Brazilian president sends lawmakers bill to protect officers, soldiers who kill

A bill being proposed by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro would offer protections to police officers and military personnel who kill while conducting certain operations.

Bolsonaro sent the highly divisive bill to lawmakers Thursday amid an increase in killings by police across the country. It could face stiff opposition from political opponents and human rights advocates.

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“We will now depend on lawmakers, congressmen and senators to approve this,” he said in Brasilia, according to Reuters.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends the launch of the Green and Yellow program to create formal jobs for young people earlier this month.  (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends the launch of the Green and Yellow program to create formal jobs for young people earlier this month.  (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Under the bill, sentences could be reduced and judicial protection given to officers and soldiers who kill in situations in which they face “unfair, current or imminent aggression" to themselves or others during  Guarantee of Law and Order (GLO) missions.

The missions are temporary operations created by order of the president that are intended to tackle cases of uncontrollable violence. Bolsonaro said the bill would represent a shift against violence in the South American nation.

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The bill is similar to one proposed earlier this year that offers greater protections to officers who kill. Justice Minister Sergio Moro proposed the legislation as a crime-fighting tool, but it has languished in the legislature.