the city of Sao Paulo was under siege for these past few days by gang members. The problem is related to prisons, over crowding and the fact that the crime bosses are in jail and continue to manage the crime syndicates with cell-phones from behind bars. The governor promised to correct this problem, so developed a new super-max prison about 600 km from Sao Paulo then when he started to move the crime bosses they rebelled because they knew they were going to lose control of their syndicates since cell phones won’t work from the new prison.
Consequently the crime bosses rebelled causing 17 prisons to break out in full-scale uprising and assaults on municipal police stations, attacks on police officers and bombings of places where off duty officers were known to hang-out.
Yesterday the city traffic was grid-lock from the fear of being caught in a reprisal, some buses and cars were set ablaze and reports said that 80 people were killed, however it’s not clear if these people were gang members or police officers. Today things seem much calmer but the city is on high alert.
Probably this entire episode in the crime story of Sao Paulo is a good thing, like lancing a boil because now the criminals on the outside have exposed themselves to the very good crime solving teams who will bring them to justice. It’s my opinion that like the mafia in NYC many years ago, a power struggle will ensue and as the incarcerated crime bosses lose their control from within prison, new leaders will rise-up on the outside and take control. This natural cleansing is somewhat like Darwin’s theory, the strong will survive.
All big cities have an undiscussed co-operation between crime syndicates and police, at least at some level, whether it be the informant who’s left to walk the streets because he provides much needed gang activity reports or the top-boss who’s able to pay his way out of trouble and avoid implicating himself in any crime by having his henchmen do the dirty work. It’s all stuff of novels and movies but actually takes place and make for very dramatic evening news etc…
I enjoy living in Sao Paulo and will continue to go about my life as though everything was the same. It’s very civilized here and the people feel like they’ve gotten a black eye from all the bad media. My guess is that there’ll be a mjor crime clean-up over the next few months and then things will be even better than before.