The abusive use of lethal force has numerous negative effects. In addition to the victims, it gradually destroys the image of security institutions –and the State in general– and can lead to increased violence. However, despite the significant number of people killed by the State, the vast majority of cases of use of lethal force are not investigated on the presumption that they occurred in a context that makes them legitimate. As a result, there is no accountability, responsibility, or incentive to curb the excessive use of lethal force. In several countries, human rights reports point to the existence of abuses of lethal force or extrajudicial executions by police and military officials. For police and military officials, the abuse of lethal force can increase risks by encouraging dynamics of greater violence against their ranks. It is, therefore, essential to understanding this phenomenon.
The Monitor on the Use of Lethal Force brings together researchers from 8 countries (Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela). The participants jointly developed indicators that allow measuring the use and abuse of lethal force homogeneously to facilitate international comparison. The goal is to have a series of unified tools that allow to measure, analyze and compare the use of lethal force by the State. These tools could also be extended to other regions of the world.
In this regard, the project seeks to build a monitoring platform for the main indicators of the use and abuse of lethal force, and contribute to defining measures to prevent abuse.