Brazil Makes Progress on Anti-Terrorism Legislation

By Dialogo
October 11, 2012

If the bill on the new Brazilian Penal Code is approved by the House of Representatives, the country will make significant progress, particularly on the issue of terrorism, a crime that had not been considered or classified by the previous regulation. The bill also adapted the legislation to some resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, such as banning the use of chemical and biological substances for reasons other than peaceful uses.

A very important factor is the extensive range of motivations for terrorist acts on national territory, among which are political, ideological, philosophical, or religious reasons; and punishes those who sponsor or acquire resources to benefit political organizations and armed groups who manifest against the constitutional order and the Democratic State of Law.

The new additions to the text include punishment against those who use or threaten to use, transport, keep, carry, or bring explosives, toxic gases, poison, biological contents, or other means that can be harmful or promote mass destruction (UN Resolution 1540/2004); sabotage the operation of or takeover, with severe threat or violence against people, of total or partial control, even if temporary, of the media or means of transportation, ports, airports, railroads, highways, hospitals, clinics, schools, stadiums, public or local facilities where essential public services are performed, facilities that generate or transmit energy and military facilities; to incinerate, to destroy, to loot, to explode or to invade any public or private asset, to interfere and to commit sabotage, or to damage computer systems and databases.

It also establishes that the punishment, of eight to 15 years of confinement, will be increased by half if the conducts are committed during large sports, cultural, educational, religious, entertainment, or political events, national or international. This is a very important step, which provides legal support to the security forces and the Judiciary Branch, allowing them to take action, especially when the country will host important international events, such as the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.