RJ Governor Claudio Castro named Maurilio Nunes, former head of Military Police’s Special Battalion (BOPE), as the new Undersecretary of State Security, on 3 January. Nunes is now the right hand of Victor Santos, former Federal Police (PF) delegate, nominated as head of the State Secretary of Public Security in November 2023, when the department was reactivated due to the increase of violence in the Capital.
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Reactivation of Rio’s Public Security Secretariat
The State Secretary of Public Security was deactivated by former Governor Witzel in 2019, as he alleged that it was expensive and gave very few autonomies to the Corporations.
Reactivation of the Public Security Secretariat (SSP) is the consequence of the violence after a militiaman was killed by the police, amid a disputed gang war in the western districts of the Capital. At that time, 35 buses of the public transport network had been burned. Nevertheless, the rates of violence are the lowest since 1991 with a homicide rate of 17.4 victims per 100,000 inhabitants and a rate of violent deaths of 25.5.
However, despite the contradiction, specialists pointed out that the reactivation of the SSP can be explained by the evolution of criminality, as gangs form alliances or get stronger, and provoke a reduction in violence rates.
Who Is Maurilio Nunes?
A policeman for 26 years, Nunes already assumed various command posts in the Corporation, such as a unit leader for 16 years in the BOPE, head of a PM Battalion, and more recently head of the Special Operations Command (COE).
One of his highlights in the BOPE was the liberation of hostages during a bus heist on the Rio-Niteroi bridge, in August 2019. The operation ended with the death of the kidnapper by snipers, after hours of negotiations.