Military Police (Brazil)


Military Police (Brazil)
Military Police
Polícia Militar
Brasão Nacional PPMM.PNG
Insignia of the Military Police used since 1957.[1]
Active 1834
Country  Brazil
Type Gendarmerie
Size 400,000 active personnel[2]
Part of Military Reserve Force
of Brazilian Army
Nickname PM
Patron Joaquim José da Silva Xavier
Anniversaries April 21
Engagements 1835 - War of the Farrapos
1835 - Cabanagem
1835 - Malê Revolt
1838 - Balaiada
1848 - Praieira Revolt
1851 - Ronco da Abelha Revolt
1864 - War of the Triple Alliance
1874 - Quebra-Quilos Revolt
1874 - Revolt of the Muckers
1893 - Revolt of the Navy
1893 - Federalist Revolution
1893 - War of Canudos
Fight against the Cangaço
1912 - Contestado War
1922 - Tenente Revolts
1924 - Revolts of 1924
1925 - Prestes Column
1930 - Revolution of 1930
1932 - Revolution of 1932
1935 - Communist Revolt
1967 - Guerrilla Warfares
Fight against the narco-trafficking
*May 2006 São Paulo violence
*2010 Rio de Janeiro Security Crisis
Commanders
Commander Governors of the States
Ceremonial chief General-Commander of each PM

In Brazil, the Military Police (Portuguese: Polícia Militar; PM) are preventive state police forces responsible for maintaining public order within the States and the Federal District, and are subordinate to the state governments. The investigation of crimes, such as detective work, forensics and criminal investigation, is handled by the Civil Police forces of the states.

Each state has its own Military Police, with different formations, rules and uniforms. The military police forces of the states are distinct from the provost forces of the army, navy and airforce.

The Military Polices and Military Firefighters Corps, are also reserve troops and ancillary forces of the Brazilian Army, and part of the National Public Security and Social Defense System of Brazil.[3] In time of war (or other emergencies) the military police forces can be pressed into federal service.

The provost corps for each of the Brazilian Armed Forces: Army Police (Portuguese: Polícia do Exército, PE) for the Army, Navy Police (Portuguese: Polícia da Marinha) for the Navy, and (Portuguese: Polícia da Aeronaútica, PA) Air Force Police for the Air Force.

There is also a joint National Public Security Force (Portuguese: Força Nacional de Segurança Pública), created in 1999. This force is composed of the most qualified State Military Police personnel from all the states, only to be used when the governor of a state asks for help to control a significant security crisis.

Contents

History

The first militarized police in Portugal (when Brazil was still a colony) was the Royal Police Guard of Lisbon (Portuguese: Guarda Real de Polícia de Lisboa), established in 1801;[4] which followed by model the National Gendarmerie (French: Gendarmerie Nationale) of France, created in 1791.

When the Portuguese Royal Family was transferred to Brazil, the Royal Police Guard of Lisbon remained in Portugal, and another equivalent was created in Rio de Janeiro, under the name of Military Division of the Royal Guard Police of Rio de Janeiro, in 1809.[5]

With the abdication of Emperor Pedro I in 1831, the Regency held reformulations on the Brazilian Armed Forces. The Royal Guard Police of Rio de Janeiro was extinct,[6] and replaced by the Municipal Guard Corps of Volunteers;[7] a type of security force similar to the National Guard. The same law allowed each province to establish its own Guard of Volunteers.

In 1834 Pedro I died in Portugal and this reduced the fear in Brazil of a reunification of the kingdoms. The Guard of Volunteers were then transformed into Province Police Corps, with professional troops.[8] The Police Corps were created with the same structure as the Army, and to serve as reserve troops when necessary.

With the Proclamation of the Republic, Brazil adopted a constitution based on the United States' one, where the states have a large autonomy. The Corps of Police began to be administered by the states and became smaller regional armies, with infantry, cavalry, artillery, and later, even with air forces. This dangerous situation to the national security remained until the end of World War II, with the deposition of the dictatorial government of Getúlio Vargas.

After World War II, the Military Police assumed the roles of a more "traditional" police force, similar to a gendarmerie subject to the states.[9] They sought a rapprochement with the civil society, slowly developing the configuration it currently possesses.

Structure

Organization

The Secretariat for Public Security (Secretaria de Segurança Pública--SSP) supervises all state police activities. The SSPs are subordinate to the National Council of Public Security (Conselho Nacional de Segurança Pública - CONASP).[10]

According to Article 144 of the federal constitution, the function of the Military Polices "is to serve as a conspicuous police force and to preserve public order." The Military Police of any state are organized as a military force and have a military-based rank structure. Training is weighted more heavily toward police matters, but counterinsurgency training is also included. Arms and equipment of state forces include machine guns and armored cars, in addition to other items generally associated with police.[11]

Article 144 of the constitution stipulates that: "The Military Police forces and the Military Firefighters Corps, ancillary forces and army reserve, are subordinate, along with the Civil Police forces, to the governors of the states, Federal District, and territories." Between 1969 and 1985, the Ministry of Army has controlled the Military Police during periods of declared national emergency. Before 1930 these forces were under individual state control, and known as "the governors' armies." They sometimes outnumbered regular troops in many states. In 1932, after Constitutionalist Revolution in São Paulo, the Federal Army took steps to reverse this situation. In 1964 most Military Police members were on the side of the successful conspirators.[12]

During military dictatorship, Military Police units were often commanded by active-duty army officers, but that has occurred less frequently as professional police officers have achieved higher ranks and positions. The commandant of a state's Military Police is usually a Colonel. The command is divided into police regions, which deploy police battalions and companies. Firefighting is also a Military Police function in some states, but they are organized in separate units. State traffic police are either the State Highway Police (Polícia Rodoviária Estadual), or the Traffic Police (Polícia de Trânsito) in the larger cities. Both are part of the state Military Police.[13]

The Military Police is organized into battalions (Portuguese: Batalhão de Polícia Militar), companies (Portuguese: Companhia de Polícia Militar), platoons (Portuguese: Pelotão de Polícia Militar), and subdivided into detachments (Portuguese: Destacamento de Polícia Militar). The battalions are based in major urban centers, and their companies and platoons are distributed according to population density in cities.
The mounted police is organized into regiments (Portuguese: Regimento de Polícia Montada), subdivided into squadrons (Portuguese: Esquadrão de Polícia Montada) and platoons of mounted police.

Nomenclature

Throughout Brazil the Military Police is known by the acronym PM, followed by the abbreviation of the State. Except in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, where the unit is known as Military Brigade.

Mapa do Brasil por regiões.PNG

These forces are distinct from the three provost forces that police the Brazilian armed forces: The Naval Police (Portuguese: Polícia da Marinha), Army Police (Portuguese: Polícia do Exército), and Aeronautical Police (Portuguese: Polícia da Aeronaútica)

Uniforms

The Brazilian Armed Forces inherited Portuguese military traditions, and during the period of the Empire and part of the Republic, with few exceptions, were used blue colored uniforms.

Military Police of the Sao Paulo State.

In 1903 the Brazilian Army opted for khaki colored field uniforms, later copied by the Military Police. In 1934 the Ministry of War established the color khaki for all the reserve forces.

Military Police of the Rio de Janeiro State use dark blue uniforms.

After the Second World War, the Military Police had the autonomy to adopt its own uniforms, but most stayed with the khaki. During the Military Government in 1976, the Army suggested that the Military Police adopt the blue color (color of the uniform of the Military Police of the Federal District). Since then, some units have changed their uniforms, others have not.

Currently the color khaki (with variations to beige) and blue (with variations of gray to dark blue) prevail in the colors of the uniforms of the Military Police.

  • Forcess with khaki uniforms
BMRS, PMAC, PMAL, PMBA, PMCE, PMGO, PMMG, PMPB, PMPR, PMPE, PMPI, PMSC, and PMTO.
  • Forces with blue uniforms (includes Blue-grey)
PMAP, PMAM, PMDF, PMES, PMMA, PMMS, PMMT, PMERJ, PMRN, PMRO, PMRR and PMSE.
  • Forces with grey uniforms
PMESP
  • Forces with green uniforms
PMPA

This applies only to service uniforms, not to the formal uniform, which has different variations.

Ranks

The Military Police of the Brazilian States have almost the same hierarchical classification[14] of the Army, but with different insignias and with no rank of "general".

Colonel
(Coronel)
Lieutenant Colonel
(Tenente-Coronel)
Major
(Major)
Captain
(Capitão)
Lieutenant
(Primeiro Tenente)
Second Lieutenant
(Segundo Tenente)
Aspirant
(Aspirante)
Insignia PM O1.PNG
Insignia PM O2.PNG
Insignia PM O3.PNG
Insignia PM O4.PNG
Insignia PM O5.PNG
Insignia PM O6.PNG
Insignia PM O7.PNG
Sub-Lieutenant
(Subtenente)
First Sergeant
(Primeiro Sargento)
Second Sergeant
(Segundo Sargento)
Third Sergeant
(Terceiro Sargento)
Corporal
(Cabo)
Private
(Soldado)
Insignia PM O8.PNG
Insignia PM P1.PNG
Insignia PM P2.PNG
Insignia PM P3.PNG
Insignia PM P5.PNG

Insignia PM P6.PNG

Main types of policing

Military Police of the Rio de Janiero State - 2006.

Ratio of Military Police to Population

Analysis by the Federal Government of the ratio of resident population to the number of official Military Police in 2003 shows that the proportion is quite varied among the states. The states of Roraima, Amapá, Acre, Rondônia, Rio Grande do Norte and Rio de Janeiro, plus the Federal District have a higher proportion of Military Police. In the Federal District, for example, for each military police there are one hundred and thirty-seven inhabitants.

At the opposite extreme, the states with the lowest ratio of military police are Pará, Maranhão, Piauí, Ceará, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul. Maranhão has the lowest, with eight hundred and twenty-two people per Military Police.

Note that in the case of São Paulo, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia and Rondônia the numbers of the Military Firefighters Corps are included in the figures for Military Police.[15]

National Force of Public Safety

Brasão FNSP mini.PNG
FNSP in Rio de Janeiro - 2007.

In situations of serious disturbance of the public order that exceeds the capacity of the State, the Governors can request assistance from the Federal Government.
To work in such situations, the Ministry of Justice has the National Force of Public Safety (Portuguese: Força Nacional de Segurança Pública; FNSP).

The FNSP is composed by specially trained officers of the Military Police of different States, in coordination between the Secretary of Public Safety of each State and the Ministry of Justice.

Inspectorate General of Military Police

Brasão IGPM.PNG

The Inspectorate General of Military Police (Portuguese: Inspetoria Geral das Polícias Militares) - IGPM is a command element of the Brazilian Army, responsible for coordinating and conducting activities of control over the Military Police and Military Firefighters Corps of States.[16]
It is part of the Land Operations Command (Portuguese: Comando de Operações Terrestres) - COTER and its mission is:

  • The establishment of principles, guidelines and standards for the effective implementation of control and coordination of the Military Police under Command of the Army, through its Military Area Commands, Regions and other Major Military Command;
  • The control of the organization and legislation, personnel and equipment of military police, such as:
Weapons, ammunition, communications equipment, chemical agents, military equipment, vehicles, aircraft and boats.
  • Collaboration in studies aiming to rights, justice and guarantees of the Military Police, and the establishment of conditions for convening and mobilization;
  • Coordinating and monitoring compliance with the provisions of relevant State and Federal Legislation;
  • Conduct regular inspections.

Criticisms

Elements within the Military Police in some states have been notorious for their vigilantism and death-squad activities, many against minors. On July 19, 1993, sixteen Military Police members were arrested in the state of Alagoas and accused of killing sixty-nine people. On July 23, 1993, eight street children were killed outside of Candelária Church (Igreja da Candelária), in Rio de Janeiro. The international response was one of outrage. Four military policemen, including a lieutenant, were arrested and eventually convicted. On August 30, 1993, thirty armed men wearing hoods entered Vigário Geral, a favela in Rio de Janeiro, and set fires, destroyed homes, and shot randomly, killing twenty-one people. Favela residents claimed that the assassins were Military Police avenging the killing of four of their members by drug traffickers in the shantytown. Later investigations substantiated those charges. Because of such activities, the Federal Police have been called in to investigate.[17]

See also

Mounted Police officers of PMPR - 2010.
Military Police of Sao Paulo
Armoured vehicle of PMERJ - 2010.

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.

  1. ^ Emblem adopted at the First National Convention of the Military Police in 1957.
  2. ^ Inspectorate General of Military Police (In Portuguese)
  3. ^ Article 144 of Constitution of Brazil.
  4. ^ Decree of December 10, 1801.
  5. ^ Decree of May 13, 1809.
  6. ^ Law of July 17, 1831.
  7. ^ Law of October 10, 1931.
  8. ^ Constitutional Reform of 1834, Article 15, § 11.
  9. ^ Decree Law 8.660, January 14, 1946.
  10. ^ http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field%28DOCID+br0134%29
  11. ^ http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field%28DOCID+br0134%29
  12. ^ http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field%28DOCID+br0134%29
  13. ^ http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field%28DOCID+br0134%29
  14. ^ Ordinance of the Ministry of the Army 340, October 4, 1971.
  15. ^ National Secretariat of Public Safety. (in Portuguese)
  16. ^ Article 22 of Constitution of Brazil.
  17. ^ http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field%28DOCID+br0134%29

Sources

São Paulo State Military Police Mounted Police officers in São Paulo, Brazil.
  • Em Nome da Ordem: a constituição de aparatos policiais no universo luso-brasileiro (séculos XVIII e XIX); Regina Helena Martins de Faria; Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) - Recife; 2007. (texto em pdf.)
  • A Polícia Militar de Mato Grosso - História e Evolução, 1835 a 1985; Ubaldo Monteiro.
  • Crônica da Brigada Militar Gaúcha; Hélio Moro Mariante; edição da Imprensa Official; 1972.
  • História da Polícia Militar de Pernambuco; Major Roberto Monteiro.
  • História do Batalhão de Segurança - A Polícia Militar do Rio Grande do Norte, de 1834 a 1968; Romulo C. Wanderley; edição Walter Pereira S.A. / A Livraria e Papelaria; 1969.
  • Episódios da História da PMPR - Volume I ao VII; Capitão João Alves da Rosa Filho; edição da Associação da Vila Militar; 2000.
  • Origens Históricas da Polícia Militar de Minas Gerais - volumes 1 e 2; Coronel Paulo René de Andrade; edição da Imprensa Official de Minas Gerais; 1985.
  • Raízes do Militarismo Paulista; Coronel Edilberto de Oliveira Melo; edição da Imprensa Official; 1982.
  • Soldados da Pátria, História do Exército Brasileiro 1889 - 1937; Frank D. McCann; Edição da Companhia de Letras; 2007.
  • Tropas Paulistas de Outrora; J. Wasth Rodrigues; edição do Governo do Estado de São Paulo; 1978.

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