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Refo_ST_UN_23332.pdf - Security Sector Reform Security...

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Security Sector Reform1Security Sector Reform in BrazilIntroduction/BackgroundBrazil was under military rule between 1964 and 1985. This period was marked byconcentrated and arbitrary power in the executive, in where the state’s securitystructures used violence as the primary means of conflict management. Althoughthe transition to civilian rule occurred under norms that pertained to theauthoritarian period, the first constitution in 1985, followed by the 1988Constitution, allowed Brazil to undertake reforms aimed at creating an accountableand democratic state. The creation of the Ministry of Defense in 1999 was a notablereform and significant loss to the political role and influence of the military, and agood example of Brazil’s attempts to reform its security institutions. While therelationship between the state and civil society have slowly progressed, and therehave restructuring attempts to the state’s institutions, Brazil’s public security sectorcontinues to face many challenges and is in dire need of fundamental reform.However, while there have been some attempts to reform aspects of the securityapparatus, there has yet to be a meaningful and coherent evaluation andrestructuring of the security sector in Brazil.Military ReformAlthough the military ceded political control in 1985, the armed forces havemanaged to maintain their influence and authority. The pacted, corporatist outcomethat resulted with the transfer of power to civilian rule, allowed the Brazilian militaryto retain some important institutional privileges such a prominent presence in theNational Security Council (CSN) and the National Information Service (SNI) untilrecently. One example of the continued importance and power of the Brazilianforces is that Brazil remains the only Latin American country that has a strategicdefense plan, which centers on controlling the Amazon (the world’s largest naturalreserve and the foremost fresh water reserve). The SIVAM (Sistema de Vigilancia daAmazonia-Amazonian Surveillance System), a joint system of radar and interventionforces designed to combat drug trafficking and monitor the spillover of theColombian civil war into Brazilian territory, is a prime illustration of the continuedrole and relevance of the military.1Additionally, the military was able to preserve its legal basis for intervention ininternal security matters. As with all previous Brazilian constitutions, theConstitution of 1988, under article 142 charges the armed forces with not only the“defense of the country, but also the maintenance of law, order and the defense ofconstitutional institutions.”2A result of the continued prerogative to safeguardinternal security, the military police has been kept under total military control.

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Term
Spring
Professor
NoProfessor
Tags
National security, Luiz In cio Lula da Silva, Politics of Brazil

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