Pacifying Police Units and private interests in Brazil

Mayane Dore*, Gabriel Bayarri, Daniel Marias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-153
Number of pages17
JournalRevista de Estudios en Seguridad Internacional (RESI)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • UPP
  • Brazil
  • Conflict resolution
  • Patrimonialism

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