Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Latin American Studies (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Marten W. Brienen

Second Committee Member

George A. Yúdice

Third Committee Member

Juan M. Kanai


In December 2010, the Governor of Rio de Janeiro, with the permission of the President of Brazil, initiated a military intervention in Rio’s de Janeiro Urban Security Policy of Favela Pacification, in the Penha and Alemão favela communities. This illustrated an unconventional use of the Brazilian Army within Brazil’s boundaries, one of an actor to implement urban security policies. The participation of the Brazilian Army in United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) (2004 to present) demonstrated to Brazil’s former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, President Dilma Rousseff and Rio De Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral that the Brazilian Army could be used as a public security policy actor in favelas. However, the Brazilian Army is not trained to implement public security policies, therefore this brings into question how effective can it be this in this role. Through this military intervention the Brazilian State is attempting to institute law and order to favela communities where it has failed with previous urban security campaigns. Using the experiences in Haiti, this intervention attempts to pacify the Penha and Alemão communities, however it is unsuccessful in filling the role of a community police actor as envision by state leaders.


Urban Security; Brazilian civil-military relations; Rio de Janeiro’s favela pacification campaign; Brazilian Armed Forces; Força de Pacificação