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UN Accuses Brazilian Police of Murder To 'Clean Up' Rio For Olympics

Grim accusations from a United Nations probe that Brazilian police use extrajudicial murder to clear out youth gangs in Rio de Janeiro ahead of next year's Olympics.

RIO DE JANEIRO — A new report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has denounced the Brazilian police for "killing children" in an attempt to "clean up" Rio de Janeiro ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, according to an exclusive report from the Brazilian daily O Estado de S. Paulo.

The committee calls attention to what it deems "general impunity" in the country in the face of "extrajudicial killings of children" by the federal police. Brazil has one of the world's highest youth homicide rates, and the passage of a recent law reducing the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 has increased youth incarceration as well.

O Estado writes that although the state of Rio de Janeiro saw the second-largest reduction in Brazil in its youth homicide rate between 2000 and 2013, the report criticizes various branches of the police for killing youths — primarily Afro-Brazilians — in a previous attempt to improve the city's image prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The media has reported in the past that death squads have been employed in turf wars between the police and organized crime gangs in Brazilian cities, with adolescents the primary victims of this violence.

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Migrant Lives

English Channel To The Mediterranean: Borders That Kill

The deaths of 27 migrants off the French coast of Calais is one more tragedy on a long list in the European Union. After the initial shock, however, we tend to forget, get used to it and in the end, become indifferent.

Migrants on a dinghy on the English Channel

Michel Agier*

-Analysis-

PARIS — The wreckage of a small boat that led to 27 people to die in the English Channel is added to the list of endless death along Europe’s borders.

Unfortunately, there is nothing fundamentally new about this tragedy. Since 1993, at least 50,000 people have died trying to cross the external borders of the European Union, mainly in the Mediterranean Sea. Since 1999, more than 300 people have died off the northern French coast of Calais while trying to cross the border into the UK, which has been "externalized" on French soil by the 2004 Le Touquet Treaty. The years 2000 and 2010 were marked by reports of casualties at the borders, some horrifying like the two successive shipwrecks on April 12 and 19, 2015 that left thousands dead.

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