Boston Attacks Drive New Discussion on Terrorism

By Dialogo
May 16, 2013

The Boston Marathon attacks had major repercussions on Brazilian authorities, increasing the safety concern, particularly because of the large events that the country will host beginning in June with the World Youth Day, and in following years, when millions of tourists from different nationalities are expected to attend the World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games through 2016.

The subject of terrorism is still treated with some skepticism among members of the Brazilian National Congress, who are afraid of criminalizing certain behaviors practiced by certain social movements. Several proposals have been presented, especially the inclusion of this type of crime in the text of the Bill dealing with the new Criminal Code.

Urgent studies are taking place for more severe punishments for those who commit terrorism, with a maximum of 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole. The previous document established that these sanctions carried penalties of between eight and 15 years. If weapons of mass destruction are used during the attacks, such as chemical and bacteriological agents, the penalties may be doubled, as well as if the targets are national or international sporting, cultural, political, religious, or entertainment events.

Another topic in discussion is amnesty for those who demonstrate remorse, denounce and cooperate with authorities, providing leads that result in the capture of criminals before the attack takes place. The Special Committee handling this matter is made up of members from the Senate and the House of Representatives, both of whom have 180 days to finalize their work, though the deadline may be extended.

At the same time, the Ministries of Defense and Justice have already planned to use the Military and police agents specialized in counter-terrorism. Large joint military surveillance operations developed on land borders were conducted throughout the year, as well as exchange of information and experience sharing between intelligence agencies.

*André Luís Woloszyn, Strategic Intelligence Analyst

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