Thomaz Bastos: There's no lack of law to combat crime; the crisis is institutional

02/06/2003 - 23h42

Brasília, June 3, 2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - Yesterday (2), at the opening of the International Symposium on Fighting Organized Crime: Defense of Democratic Order, the Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, said that, under the current Administration, the fight against organized crime is based on four fundamental principles: awareness that the responsibility for fighting this type of crime pertains to the federal government; prevention is more important than punishment; the rule of law and democracy is as important as the fight against criminal organization; and, last, that, in Brazil, in the battle against crime, the crisis is not in terms of norms, that is, lack of law, but, rather, of institutions.

As regards the last of these principles, Bastos affirmed that it is unnecessary to edit new laws, increase prison sentences or adopt the death penalty; what is needed is to reorganize the institutions intrusted with applying the law. "These are the tools that the State has on hand to transform reality; they are the instruments available to us, but, when we received them, they were inefficient in their operation, therefore, we need to reorganize them," he affirmed. (DAS)