I just read an article in the online edition of the Salvador newspaper, A Tarde, that this week alone, there have been 2 attempted assaults on busses where another passenger on the bus shot and killed the robber. In both cases, the person who did the shooting was not a police officer, just a passenger who happened to be packing heat. With the increase in crime here, it seems like people are getting fed up and are taking matters into their own hands. There is so much corruption among the police, and most folks know that if they report a crime, that nothing will come of it, so they are doing what they feel necessary.
It´s interesting because if you tell a Brazilian about the above situations, most of them say "good" or "he deserved it" or "one less robber". There is not a lot of compassion for human life here when it comes to thieves.
On a follow up note, one of my students told me that he saw on the news that the body of that guy they found yesterday was a surfer who drowned. No foul play. At least it wasn´t a murder victim or something.