BRAZIL LAW CONSIDERS CRIME TO BELONG TO PARAMILITARY GROUPS
A new Brazilian law considers as of this date a crime to be part of a paramilitary or private armed group, to be sanctioned with sentences from four to eight years in prison.The legislation, approved by president Dilma Rousseff, and published in the Official Daily, considers punishable "to establish, organize, integrate, maintain or finance the organization of private militias, paramilitaries, death squadrons to commit any of the crimes established in the Penal Code".In one of its articles, it determines the maximum sentence will increase by one third and up to half if the crime or homicide were done under the pretext of "security service" for one of these groups.The members of those bands until now were punished only for the crime they were accused of and not for being part of the gang.The piece was written by a parliamentary commission investigating death squadrons and private militias in the Northeast of Brazil.They are known here as "militiamen" - and most of them are policemen- who act outside the law, who are accountable for many crimes.
Last May, the Council of Human Rights of the UN asked Brazil to strengthen the fight against death squadrons.
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