11.12.2012 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

COMMANDS promotes debate with former drug dealers and the police in Brasília

Former members of four drug trafficking factions of Rio de Janeiro – Comando Vermelho (Red Command), Terceiro Comando (Third Command), ADA and militias –, operating nowadays in social projects, and police authorities gather together to perform a discussion on a new subject.

The COMMANDS project intends to foster a frank dialogue on drug trafficking and the possibilities of overcoming it, encompassing youth and students. The event takes place at the National Library Auditorium in Brasília, on 12 December 2012, starting at 5 PM.

The debate will be mediated by José Junior, executive-coordinator of ONG AfroReggae. It will have the participation of Colonel Robson (Chief of Rio’s Military Police General Staff), José Magalhães (Rio’s Civil Police Inspector), Sergeant Dantas (BOPE), Ademir Salerme and Roseli Costa (former members of Comando Vermelho), Washington Rimas/“Feijão” (former member of Terceiro Comando), João Paulo (former member of ADA), and Robson Holmes (former militia).

This is an itinerant event – already been carried out in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Niteroi and São Gonçalo (these last two cities are in Rio de Janeiro). It aims at placing characters, who have played a leading role in trafficking fights, face to face to tell their personal overcoming experiences, the story and dynamics of these factions, and the main differences among them.

In COMMANDS project, contrary worldviews join forces focused on the belief in Education and Social Transformation, taking the life histories as starting points to contribute to the creations of a critic conscience. The debates will also aid on accountable decisions, creating insights and better future perspectives. To UNESCO, as one of the event’s organizers, it is very important to show that lifelong learning is possible, by telling stories of overcoming and of building new ways.

The former members of the trafficking factions, who will be on the debate, participate in AfroReggae social projects and are setting a dialogue that has become possible only by a solid social work and the desire to change. These experiences show that the belief in social change and the offering of future alternatives different from crime and violence realities are essential factors to change the life stories in places marked by social exclusion.

The event is being held through the partnership of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and the AfroReggae Cultural Group, with the sponsorship of Jovem de Expressão Project, and the support of the Ministry of Justice in Brasil and the Cultural Office of Brasília/National Library.

In 2013, COMMANDS will happen in Rio Grande do Sul State through the partnership of the State Security Office and Santander Bank.

For further information on the COMMANDS project

Press information
UNESCO Brasília Office
Isabel de Paula
(61) 2106-3538, 98468061
Ana Lúcia Guimarães
(61) 21063536, 99663287

Jovem de Expressão Project
Paula Crepaldi
2106-3537 / 9363-3332 / 9123-5385

Cultural Group AfroReggae
Marcela Rocha

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