The government of Jair Bolsonaro eliminated this Monday the 150% tax that Brazilian exporters who sell firearms to countries in Central and South America had to pay, a measure that may have a negative impact on public security in Brazil, according to some NGOs. .
The decision, adopted by the Executive Committee of Management of the Chamber of Foreign Commerce and published today in the Official Gazette, will take effect in a week and was classified as “high risk” by the Institutes “Sou da Paz” and “Igarapé “Who see in the measure a way of fueling violence in the South American giant.
The high tribute was imposed in 2001 after investigations indicated that thousands of weapons that were exported from Brazil to neighboring countries, especially Paraguay, were later seized by the authorities in Brazil, in criminal hands.
The phenomenon, which was known as “boomerang export”, practically disappeared when the tribute was imposed and its effectiveness led the United States to voluntarily suspend arms exports to Paraguay in 2018, due to the risks of diversion from the impact of armed violence.
According to the organizations, it is “emblematic” that when studies indicate that 78% of violent deaths in Brazil in 2020 occurred due to firearms, “the government’s efforts are aimed at making arms exports more flexible and cheaper”.
“This is measure number 33 that the Bolsonaro government takes (almost one per month) to facilitate access to weapons and benefit that industry,” the institutes said in a statement released this Monday.
This is the second attempt to modify taxes in favor of arms during the term of the far-right leader, which began on January 1, 2019.
The first, which sought to eliminate taxes for the importation of revolvers and pistols, was suspended by the Supreme Court in mid-April of this year, along with other decrees issued by President Bolsonaro that facilitated the purchase and use of weapons in Brazil. .
Making the carrying and possession of weapons more flexible is one of the campaign promises of the Brazilian president, a nostalgic for the military dictatorships that reigned in Latin America during the last century and whose weapons model is the United States.
The number of new firearms registered in Brazil practically doubled in 2020, from 94,416 in 2019 to 186,071 in 2020, according to data from the Brazilian Public Safety Forum, an increase of 97.1% in one year.
In total, last year there were more than two million private firearms active in Brazil, including the categories of hunters, collectors, sports shooters, and those of the police and other professionals of public security and military of the Army.