Ilona Szabó on Brazil's Public Security Challenges and Opportunities

Nov. 5, 2019

On Thursday, October 3rd, the Brazil LAB hosted Ilona Szabó, a leading Brazilian social entrepreneur specializing in public security and drug policy, to discuss "Public Security and Democracy in Brazil: Challenges and Opportunities," with professor Marcelo Medeiros as discussant. Szabó is the founder of  the prominent think-and-do tank Igarapé Institute and co-founder of the independent political movement Agora. Her talk was based on the Institute's experience working on violence reduction and smarter and more accountable policing. To that end, Igarapé Institute has developed data-based tools that track violence and arms trends, and an app that turns any cell phone into a police bodycam. 

“Brazil has failed to democratize public security,” Szabó stated. Moreover, the social norms and overdependence on legislation leaves Brazilian society lacking a sense of shared responsibility. None of this, however, has made Szabó lose hope in the power of thoughtful, multi-scale collaborations to increase design alternative policies aimed at citizens’ security and safer cities.

On Igarapé’s many security-related activities, see report:

This event was co-sponsored by the Program in Latin American Studies, the Department of Anthropology, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese