelas since re-democratization ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ; Hollanda, 2005HOLLANDA, Cristina Buarque. (2005), Polícia e direitos humanos: política de segurança pública no primeiro governo Brizola (Rio de Janeiro, 1983-1986) . Rio de Janeiro: Revan. ). Without the guarantee that with the UPPs would be different, it would be hard for residents to collaborate with the police, given the possibility of the drug traffickers settling scores once the “pacification” had ended ( Menezes, 2018MENEZES, Palloma Valle. (2018), “Vivendo entre dois deuses: a fenomenologia do habitar em favelas pacificadas”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 70-90. ).

To guide data analysis, we assumed that the UPP police were represented by the media as heroes deserving the confidence of the area’s residents when the feeling of security increased; when they contributed to a greater circulation of individuals within the favela itself; and when the chance of people suffering any sort of violence fell. On the other hand, the UPP police were represented as villains, deserving the scorn of the residents when they reinforced the discrimination and abuse of traditional policing in their violent treatment of people; meaning that crime continued to be part of daily life in favelas ; through the victimization of residents by the police with physical and verbal aggression; or due to the continuity of firefights, which in the end was the great promise of “pacification”.

Since interactions with the police and expectations related to the police work are mediated by the socio-demographic characteristics of individuals, our assumption was that young and black citizens trusted the UPP police if they had interrupted the discriminatory approach that tended to be applied to these group ( Ramos and Musumeci, 2005RAMOS, Silvia; MUSUMECI, Leonarda. (2005), Elemento suspeito: abordagem policial e discriminação na cidade do Rio de Janeiro . Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira. ). For this reason, these variables needed to be considered in the analytical schemes proposed to understand this project ( Diagram 1 ).

Diagram 1
Variables considered for the analysis of determinants of confidence in the UPP Police (Rio de Janeiro, 2014-2016)

In summary, in this article we assume that confidence in the UPP police is a result of the combination of four groups of variables, which are the following: a) interaction with the police; b) expectations related to the police work; c) dynamics of the UPPs; and d) the sociodemographic characteristics ( Figure 1 ). These are the variables that would make residents perceive the police in a similar way to the media’s representations, sometimes as villains and sometimes as heroes.

Figure 1
Confidence in people and institutions (% little and much confidence)

METHODOLOGY

The data analyzed in this paper resulted from 2,000 domiciliary interviews carried out with individuals over 18 years of age, equally distributed among the first 10 favelas (called old UPPs) and the 10 most recent favelas (called recent UPPs) that received Police Pacification Units10 10 . There are two exceptions that do not fit this classification. In 2014, due to the death of the dancer Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira, we did not do the survey in the Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo favelas, but decided to include them in the survey carried out in 2015/2016. In the first round of the survey, we decided to replace Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo by Vidigal, whose UPP opened in January 2012. . We decided to construct these two groups due to the presence of the accommodation effect, when the “novelty” of the police came to be part of daily life in favelas (Oliveira, 2014). Examining the first UPPs means dealing with the effects of the UPP policy in the locations where it had become established ( Fleury, 2012FLEURY, Sonia. (2012), “Militarização do social como estratégia de integração: o caso da UPP do Santa Marta”. Sociologias , v. 14, n. 30, pp. 194-222. ), due to the understanding that the greatest problems of “pacification” were concentrated in the UPPs established in latest years ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. ). The researched favelas , as well as the date of the interviews, are shown in Table 1 .

Table 1
Location and time of maturation of UPPs at the date of the interview

The respondent selection process was based on random mechanisms. We used the list of all domiciles covered by UPPs taken from the National Register of Addresses for Statistical Purposes (CNEFE)11 11 . Cadastro Nacional de Endereços para Fins Estatísticos (CNEFE). and selected and drew by lots of 100 domiciles in each favela – guaranteeing a random process at all stages. The refusal rate was around 4%. With 2000 questionnaires, the data gathered had a margin of error of 3.1% with a confidence interval of 95%.

Respondents were women (54%), non-white (75%), with an average age of 45 years. On average, they had seven years of education, equivalent to incomplete fundamental education, and a family income of R$1761.4512 12 . Equivalent to 2.4 minimum wages in 2014 (when this was R$724.00); and two minimum wages in 2016 (when it was R$ 880.00). , as shown in Table 2 .

Table 2
Mean characteristics of respondents per favela

Due to sampling procedures, it is not possible to estimate models for each favela . Hence, we aim to understand the determinants of confidence in the UPP police as a whole, to the detriment of how this relationship was constituted in the 20 surveyed UPPs.

The statistical technique chosen for data analysis was the binomial logistic regression – in which the result was not the level of confidence, but how the likelihood of confidence is increased or reduced based on a determined phenomenon ( Zanetic, 2017ZANETIC, André. (2017), “Ação institucional, confiança na polícia e legitimidade em São Paulo”. Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais , v. 32, n. 95, pp. 1-20. ). To unveil the determinants of confidence in the UPP police, the original variable with five categories was recoded into just two: high confidence or low confidence (value 1); high distrust, low distrust or neutral positions (value 0).

With this recoding, the purpose of this study is to understand the variance in the odds ratio of the trust in the UPP policemen according to the phenomena that, in international and national literature, explain this relationship: a) experience of subjects with the police (approach, victimization by the police, and experience of shooting), b) expectations they place on police work (in terms of the prevention of crime and the reduction of fear) and c) sociodemographic variables (which reinforced interactions and beliefs about police actions). Considering the UPPs characteristics, a group of variables about the maturation of “pacification” was added, which were: d) length of time of the UPP at the survey date, e) belief that the project would continue after the Olympics, and f) length of residence in the community, which could indicate the memory of discontinuity of community policing projects ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ).

To interpret the results, we decided to emphasize the Exp(B), which symbolizes the odds ratio, which is the likelihood of confidence in the UPP police. It indicates the changes that occurs in the logit through the unitary change of the explanatory variables established in the model, showing how given characteristics contributed for increasing or decreasing the odds of confidence in the UPP police. From the generated results, in addition to dialoguing with international and national literature, we will use the ideal types of the UPP policemen (heroes and villains) to assess which one the interviewees’ perception were closest to.

THE DYNAMIC OF “PACIFICATION”: DOES IT MAKE SENSE TO SPEAK OF CONFIDENCE IN THE UPP POLICE?

Historically, the relationship between the police and the favelas in Rio de Janeiro had been based on tension and approximation ( McCann, 2013MCCANN, Bryan. (2013), Hard times in the marvelous city: From dictatorship to democracy in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro . Durhan and London: Duke University Press. ). Since the creation of the metaphor of the “divided city” ( Ventura, 1994VENTURA, Zuenir. (1994), Cidade partida . Rio de Janeiro: Companhia das Letras. ), the police raids in peripheral areas became frequent with the aim of “retaking territory” to “guarantee order” ( Couto, 2016COUTO, Maria Isabel MacDowell. (2016), UPP e UPP Social: narrativas sobre integração na cidade. Tese (Doutorado, Sociologia). IESP/UERJ, Rio de Janeiro. ), which contributed to situations of estrangement between the two sides (policemen and citizens) ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. ). The deterioration reached its peak at the end of the 1980s ( Hollanda, 2005HOLLANDA, Cristina Buarque. (2005), Polícia e direitos humanos: política de segurança pública no primeiro governo Brizola (Rio de Janeiro, 1983-1986) . Rio de Janeiro: Revan. ), when the entrance of weapons and cocaine into the illicit market multiplied its profitability, meaning that the interaction between police and traficantes 13 13 . Popular jargon for drug dealers. became more violent because of the search for greater profits, on both sides ( Leeds, 1996LEEDS, Elizabeth. (1996), “Cocaine and parallel polities in the Brazilian urban periphery: constraints on local-level democratization”. Latin American Research Review , v. 31, n. 3, pp. 47-83. ).

To attenuate this tension, since then PMERJ has sought to implement community policing projects, which consisted of the permanent occupation of favela areas to prevent violent incursions by the police ( Hollanda, 2005HOLLANDA, Cristina Buarque. (2005), Polícia e direitos humanos: política de segurança pública no primeiro governo Brizola (Rio de Janeiro, 1983-1986) . Rio de Janeiro: Revan. ). These approximations formed the core of experiences, such as the Integrated Community Policing Center (CIPOC) and the Police Group for Special Areas (GPAE), whose purpose were to guarantee, through “permanent” police occupation, the reduction of conflicts resulting in deaths ( McCann, 2013MCCANN, Bryan. (2013), Hard times in the marvelous city: From dictatorship to democracy in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro . Durhan and London: Duke University Press. ) and the reduction of drug dealers’ control of these areas ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ).

The beginning of these community policing projects, implemented by police officers who had been in the PMERJ for some years, was marked by optimism, sustained by the immediate effects of the reduction of armed violence ( Albernaz et al., 2007ALBERNAZ, Elizabete R.; CARUSO, Haydée; PATRÍCIO, Luciane. (2007), “Tensões e desafios de um policiamento comunitário em favelas do Rio de Janeiro”. São Paulo em Perspectiva , v. 21, n. 2, pp. 39-52. ). However, they were put at stake by cases of corruption, violent actions, and excesses in the use of force, all of which were widely reported ( Cardoso, 2016CARDOSO, Marcus. (2016), “Do GPAE à UPP: uma proposta de interpretação das percepções de moradores de favelas acerca dos projetos de policiamento comunitário ou de proximidade”. Sociedade e Cultura , v. 19, n. 1. ). A change of government led to the end of these experiences ( Carneiro, 2010CARNEIRO, Leandro Piquet. (2010), “Mudança de guarda: as agendas da segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , Ano 4, Edição 7, pp. 48-71. ). The police left the favelas worse than they entered: optimism and trust in “community policing” gave way to rejection of the police ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ) and, to regain lost credibility, the police once again mobilized the triad “shot, beat and bomb” that defines the traditional police culture ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. ). This pendular movement ( Carneiro, 2010CARNEIRO, Leandro Piquet. (2010), “Mudança de guarda: as agendas da segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , Ano 4, Edição 7, pp. 48-71. ) contributed to the institutionalization of the metaphor of war as a discursive device that has been mobilized since the 1980s to justify public safety policies that names the residents of favelas as potential enemies of the city ( Leite, 2012LEITE, Márcia Pereira. (2012), “Da metáfora da guerra ao projeto de pacificação: favelas e políticas de segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , v. 6, n. 2, pp. 374-388. ). In this discourse, favela’s residents are typified as “dangerous classes” without rights to be preserved or voices to be heard ( Leite and Farias, 2018LEITE, Márcia Pereira; FARIAS, Juliana. (2018), “Militarização e dispositivos governamentais para lidar com os inimigos do/no Rio de Janeiro”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 240-260.: 242).

To break this vicious cycle, the UPPs started with the recognition of traficantes as armed actors who possessed a monopoly of violence in favelas, establishing a type of criminal governance ( Kruijt and Koonings, 2015KRUIJT, Dirk; KOONINGS, Kees. (2015), New violence and criminal governance in Latin America. Paper for the 9th EISA Conference, Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy. Panel Law, the State, and Resistance, 23-26 September. ). To guarantee the right to come and go of the residents, it was necessary to regain state sovereignty in these territories through the constant presence of newly entered police officers in the corporation (Cano, Borges and Ribeiro, 2012), which would reduce the violence resulting from the “incursions marked by truculence and the arbitrary use of force” (Rodrigues, 2012:131). It was up to the recruits to show that the work was serious and that the UPP had come to stay ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51.: 34). For this, they needed to have a pattern of behavior distinct from the old police, which would lead to greater confidence ( Carneiro, 2010CARNEIRO, Leandro Piquet. (2010), “Mudança de guarda: as agendas da segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , Ano 4, Edição 7, pp. 48-71. ).

In the survey, we found that 31% of respondents said that they had (much or little) confidence in the PMERJ police (in general), while 38% stated that they had (much or little) confidence in the UPP police. On average, the confidence in the UPP police was seven percent higher than in the PMERJ police. In Figure 1 , it can be seen that the differences are much more substantial in the old UPPs: 40.9% confidence in the UPP police versus 32.3% for the non-UPP police. Even in recent UPPs, the difference is not insignificant: 35.1% have confidence in the UPP police while 29.7% have confidence in the non-UPP police.

From Figure 1 , we derive the hypothesis that the difference in the level of confidence in the UPP police can be related to the location in which the “pacification” was experienced. Disaggregating these percentages by UPP ( Figure 2 ), we found that in the oldest “pacifications” distrust in the police was around 30%. In the UPPs opened in 2012, distrust in the police reached a peak of 67% in Alemão and 62% in Cerro-Corá. This result reinforces the understanding that the “pacifications” were very different from each other ( Couto, 2016COUTO, Maria Isabel MacDowell. (2016), UPP e UPP Social: narrativas sobre integração na cidade. Tese (Doutorado, Sociologia). IESP/UERJ, Rio de Janeiro. ), and that the accommodation effect could be distinct depending on the favela in question ( Fleury, 2012FLEURY, Sonia. (2012), “Militarização do social como estratégia de integração: o caso da UPP do Santa Marta”. Sociologias , v. 14, n. 30, pp. 194-222. ).

Figure 2
Confidence in the UPP police (%), per favela in which the interview was held

The differences in the levels of confidence in the UPP police could result from how commanders and the frontline policemen constructed proximity with the population ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. )14 14 . Another but no less important explanation is that the old UPPs were implemented in areas with greater access to public services, higher per capita income, and which were not the “base of drug traffic”. The UPPs were initially implemented in the “quietest” favelas and for this reason the challenges were lower ( Fleury, 2012 ), which contributed to a greater effectiveness of the project and as a result greater facility in collaborating with the police. . The message transmitted in the official discourse to recruits was that their work should be oriented by ostensive patrolling of the whole favela ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ), during which there would be no use of force and whenever it was necessary to stop or search someone, this would be done in a respectful manner, without the use of weapons (Cano, Borges and Ribeiro, 2012).

This letter of intentions tried to ensure that the police would not make use of the traditional “repertoire of war”, which prioritized violent conflict with the drug trafficking gangs ( Teixeira, 2015TEIXEIRA, Cesar Pinheiro. (2015), “O ‘policial social’: algumas observações sobre o engajamento de policiais militares em projetos sociais no contexto de favelas ocupadas por UPPs”. Dilemas: Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social , v. 8, n. 1, pp. 77-96.: 78). They would use a “social repertoire”, which prioritized preventive action, through the development of activities that aimed, amongst other objectives, at the reduction of the involvement of people with crime (Ibidem). Being more “social” meant being similar to the “proximity policing” category, which came to officially define the project years after it has begun ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ). The expectation was that this new approach would contribute to an increase of confidence in the UPP police.

In Table 3 , we present the central tendency measures of the variables that try to portray what the UPP promised in terms of contact with the police and change in the dynamics of violence, as well as the dimensions that are related to the experience of this and other community policing projects – which could impact expectations regarding “pacification”. If the UPP police fulfilled the announced perspectives about police work, guaranteeing more security, confidence in its members would increase ( Lee et al., 2019LEE, Heeuk D. et al. (2019), “Police contact and confidence in the police in a medium-sized city”. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice , v. 56, pp. 70-78. ), transforming them into heroes. If they continued to act like the “old police”, using abuses to impose order, they would be perceived as villains.

Table 3
Descriptive statistics regarding the variables of contact with police, expectations about police work, and UPP dynamics

Among the researched UPPs, 78% of respondents believed that favelas were safer after the arrival of the UPP, while 91% of respondents affirmed that, with the arrival of “pacification”, residents’ rights were more respected. These were two promises of the project and the reason of police being portrayed as heroes. However, for 32% of respondents the chance of being a victim of violence in the community persisted, confirming the perception that the arrival of the so-called “pacification” did not meant the end of violence, but a change in patterns of crime and conflict ( Menezes, 2014MENEZES, Palloma Valle. (2014), “Os rumores da ‘pacificação’: A chegada da UPP e as mudanças nos problemas públicos no Santa Marta e na Cidade de Deus”. Dilemas: Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social , v. 7, n. 4, pp. 665-684.: 675) This perception reinforced the feeling that the police were not doing anything to avoid or even investigate the occurrence of crimes within the favela (Ibidem), which damaged the image of these police officers as heroes.

Another pillar of the UPPs would be its difference in relation to the “old police”, seen as violent, corrupt, and incapable of recognizing residents of favelas as citizens ( Burgos et al., 2012BURGOS, Marcelo Baumann et al. (2012), “O efeito UPP na percepção dos moradores das favelas”. Desigualdade & Diversidade , v. 11, pp. 49-97.: 74). This necessarily implied changes in the police practices (such as how they stopped and searched people, and shootings) under the penalty of transforming the hero into a villain. Personal and/or domiciliary searches, experienced by 23% of respondents, give a sample of the interaction between those who live in the favela and the UPP police. There was a constant suspicion on the part of the police that the residents were collaborating with the “drug traffic” ( Menezes, 2018MENEZES, Palloma Valle. (2018), “Vivendo entre dois deuses: a fenomenologia do habitar em favelas pacificadas”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 70-90. ), and searches were carried out to prevent this connection. This kind of methodology of work resulted in gossip about how the police acted, being that “the occurrence of constant police approaches and the rumor that inhabitants are being detained frequently for the simple fact that they are circulating in the favela without documents” ( Menezes, 2014MENEZES, Palloma Valle. (2014), “Os rumores da ‘pacificação’: A chegada da UPP e as mudanças nos problemas públicos no Santa Marta e na Cidade de Deus”. Dilemas: Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social , v. 7, n. 4, pp. 665-684.: 671). It ended up increasing the division between the police and the community.

Since a single negative experience can seriously harm confidence in the honesty of police operations ( Bradford and Jackson, 2010BRADFORD, Ben; JACKSON, Jonathan. (2010), Trust and confidence in the police: a conceptual review. Available at SSRN 1684508. ), any violence practiced by the UPP police could be sufficient to destroy confidence in the project as a whole to and to transform the policemen into villains. It thus calls attention for the fact that 9% of respondents were threatened, extorted, physically or verbally assaulted by the UPP police, while another 23% knew someone who had experienced the same violence. In total, 25% of respondents experienced direct and/or vicarious victimization by the UPP police – a relatively high percentage for a project whose discourse was the “pacification” of violence in the police themselves (Cano, Borges and Ribeiro, 2012)15 15 . Vicarious victimization was added to individual victimization because the majority of respondents (87%) said they had not suffered violence by the UPP police, but a large part of them (23%) stated that they knew someone who passed through this experience. We believe that as it happens in research on racism, some respondents did not recognize personal experience, attributing it to others, for which reason the individual victimization percentages were added in this variable. . Since news spreads in favelas faster than in other parts of the city ( Menezes, 2018MENEZES, Palloma Valle. (2018), “Vivendo entre dois deuses: a fenomenologia do habitar em favelas pacificadas”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 70-90. ), it is expected that both – the direct and indirect victims of the UPP police abuses – do not trust these professions and see them as villains.

For 25% of respondents, even with the UPPs, shootings continued to occur in their communities, demonstrating the inefficiency of the project. In these cases, the police are seen as villains because they are incapable of guaranteeing a ceasefire, which was the greatest expectation created by the “pacification” ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ).

In terms of the project’s institutionality, 49% were suspicious of UPPs’ ability to last beyond the Olympics – which were supposed to be the origin of their conformation ( Cavalcanti, 2015CAVALCANTI, Mariana. (2015), “Pacification Urbanism: a view from Rio’s old industrial suburbs”. In: J. D. Needell (org.), Emergent Brazil: key perspectives on a new global power . 1ª ed. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, v. 1, pp. 108-126. ). Since other experiences of “community policing” had failed ( Carneiro, 2010CARNEIRO, Leandro Piquet. (2010), “Mudança de guarda: as agendas da segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , Ano 4, Edição 7, pp. 48-71. ), for some respondents it was evident that the UPP would follow the same path and that everything would return “to the way it was before” once the megaevents ended ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ). Cunha (2015)CUNHA, Christina Vital. (2015), “O medo do retorno do medo: Um ponto de inflexão no programa das UPPs”. Dilemas-Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social , v. 8, n. 1, pp. 41-62. called this feeling as the “fear of the return of fear”, due to the return of shooting and the life under the rules imposed by the traficantes ( Machado da Silva, 2008MACHADO DA SILVA, Luiz Antonio. (2008), Vida sob cerco: violência e rotina nas favelas do Rio de Janeiro . Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, pp. 35-76. ), with reprisals against residents who spoke with the police or supported the UPPs ( Menezes, 2014MENEZES, Palloma Valle. (2014), “Os rumores da ‘pacificação’: A chegada da UPP e as mudanças nos problemas públicos no Santa Marta e na Cidade de Deus”. Dilemas: Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social , v. 7, n. 4, pp. 665-684.: 677). This feeling was potentialized by the memory of respondents who had lived for many years in the favelas covered by the survey (28 years, on average) and had experienced other PMERJ community policing programs, notably GPAE ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ).

Finally, since the experience of “pacification” is essentially diverse depending on the moment that the project arrived in the favela ( Fleury, 2012FLEURY, Sonia. (2012), “Militarização do social como estratégia de integração: o caso da UPP do Santa Marta”. Sociologias , v. 14, n. 30, pp. 194-222. ), a control variable of where the respondent lived at the time of the survey was included: whether in areas where some policy accommodation had occurred (50% of the questionnaires), or in locations where “pacification”’ had occurred in the last years of the project (50% of the questionnaires), when it was already in crisis (Rodrigues, 2016).

Considering the values shown in Table 3 , we can assert that there were explicit ambiguities about the effects of the “pacification”. Despite the majority of respondents saying that security had increased and that there was more respect for residents’ rights, a quarter of those living in areas with UPPs stated that shootings were still part of the favela’s routine and that brutal aggressions and curses by the police kept going on. It is important to assess if these oppositions will remain when all the determinants of confidence in the police are triggered, which would make them neither heroes nor villains.

HEROES OR VILLAINS: WHAT ARE THE DETERMINANTS OF CONFIDENCE IN THE UPP POLICE?

“Pacification” was a project formed through practice, since unregulated “proximity policing” without regulation was transformed into a blank check that led to the excess of attributions to the police (Misse, Vargas and Couto, 2020). To act, they should rely on the commanders’ direction, good will and personal intuition ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. ). Some proclaimed themselves as professionals who would take care of matters that used to belong to drug dealers, understanding that their role was to replace the traficantes in regulating social life from loud sound to domestic violence conflicts (Cecchetto, Correa and Farias, 2016). Others attributed themselves the mission of civilizing the urban poor, said to be refractory to the culture of asfalto 16 16 . In popular jargon, the city areas that are not favelas are called asfalto (asphalt). It is a counterpoint to the favelas , which are mostly located on the city’s hills ( morros ). ( Rocha, 2018ROCHA, Lia. (2018), “Democracia e militarização no Rio de Janeiro: ‘pacificação’, intervenção e seus efeitos sobre o espaço público”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 223-238. ), using force as a mediation resource ( Leite and Farias, 2018LEITE, Márcia Pereira; FARIAS, Juliana. (2018), “Militarização e dispositivos governamentais para lidar com os inimigos do/no Rio de Janeiro”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 240-260. ).

In the reality of life in favelas , residents’ support for the UPP was related to the ending of armed conflicts and stray bullets ( Fleury, 2012FLEURY, Sonia. (2012), “Militarização do social como estratégia de integração: o caso da UPP do Santa Marta”. Sociologias , v. 14, n. 30, pp. 194-222. ). With less “war” in these areas, the routine of these individuals would “no longer be affected by the presence and activity of traficantes ” ( Leite, 2012LEITE, Márcia Pereira. (2012), “Da metáfora da guerra ao projeto de pacificação: favelas e políticas de segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , v. 6, n. 2, pp. 374-388.: 383), which was an enormous gain in the freedom to come and go. Since the mechanisms used for this “ceasefire” varied substantially among UPPs ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ), some residents praised the police and other insisted “on denunciations of violations of their civil rights and violence by police agents in UPPs, who had not really broken away from the public safety policies carried out in the previous context” ( Leite, 2012LEITE, Márcia Pereira. (2012), “Da metáfora da guerra ao projeto de pacificação: favelas e políticas de segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , v. 6, n. 2, pp. 374-388.: 383).

It is thus impossible to assert the existence of a public policy strictly speaking ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ), reinforcing the perception that the ‘pacification’ depended directly on the interactions between residents and police ( Rodrigues, 2014RODRIGUES, Robson. (2014), “Os dilemas da pacificação: Notícias de Guerra e Paz em uma ‘Cidade Maravilhosa’”. Instituto Igarapé. Artigo Estratégico: tornando as cidades brasileiras mais seguras: edição especial dos diálogos de segurança cidadã, pp. 68-90. ) and the benefits that people saw in the presence of police in the favela (Cano, Borges and Ribeiro, 2012). To understand how these factors combined and explained the likelihood of confidence in the UPP police, a binomial logistic regression model was estimated. The results can be seen in Table 4 .

Table 4
Results of the binomial logistic regression model estimating the likelihood of confidence in the UPP police (Rio de Janeiro, 2014-2016)

The variables that did not reach the statistical significance are: to be searched by UPP police; to have greater respect for residents’ rights with the arrival of “pacification”; whether the UPP was old or recent; length of residence in the community; gender; skin color; level of schooling; and domiciliary income. Hence, the majority of sociodemographic characteristics did not reach statistical significance, contrary to the expectations of the national and international literature. Probably this is so because the individuals living in Rio de Janeiro’s peripheries are very homogenous in terms of race, income and level of schooling. Race did not prove to be relevant, which can result from the fact that 75% of respondents were black or non-white. Age – mentioned in the literature review as an important dimension in understanding the determinants of confidence in the police ( Lee et al., 2019LEE, Heeuk D. et al. (2019), “Police contact and confidence in the police in a medium-sized city”. International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice , v. 56, pp. 70-78. ) – had statistical significance. The results indicated that in “pacified” areas, young people were extremely critical of the “pacification” model of police action, which implied additional difficulties in the construction of a better relationship between them and the police.

According to the binomial logistics regression model, the variables that reduce the likelihood of confidence in the UPP police are: presence of shooting, even with the arrival of UPPs (reduces in 53% the odds of confidence); the perception of a high probability of suffering from violence even after “pacification” (reduces the odds in 35%); and the experience of (personal or vicarious) violence perpetrated by the UPP police (reduces the odds in 26%).

The presence of aggression in the favela (despite the promise that UPPs would end this) as well as the permanence of abusive behavior by the police (in spite of the slogan of the “new police”) meant that these professionals were seen as part of the problem, bringing them closer to the portrait of villains. In this case, there is the reproduction of the stereotype of the policemen as a corrupt subject, incapable of respecting the rights of the poor and useless in preventing violence. Low confidence in the police is a key point because the policing promised by “pacification” was based on mutual trust ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ), since “residents valorized attitudes of approximation with the police who can, based on interpersonal relations, create a climate of trust” ( Burgos et al., 2012BURGOS, Marcelo Baumann et al. (2012), “O efeito UPP na percepção dos moradores das favelas”. Desigualdade & Diversidade , v. 11, pp. 49-97.: 76). If the police acted in a violent manner, the trust would be broken and the project would collapse, meaning that the “pacification” would follow the same path as other community policing projects tested in Rio de Janeiro ( Carneiro, 2010CARNEIRO, Leandro Piquet. (2010), “Mudança de guarda: as agendas da segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , Ano 4, Edição 7, pp. 48-71. ).

On the other hand, the variables that increase the likelihood of confidence in the UPP police are: believing in the continuity of the project after the Olympics (increases the odds of confidence in 44%); and a greater feeling of security after the arrival of the UPP (increases the odds in 330%). If the police are capable of fulfilling one of their essential functions – the guarantee of security – those who achieve it become trustable and their presence comes to be desired in the community ( Teixeira, 2015TEIXEIRA, Cesar Pinheiro. (2015), “O ‘policial social’: algumas observações sobre o engajamento de policiais militares em projetos sociais no contexto de favelas ocupadas por UPPs”. Dilemas: Revista de Estudos de Conflito e Controle Social , v. 8, n. 1, pp. 77-96. ).

The results of the binomial logistic regression indicate that confidence in the UPP police can be explained by the capacity of these professionals to make “pacification” something different from traditional policing. If the police produce more security and remain there beyond the Olympics, not reproducing the previous policies’ mistakes, than they deserve confidence. On the contrary, if they reproduce the vicissitudes of the PMERJ, characterized as violent and as potentiator of shootings, they do not deserve confidence. Comparing the value of the Exp(B), we found that contact was not as important for confidence in the UPP police as satisfaction of expectations. While the presence of shooting reduced the odds of confidence in the police by 53%, the feeling that there was more security increased it by 330%. Feeling safe was thus the element that most impacted the confidence in the UPP police officers.

Given these results, we can state that the UPP police cannot be seen either as heroes or villains, with the feeling of the respondents towards “pacification” being ambivalent. We understand that the UPP police could be represented as heroes worthy of the trust of local residents when they helped to increase the feeling of security, guaranteed greater circulation of individuals within the favela and decreased the likelihood of residents suffering any kind of violence. Of these three requirements, two were met for a while. The increase in the feeling of security contributed to the affection for the UPP police, while the sensation of being liable to become a victim of violence reduced confidence.

As in the case of heroes, two dimensions of villains found resonance in the data analyzed. We understand that the UPP policemen could be represented as villains who should be despised by the residents when they represented the reincarnation of the old police, with their violent approaches, increasing the problem of crime in the life in favelas , with the victimization of the residents by the police through physical and verbal aggression – which showed statistical significance, reducing the odds of confidence in UPP police officers by 26%. They were seen as villains especially when they did not contribute to the end of shootings, which was the great promise of the project – the presence of the shootings reduces the degree of confidence in the UPP policemen by 53%.

Therefore, we can conclude that the determinants of confidence in the UPP police indicate an ambiguous feeling, as the police officers were sometimes perceived as heroes, sometimes as villains. Respondents sought approximation with the project in the perspective of having greater safety and lower chances of suffering violence, but they desired distance from this experience due to exposure to police brutality, of which shooting was the maximum expression. The fear that the “pacification” would end after the Olympics contributed to this ambivalence not to dissipate over time. In 2018, two years after the Olympic Games, we witnessed the end of the UPPs with the decree of federal intervention ( Miagusko, 2018MIAGUSKO, Edson. (2018), “A pacificação vista da Baixada Fluminense: violência, mercado político e militarização”. In: M. P. Leite et al. (eds.), Militarização no Rio de Janeiro: da “pacificação” à intervenção . Rio de Janeiro: Mórula, pp. 161-177. ), leaving as a legacy unresolved issue in the relationship between the police and the community, and the difficulty of a new approximation, given the activation of new militarization practices (Misse, Vargas and Couto Filho, 2020).

FINAL NOTES

In this article, we seek to understand the determinants of confidence in the UPP police as a way of elucidating the elements which contributed to this program to be simultaneously desired and repelled by those who experienced it daily. In this posthumous assessment of the determinants of confidence in the UPP police, we wanted to identify the points that collaborated to a positive assessment of the police action, which can serve as the basis for the next experience of community approximation, as it tends to occur in Rio de Janeiro ( McCann, 2013MCCANN, Bryan. (2013), Hard times in the marvelous city: From dictatorship to democracy in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro . Durhan and London: Duke University Press. ).

To understand the challenges that the UPP intended to overcome, we reported how historically the alternation between community policing programs and the use of war tactics in favelas occurred – that has trapped PMERJ in a vicious circle since re-democratization ( Carneiro, 2010CARNEIRO, Leandro Piquet. (2010), “Mudança de guarda: as agendas da segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , Ano 4, Edição 7, pp. 48-71. ). The UPP was expected to break this pattern, but instead we saw that it reproduced this path dependence (Leite et al, 2018), as announced by the residents that compared UPP to the GPAE when the first units started to be implemented ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ).

The data presented in this paper indicate that the UPP police cannot be considered as heroes, in the sense of returning democracy to the favelas ( Kruijt and Koonings, 2015KRUIJT, Dirk; KOONINGS, Kees. (2015), New violence and criminal governance in Latin America. Paper for the 9th EISA Conference, Giardini Naxos, Sicily, Italy. Panel Law, the State, and Resistance, 23-26 September. ). They often acted in an abusive manner, contrary to the project’s assumptions, subjecting the residents of these areas to violence and not guaranteeing a “ceasefire” from firefights ( Rodrigues and Siqueira, 2012RODRIGUES, André; SIQUEIRA, Raíza. (2012), “Unidades de polícia pacificadora: debates e reflexões”. Comunicações do ISER , ano 31, n. 67, pp. 9-51. ). Nor can they be classified as villains, due to their capacity to often guarantee greater security in some favelas , with this being the result most valued by our respondents ( Carneiro, 2010CARNEIRO, Leandro Piquet. (2010), “Mudança de guarda: as agendas da segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , Ano 4, Edição 7, pp. 48-71. ).

In this exercise, we were interested in verifying if the factors that contributed to the likelihood of confidence in the UPP police were the same of those presented in the national and international literature. We found that in terms of sociodemographic characteristics, only age had statistical significance, going against other studies, which pointed to the prominence of race. Probably, this result was related to the fact that the majority of respondents were black, with low incomes, and a low level of education. In this group, heterogeneity was demarcated by age and for this reason only this factor influenced the results, reinforcing the finding that young people are those most critical to police work, which implies obvious challenges for the implementation of “community policing” ( Braga, 2015BRAGA, Anthony Allan. (2015), “Crime and policing revisited”. US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, National Institute of Justice. ).

In the comparison of the factors that most affected the likelihood of confidence in UPP police, we found that the effect of feeling safer after the arrival of the UPP overcame the rejection related to the continuity of shooting. With this, we found that in the “pacification” the variables related to expectations about the police work outweigh the effects of the interaction with the police, in contrast to what was hypothesized in other studies. Such a result can be a warning about the risk of militarization reinforcement, since international research indicates that good assessments of police work help to cover up the nuances of war triggered by the “guarantee of order” (Moule Jr., Fox and Parry, 2019).

In conclusion, we believe that the UPP policemen should be seen as hybrid characters between the hero and the villain, who, while guaranteeing more security, violated the basic assumption of democracy from their violent and corrupt action – which ended up contributing to the continuity of the shootings and, today, to the war metaphor ( Leite, 2012LEITE, Márcia Pereira. (2012), “Da metáfora da guerra ao projeto de pacificação: favelas e políticas de segurança pública no Rio de Janeiro”. Revista Brasileira de Segurança Pública , v. 6, n. 2, pp. 374-388. ).

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NOTES

  • 1
    . We adopted 2018 as the moment when the formal weakening of UPPs began.
  • 2
    . This term will be used with quotation marks due to its use in distinct policies, despite the constancy in the signification of the term in Brazilian history. It is, “a central category which ran through five centuries, from colonial history to republican Brazil, until then uniquely used for the autochthone population, as they were supposedly governed by values and standards of behavior absolutely different from the Western ones” ( Pacheco de Oliveira, 2014PACHECO DE OLIVEIRA, João. (2014), “Pacificação e tutela militar na gestão de populações e territórios”. Mana , v. 20, n. 1, pp. 125-161.: 127).
  • 3
    . In Brazil, overt policing is carried out by the military police, and each Brazilian state has its own.
  • 4
    . A great example of this is the series “democracy in the favelas” published by O Globo in 2009, winner of the Esso prize in journalism. Accessed on 22 May 2019 and available at: http://memoria.oglobo.globo.com/jornalismo/premios-jornalisticos/haacute-democracia-nas-favelas-9216055
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
    . In the Weberian meaning of the term, in other words, a simplified model of reality, based on essential traits to explain the characteristics of determined phenomena.
  • 8
    . In this paper, the authors define militarization based on the conjugation of three variables “(a) indefinition about the function of the Army and the Police, specifically the idea that the police are too militarized; (b) excessive use of military equipment, vehicles, and weapons to enforce the law; and (c) the use of advanced surveillance technologies to apply the law” (Moule Jr., Fox and Parry, 2019:153). Militarization involves “beliefs, values, and assumptions which emphasize the use of force and the threat of violence as the most appropriate and efficient means to resolve problems” (Idem:154).
  • 9
    . Popular jargon for bribes paid by criminals to police officers.
  • 10
    . There are two exceptions that do not fit this classification. In 2014, due to the death of the dancer Douglas Rafael da Silva Pereira, we did not do the survey in the Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo favelas, but decided to include them in the survey carried out in 2015/2016. In the first round of the survey, we decided to replace Pavão-Pavãozinho and Cantagalo by Vidigal, whose UPP opened in January 2012.
  • 11
    . Cadastro Nacional de Endereços para Fins Estatísticos (CNEFE).
  • 12
    . Equivalent to 2.4 minimum wages in 2014 (when this was R$724.00); and two minimum wages in 2016 (when it was R$ 880.00).
  • 13
    . Popular jargon for drug dealers.
  • 14
    . Another but no less important explanation is that the old UPPs were implemented in areas with greater access to public services, higher per capita income, and which were not the “base of drug traffic”. The UPPs were initially implemented in the “quietest” favelas and for this reason the challenges were lower ( Fleury, 2012FLEURY, Sonia. (2012), “Militarização do social como estratégia de integração: o caso da UPP do Santa Marta”. Sociologias , v. 14, n. 30, pp. 194-222. ), which contributed to a greater effectiveness of the project and as a result greater facility in collaborating with the police.
  • 15
    . Vicarious victimization was added to individual victimization because the majority of respondents (87%) said they had not suffered violence by the UPP police, but a large part of them (23%) stated that they knew someone who passed through this experience. We believe that as it happens in research on racism, some respondents did not recognize personal experience, attributing it to others, for which reason the individual victimization percentages were added in this variable.
  • 16
    . In popular jargon, the city areas that are not favelas are called asfalto (asphalt). It is a counterpoint to the favelas , which are mostly located on the city’s hills ( morros ).

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    13 Nov 2020
  • Date of issue
    2020

History

  • Received
    7 Aug 2017
  • Reviewed
    4 June 2019
  • Accepted
    3 Sept 2019
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