Sitting Room

Thursday, December 13, 2007

INSS, IML and Police Quarter

INSS, IML and Police Quarter
Foto of IML / INSS

As far as buses to Três Lagoas are concerned there is still one going to the Praias (Beaches). Beaches? Sure, artificial beaches created by man on the shores of the Itaipu Lake (Reservoir). The bus going to the “Praias” or “Prainha” (little Beach) will also go to the Rodoviaria if there is a sign saying that the route is via Rodoviaria and the INSS. If you are not Brazilian it’s possible that you will have a hard time trying to translate what INSS stands for. It’s simple: Instituto Nacional de Seguridade Social (Social Security National Institute). In this case INSS is a bulding where poor and weary iguassuans spend long hours on never-ending lines, waiting. People line up for retirement papers, to get different benefits, pregnancy benefits, death benefits, to see an INSS doctor, to get certifiicates of all kinds besides getting various precious stamps. The INSS has another special characteristic: it is always on strike. I don’t know how social security works in your place, but I know that I am very thankful for the fact that you will nor need the INSS – unless you have migrated to Brazil and accepted to share our crosses and burdens and yokes.

The area where the INSS building is located is a very busy bus stop. People get off here to go the City’s main Health Post and Hospital. Hundreds of people also have to visit the Brazilan Receita Federal (Internal Revenue, Customs and Tax all together) Office mostly trying to reclaim goods mostly caught or confiscated by Customs at the International (Paraguay-Brazil)Friendship Bridge. Also served by the same bus stops there, is the IML and the 6th Subdivison of the State Civil Police both under the umbrella of the Paraná State Secretary of Security.

The Civil Police is called civil because it is not organized in the military way. No corporal, sargeant, colonel, no uniform. Today’s governor Roberto Requião has tried to impose neckties on civil police man. He said that it is for them look good. I think it is not fair to make healthy men wear neckties in Foz do Iguaçu in January. Besides neckties are suspicious, here. Unless he is in court, in a conference or in a Mormon chapel, someone wearing a necktie is propably doing something wrong. Watch Out!

Unfortunately, you may need the Civil Police. It is the police office that you will have to go to in order to register a complaint about something (bad) that has happaned to you. Example: your backpack has been stolen. Passport stolen. Money. Whatever crime has been commited against you, you will have to come to the Civil Police. It is the first step of the ladder to access the Judiciary System. If someone is going to go jail this is where it all begins. The exception is for federal crimes and those crimes regulated by international conventions: drug smuggling, transporting of drugs, explosives, terrorism (wherever it is) and the smuggling and trafficking of people across international borders. Like that?

Normally after people are heard by Civil Police authorities they are sent to a State Jail called “Cadeião” that has the reputation to be very bad, overcrowded and highly dangerous. It is the greatest violation of the laws of physics that states that two bodies can not occupy the same space. At the the Cadeião built for 300 souls, more than 800 bodies pay for their sins of their owners in this purgatory called Cadeia Estadual de Três Lagoas (Three Lagoons State Jail). People are suposed to remain here until judgement. But many have been forgotten there. Human Rights activists should take a tour of the Tres Lagoas Jail as a side tour of the Iguassu Falls trip.

Very close to the Policia Civil’s 6th Subdivision there is yet another state organization called IML that stands for Legal Medical Institute (Instituto Médico Legal). By Legal Medicine we are saying Forensic Medicine which means that the IML houses the “Morgue”, forensic investigators and scientific criminal investigation experts. Don’t be scared if I say that there is a possibility that living people may need the services of the IML. The Forensic Institute is also used to officially attest that torture, physical aggression, physical violence like rape or even the loss of virginity and so on has happened to someone. This procedure is called “exame de corpo delito” roughly an examination to attest the truth or not of a claim related to violence of any kind to someone's body. So the IML is not for the dead alone even though a coroner may do the testing. If you find yourself in some situation when someone titled coroner comes to check you, don’t doubt the fact that you are alive and not dead in hell or paradise.

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