Law Enforcement: The Death Squads of Rio

Like policemen in almost every U.S. city, the police of Rio de Janeiro are convinced that their country's legal system makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to convict criminals. Furthermore, there is no capital punishment, and no matter how serious the offense, a convict never serves more than 30 years. Some of Rio's cops think that the coddling of criminals has gone so far as to become unendurable. Taking the law into their own hands, they have formed small, clandestine death squads, and now execute any criminal who they think has cheated the law.

Last year nearly 200 criminals were found...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!