Paper long abstract:
This paper aims to analyze the process of transformation of the image of groups known as 'militias' in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These illegal paramilitary groups formed by policemen and favelas residents emerged in the 1990s aiming to safeguard poor communities from drug dealers. They performed a role as providers of public safety and other essential services such as gas and water supply, being seen as representatives of the 'welfare' among inhabitants. Over the last years, this welfare was converted into fear. Through analysis of the material produced by the Parliamentary Investigation Committee of the Legislative Assembly of Rio dedicated to investigate the activities of the militias, we study how these two emotions, of protection and intimidation, are intertwined onto the same object.
Violence, personhood and emotions