Rio Security: Call it Operation Iraq?

Some private equity investors at Stanford would like me and another Stanford graduate to help them with security issues in Brazil. Like many people around the world, their views of Brazil are influenced by films like Tropa de Elite 2. 

In Tropa de Elite 2, when the invasion of the Tanque favela fails to find the stolen police guns, Colonel Nascimento tells his assistant to call it “Operation Iraq.”

My question is do any of the blog readers have contacts in the Brazilian police, military, or corporate security like Colonel Nasciemento, or other PMERJ/ Military Police Battalion Commanders that we can interview? For examples of the types of interviews we have done with Iraq counterinsurgency veterans, see the link to a interview with Captain Luke Larson, US Marine Corps, below. Reply to



Luke Larson, the real life basis of the character, Cash, in the novel, Senator’s Son, discusses the election supported by Lima Company, 3d Battalion, 7th Marines, which is the basis of the fictional events in Chapter 17 on pages 74 to 76 of the novel.

Published by Janar Wasito

Janar Wasito is the manager of Magis Capital in San Diego, CA. He is a graduate of Harvard and Stanford Law School, and a former Marine Officer.

One thought on “Rio Security: Call it Operation Iraq?

  1. I’ve often watched police (helicopter) operations against drug gangs at night from my apartment window in west Sao Paulo, and there is certainly security risk here in Brazil. But this is nothing new in Brazil and Brazilians–and Brazilian police forces–have developed excellent security risk management methods. Unlike the US, however, they don’t seem to think it necessarily to lock down the entire city/country with expensive security measures; they manage security risk rather than attempt to eradicate it. This seems wise to me, particularly since the US evidence seems to suggest that despite heroic efforts and huge security budgets, eradication isn’t possible.

    My view is that private equity investors really need to understand the risk they are pricing and assuming. The best, and perhaps only, way to do this is get on a plane and come to Brazil; tour a few favelas (doing this at night is particularly instructive; I recommend Heliopolis in Sao Paulo … bring a Kevlar vest 🙂 … though I’ve been through it many times without the vest), observe first-hand how Brazilians manage security, talk to security professionals directly, and then make an assessment. I think this is the only reasonable way to really understand and price the risk appropriately. Cheers, MMc


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