Inequality and Deterrence in Recife: The Rise and Fall of the “Pact for Life”

  • Jean Daudelin
  • José Luiz Ratton


Between 2007 and 2013, homicide rates in Recife declined by 55%. Over that period, an innovative public security policy was implemented by the Pernambuco government. The “Pact for Life” focused on the prevention and repression of violent crime. It involved enhanced resources, effective integration of investigative and ostensive policing, and the careful monitoring of crime trends and police action. A priority for Governor Eduardo Campos, it quickly lost steam when Campos left the Pernambuco government to run in the 2014 presidential election, just as the state government’s fiscal space was curtailed by the end of Brazil’s resource-led boom. The challenge to unequal deterrence that the Pact represented proved short-lived and the discriminatory logic that prevailed in the policing of local drug markets reasserted itself, with deadly consequences.


Drugs Drug trafficking Illegal markets Violence Inequality Governance Deterrence Police Public security Recife Pernambuco Brazil Latin America 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Daudelin
    • 1
  • José Luiz Ratton
    • 2
  1. 1.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Federal University of PernambucoRecifeBrazil

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