Lajeado, Brazil: City Hall Launches Peace Pact


An article from Informativo (translation by CPNN)

Lajeado will promote a pact for peace. The project, still without a defined name, involves several secretariats, including Health, Education, Security, Social Assistance and Sport and Leisure. They will formulate a set of strategies to reduce crime and promote a culture of peace, based on actions throughout society. The initiative is inspired by similar action already developed in the city of Pelotas, in the southern part of the state.

Mayor Marcelo Caumo. Foto by Lidiane Mallmann/arquivo O Informativo do Vale

According to Mayor Marcelo Caumo, the Department of Labor, Housing and Social Welfare made a diagnosis on several points during 2018. “The diagnosis addressed youth learning, aggression against women, drug use and violence in general. Besides investing in repression, which we have been doing with great constancy, we must invest in prevention,” he says.

Caumo explains that, based on the data compiled, we sought methodologies that have already been applied in other municipalities combining both repression and prevention and producing positive results.” We got information from Pelotas where the response was very positive.” The first phase of the project is the internal survey that will be done by several municipal secretariats. “After the beginning of the work, other entities will be involved, such as federal, state and municipal police forces, prosecutors, judiciary, business entities and the community in general,” said the mayor.

Today is an internal work meeting, in which the team will make a presentation to the City Hall about the pact. On that occasion, the municipality will review projects that already exist related to the promotion of peace and reduction of violence.

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How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?

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Culture of peace

Mayor Marcelo Caumo points out that the objective is to implement strategies capable of promoting an environment of peace, preventing violent and criminal attitudes and actions in the municipality. “We will make a comprehensive diagnosis of the situation of violence in Lajeado, including perceptions and indications not reported in criminal statistics, such as petty thefts or bullying, which do not always appear in official indicators.”

According to the head of the municipal Executive, the objective is to point out alternatives to solve issues of violence. For this, the integration of various organizations will be sought, to make their action more effective. “We will measure violence in the municipality, including previously unreported situations, and then we will identify and prioritize coping strategies.”

Results in the city of Pelotas

Recently, the municipality of Pelotas, which implemented the project 16 months ago, presented the results in reducing crime rates. Since the creation of the program, there has been a 36% reduction in homicides, 38% in vehicle thefts and 33% in robberies.

“These are very positive numbers that we want to see happen in Lajeado too,” comments Marcelo Caumo. “It is important to emphasize that the methodology of this project is to act to prevent violence, which involves health, education, culture and social assistance. In the medium and long term we hope to reduce the need to repress violence.

The creation of the peace pact in Lajeado has a contract of R $ 230 thousand, with an expected duration of 12 months with the support of consultants. The contract includes bi-weekly meetings for follow-up, in addition to permanent contact with the working group. The draft includes the values ​​of travel, travel, food and lodging.

To know more

On November 21, 2018, the consultant and executive director of the Instituto Ciudad Segura, Alberto Kopittke, was in Lajeado to present the project “Pact for Peace”, developed in cities like Pelotas, Niterói, Fortaleza and 20 other municipalities in the metropolitan region of Ceará. The methodology, based on evidence (evidence of effects and outcome of actions), is concerned with preventing violence from the gestation of the child to actions aimed at young people with violent behavior. The goal is to act early to prevent more serious problems in the future.