Brazil Federal Police
The purpose of the Federal Police is to investigate criminal
offenses of an interstate or international nature; to prevent
and suppress illicit traffic in narcotics and related drugs; to
perform the functions of a coast guard (enforcement only), air police,
and border patrol; and to perform the functions of the judicial
police. The Federal Police force is structured as a career service.
Officially, the Federal Police force is known as the Department
of Federal Police (Departamento de Polícia Federal--DPF)
and is headquartered in Brasília. In addition to the Federal
District, DPF units are distributed throughout the states and territories.
The DPF headquarters provides technical services relating to data
processing, collection and dissemination of police intelligence,
and scientific assistance to the Military Police. The DPF headquarters
is also responsible for Brazil's input to and cooperation with the
Paris-based International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).
Among the many agencies subordinate to the DPF are the National
Police Academy, the National Institute of Criminology, and the National
Institute of Identification, all in Brasília.
The DPF is headed by a general director, who is appointed by the
president. Under the military regime, the general director was usually
an active-duty army general. Since the return to civilian rule,
the general director usually has been a civilian. On July 8, 1993,
President Franco appointed a retired army officer to be general
director of the DPF. Many within the DPF were outraged and started
an unsuccessful six-day strike. They requested the removal of the
appointee, in addition to better equipment and better salaries.
Fifteen of twenty-four regional superintendents and 270 police chiefs
resigned in protest. The strike ended when Franco promised to look
into various complaints. The appointee, however, kept his position.
Indeed, the DPF force was experiencing deteriorating working conditions
in the early 1990s. In 1992 it had a major budget deficit. The entire
1993 budget was spent by June of that year, and the force was threatened
with eviction from all thirty-one buildings that it rented. The
DPF office complained that the drug traffickers were better equipped
than they were.
Data as of April 1997