‘Impunity’ figures in 9 out of 10 lists of the biggest difficulties faced by societies in the so called Third World. Ask anyone for a quick synthesis of the ‘problem’ with African, Asian, Latin American countries and impunity – the absence of punishment for those who violate moral, legal or social codes – will certainly be there, side by side with ‘corruption’, ‘backwardness’ and ‘underdevelopment’. Impunity is a pressing issue in a country pervaded by violence such as Brazil. Currently figuring as the most lethal democracy of the world in absolute numbers, Brazil has witnessed roughly 60,000 assassinations (the same number of American soldiers lost in Vietnam) on average, per year, for the past two decades. The levels of violence in the country trump those of far more discussed international conflicts.