Vol. 6 Núm. 2 (2020)

Pacifying Police Units and private interests in Brazil: DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18847/1.12.8

Mayane Dore
Macquarie University, Australia & Complutense University, Spain
Gabriel Bayarri
Macquarie University, Australia & Complutense University, Spain
Daniel Marías
University Carlos III of Madrid, Spain
Publicado diciembre 3, 2020
Palabras clave
  • UPP,
  • Brazil,
  • Conflict resolution,
  • Patrimonialism


This article analyzes a concrete policy in the framework of Brazilian Public Security: the Pacifying Police Units (UPPs). It describes this policy and justifies, through an ethnographic case study, how the so-called “pacification of the favelas” articulates a logic of neoliberal urbanism and police infrastructure, understanding the residents of the favelas as potential consumers of their services. The article contextualizes the UPPs model as a paradigmatic case of public security in Latin America in which the discourse of violence/pacification is the main catalyst for private investments. More specifically, the article demonstrates how private companies resort to proximity conflicts mediation as a way of avoiding the judicialization of conflicts with the residents after the “Pacification”. With this case, we expect to illustrate the patrimonialism and clientelism that shapes the Brazilian State and its ambiguous relationships between private and public interests.