This article explores the social representations of youngsters from favelas in Rio de Janeiro on police practices in the context of the implementation of ‘Pacifying Police Units’. Drawing from fieldwork, participant observation and interviews, the authors analyse the narratives and practices which influence relations between young people and the police in the Complexo do Alemão area of the city. The interviewees expressed a demand for further public security and social services. Young people noted some progress in police practices, although these changes appear to be unstable. The permanence of violent practices and prejudice by the police was verified in youngsters’ narratives. Any change in this scenario should be based on the replacement of the war logic of ‘pacification’ for another logic, that of participation.
- 'Pacifying Police Units' (UPP)
- public security