Brazil: Using open source mobile technologies to make people safer in the South / Bruno Siqueira and Robert Muggah

Information and communication technologies are dramatically transforming the way governments, private actors and people interact. With the advent and spread of technologies – especially wireless connectivity and wearables – new forms of communication and information exchange are possible.

Not surprisingly, technological innovations are having a profound effect on the form and content of law enforcement. Alongside big data surveillance systems, police officers in the Global North are testing body cameras. Studies are demonstrating that they can reduce police violence and complaints against officers.

But what are the possibilities for the use of these new technologies for improving law enforcement in the South? A new initiative led by the Igarapé Institute is seeking to answer this question. Working with partners across Brazil and South Africa, the Institute is testing open source mobile phone based tools to improve public safety and police-community relations. The initiative is called “smart policing”. SEE MORE…

México: El secuestro se dispara 52.7% durante la gestión de Peña Nieto

Durante los primeros 27 meses de gobierno del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto, que van de diciembre de 2012 a febrero de 2015, en México se han acumulado un total de cinco mil 389 casos de secuestro —sumando averiguaciones previas iniciadas en el fuero común y en el fuero federal—, cifra que representa mil 860 casos más que los registrados en el país durante los últimos 27 meses de gestión de su antecesor, el expresidente Felipe Calderón.

Así, tal como se desprende de las estadísticas sobre incidencia delictiva del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública, de la Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) y del Instituto Nacional de Geografía y Estadística (INEGI), en lo que va del gobierno del presidente Peña Nieto, el secuestro ha registrado un aumento de 52.7%. VER MÁS…

Brasil: De mal a pior / Flavia Oliveira

Número de homicídios no Brasil já passa de 60 mil por ano, estima Ipea. Redução de mortes até 2030 é meta da ONU

Pode ser ainda mais trágico o quadro endêmico de homicídios no Brasil. O Mapa da Violência 2014, com informações do sistema de saúde, contabilizou 56.377 assassinatos no país em 2012 (último dado disponível). O Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança Pública, que leva em conta as ocorrências em delegacias de polícia, estimou em 53.646 o total de óbitos por homicídios dolosos, roubos e lesões corporais seguidos de morte, em 2013. O par de números, de tão grave, prescindiria de diagnóstico mais alarmante. Mas um modelo do Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada (Ipea) estima que o total de mortes violentas no país já ultrapassou a barreira de 60 mil por ano. Teriam somado 63.039 em 2012, num ritmo superior a 170 crimes por dia. VER MÁS…

Brazil: Shot-in-the-dark video shines light on issue of police abuse in Brazil / Stephanie Nolen

Chauan Cezario and his friends came back from the beach on a February Friday night, to Palmeirinha, a Rio favela. The power was out, so they couldn’t watch TV and instead goofed around in the dark but crowded street, using one of their cellphones to record a video.

Then Mr. Cezario heard shots, and he was falling, and he saw that his friend Alan Lima was falling too, and as blood poured from his chest, it occurred to Mr. Cezario that somehow he had been shot. He began to pray, while his friend moaned. Then police officers with assault rifles were standing over them, demanding to know what they had been doing.

After half an hour, police permitted neighbours to lift the two men into a patrol car and then drove them to hospital. Alan, 15, was dead. Mr. Cezario, 19, was left caked in both their blood, and to his astonishment, handcuffed; eventually, a police officer said he was being charged with illegal possession of a firearm and resisting arrest. SEE MORE…

Brazil: Mapping Arms Data / Robert Muggah

What is it?
Drawing from existing data sources, the projectMAD website tracks the global trade in small arms, light weapons, and ammunition. Small arms are responsible for the vast majority of conflict deaths and homicidal violence across the globe yet the trade is poorly regulated and penetrated by illicit networks.

The MAD project increases transparency and promotes accountability in the global trade of small arms and ammunition in order to understand how they threaten security and development throughout the world.

How does it work?
The underlying data draws from over 37 publicly available sources documenting the authorized trade of arms and ammunition, covering 262 states and territories and aggregating over a million data points. Users can explore the interface to map weapons flows by country and year between 1992-2012.

The visualization displays the volume and composition of each country’s small arms transfers, differentiating between military and civilian weapons and ammunition. It also shows the direction of exports and imports and how much they are worth. SEE MORE…

Global: Preventing Fragile Cities From Becoming Failed Cities /Robert Muggah

The sheer pace and scale of urbanization is precipitating one of the most dramatic demographic shifts in human history. More than half of the world’s population now resides in cities. At least 500 cities have populations greater than one million, including over 28 megacities with ten million or more inhabitants.

In 1950 there were just 83 cities with over one million people and only three megacities.

Alongside fast growing global cities is another category of urban settlement that is falling behind. While some cities like Bogota and São Paulo are serving as national growth poles, others like Caracas and San Salvador are sinking into decay. Many are emerging in fast urbanizing parts of the Americas as well as Africa and Asia.

These urban nodes of instability have implications for poverty and inequality reduction. Some security experts believe that so-called ‘feral cities’ and their sprawling slums will serve as future landscapes of national unrest, civil conflict and urban insurgency. SEE MORE…

Global: “Fragile cities” plagued by violence, unemployment, lack of education

Unemployed youth. Lack of education. Social tension. Violence. These are among the characteristics of “fragile cities” overrun with crime and gangs, making them difficult to govern, Robert Muggah writes in Foreign Affairs.

Muggah cites a variety of factors for the trend. “Turbo-urbanization” — meteoric population surge over a short period — is a contributor. An example is Karachi, which grew from a half million people in 1947 to 21 million today. While the port city plays a key economic role for Pakistan, it’s also among the world’s most violent metropolises. Other fragile cities include Acapulco, Mexico; Maceió, Brazil; San Pedro Sula, Honduras; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Lagos, Nigeria. SEE MORE…

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