Drug trafficking is a crime that most condemn in Brazil

The profile incarcerated in Brazil has changed: just over 15 years ago, most crimes that led behind bars were the order sheet, as in the case of theft or robbery; currently, more than a fifth of prisoners is derived from drug trafficking, that number is growing. Article written by Erica Akie Hashimoto

Data from the National Penitentiary Department (Depen), from 1995 to 2010, show that the prison population tripled, counting today, with about 500,000 inmates. It is noteworthy that, during this period, the profile of incarcerated changed: just over 15 years ago, most crimes that led behind bars were the order sheet, as in the case of theft or robbery; currently more than a fifth of prisoners comes from drug trafficking, that number is growing.

Many criminologists believe that prison is a medium exceeded in fighting drug trafficking, which, in most cases, imprisonment only contributes to the "professionalization" of the crime. And the discussion about the high rate of arrests for trafficking has returned to prominence with the recent position taken by Peter Abramovay, told a news conference: he proposed a legal amendment that allowed the application of alternative sentences (restricting rights) to small dealers.

Traffickers are considered small, in practice, those who are caught by police with a small amount of drugs, which they intend to assign, charge or otherwise, to any third party. Under these assumptions, if the agent is primary, have a good record, and not to engage in criminal activities or join a criminal organization, there is the possibility of reduced penalty provided by law.

The opinion in question was highlighted because Abramovay had been appointed to take the National Policy on Drugs (Senad) and, after its manifestation, there was a backlash from the federal government that culminated in his desconvite for the post. However, most experts and scholars on this subject and agree with Abramovay seen as a more effective means of treatment to drug trafficking and one of the ways to alleviate the overcrowding of prisons nationals.

Among jurists who advocate easing of penalties is Sergio Shecaira Solomon, professor of law at the University of São Paulo (USP) and former president of the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences (IBCCRIM), argues that "there is no way to compare the woman who takes the drug to her husband in prison, for example, a person who is in the slum with a truck load of narcotics. "

Shecaira also highlights that there is a problem in the legal definition of "trafficking" because it lacks what traders call the law nomen juris. For example, the act of a person killing another receives the nomen juris murder and, in the Brazilian Penal Code, Article 121 matches. The Drug Law (Law n.11.343/06), article 33, defines the practice through 18 verbs: "import, export, forwarding, prepare, produce, manufacture, purchase, sell, expose for sale, give, take in storage, transport, bring, hold, prescribe, administer, deliver or provide drug consumption, even for free, without authorization or in breach of a legal or regulatory. "

Researchers Luciana Boiteux, She Wiecko Volkmer de Castilho, Beatriz Vargas, Vanessa Oliveira Batista and Geraldo Luiz Mascarenhas Prado, of the University of Brasilia (UNB) and Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), in a research report called "Drug Trafficking and Order ", address this issue of vagueness of criminal conduct" in the legal field, the strategy has been the following: criminal types are generic and do not differentiate the position occupied by the agent network of trafficking, and the criminal highest scale, with lack of proportionality in punishment and trivialization of imprisonment. "

With the drafting of the Law of drugs, which replaced Law no. 6.368/76, differentiation between users and traffickers was great depth: primary users and with good criminal records may thereafter, the crime of trafficking respond with alternative sentences, while those who supposedly live trading profit of DRUGS had aggravated the penalty for up to 20 years in prison. If on one hand it recognized the distinction between mere user and dealer, on the other hand if the gap left as sort in either category.

Augusto de Arruda Botelho, vice president of the Institute of Defense of the Right of Defense (IDDD), underscores the difficulty of focusing on legislation, clarifying parameters clearly who is small and who is the big dealer from exclusively of Tables amount of drugs. Theoretically, it is "easier" to decide analyzing each case: a boy who smokes marijuana cigarettes over the weekend may not have the same treatment as that which coordinates the international trafficking.

Thus was borne the judges decide to support a defendant in one case. The problem is that most magistrates adopts an inquisitorial position and most of the defendants are convicted, as evidenced by the numbers of Depen. According Thiago Gomes Anastacio also associated with IDDD in such procedures "the judge uses the slowness of justice to punish the accused. He orders the defendant to prison for two or three months only, up front, the higher court recognizes the clause of non-incarceration. That is, someone who should not get stuck, just stuck. "

In the interview he resumed the debate on drugs in this area, Abramovay justified the overcrowding of prisons by legislative change which divided the drug trade in only two species:

"The user does not have custody and the way it is today, has almost no penalty. And to the dealer there is a very high penalty. But the reality is much more complex, because you have only these two divisions. After the law, there was an explosion prison. In 2006, 60 000 people were arrested for drug-related crimes. Today, there are 100 000 people arrested. You can not have 40,000 people in jail who should not be there. We're taking those who have no connection with organized crime, putting in prison and shortly after, already linked to organized crime, returning it to the company. We have to make a choice between the small rival drug dealer, to restore him to society, or give it up, handing it over to organized crime, "he said in the interview.

In 2009, Peter Abramovay at the time, Secretary of Legislative Affairs, and Congressman Paul Teixeira (SP) were authors of a bill which provided for the application of alternative sentences for traffickers primary, classified as persons who are neither user, or dealer, occupying an intermediate range.

The subject matter is not new and has even been considered by the Supreme Court (STF). In trial occurred in September 2010, the Supreme Habeas Corpus granted to a person sentenced to one year and eight months for drug trafficking and declared unconstitutional Article 44 of Law n. 11.343/06, which prevented the conversion of imprisonment into penalty restricting rights.

Many do not see the alternative sentences with good eyes and believe that they act as a stimulus for the crime intensifies. In an article published in the newspaper O Estado de S. Paul, Luiza Nagib Eluf argues: "Every dealer, small, medium or large, is an important piece of gear in organized crime. In summary, drug dealer is a drug dealer. Must suffer the rigors of the law, without any relief, the more at liberty after getting convicted, serving time Alternatively, perhaps providing services in schools, hospitals or charities (...) We can not tread the path of tolerance towards crime as overwhelming ".

For a certain segment of society, the aggravation of penalties creates an expectation of reducing and controlling crime, but in reality, the adoption of this type of criminal policy has not been effective.

This article was originally posted at http://www.bancodeinjusticas.org.br/trafico-de-drogas-e-crime-que-mais-condena-no-brasil/ in Portugese.