Monday, March 31st 2014 - 13:02 UTC

Federal troops move into Rio favelas to secure access to Galeao airport

Brazilian police backed by troops occupied a massive favela next to Rio de Janeiro's international airport without firing a shot to secure one of the city's most violent neighborhoods long run by drug dealers.

Marines in armored cars helped to reestablish police control, but drug dealers managed to slip out  (Pic AP)

 Wresting control of the area from drug lords was a security priority for authorities because it surrounds the expressway to Galeao airport where tens of thousands of foreigners will land in June for the soccer World Cup.

Marines in armored cars reinforced the operation that took barely 20 minutes to re-establish police control over the Maré area, where 130,000 people live in poverty on the north side of Rio.

Police said they seized guns and 450 kilos of marijuana and arrested two suspected dealers. Residents said most drug traffickers slipped out the slum ahead of the occupation, which was announced on Friday.

“This is a strategic area for us, a city within the city. Traffickers have been there for years,” Rio de Janeiro state security chief José Beltrame told reporters.

The occupation follows a wave of attacks on police posts in favela that had been occupied under Rio's so-called “pacification” program launched in 2008 to expel drug gangs to make the city safer ahead of the World Cup and the 2016 Olympic games.

The backlash heightened concerns about security and law and order during the global sports events Brazil will host that its political leaders had hoped would showcase the emergence of a modern and prosperous nation.

President Dilma Rousseff agreed to a request from Rio's state governor for federal troops to be deployed in the more notorious slums ringing Rio during the World Cup.

9 comments Feed

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1 ilsen (#) Mar 31st, 2014 - 01:23 pm Report abuse
Scary place to be hosting the Footie.

Wonder what will happen after the tournament?
2 Captain Poppy (#) Mar 31st, 2014 - 01:33 pm Report abuse
It's comical if it were not sad the read:
“troops occupied a massive favela next to Rio de Janeiro's international airport without firing a shot”

When you are talking about your own country. This no doubt will make the fans of fubol fell more secure as tourist. I suspect now rather than convoys, armed escorts and flak jackets....they can drop the convoys and go to the events on their own time.
3 yankeeboy (#) Mar 31st, 2014 - 02:39 pm Report abuse
I don't see how Brazilians could ever consider themselves civilized while they have these massive slums.
They'll never be able to pull themselves out of the muck with this much poverty and uneducated underclass.
4 Condorito (#) Mar 31st, 2014 - 05:06 pm Report abuse
Faca na Caveira e nada na carteira.
5 Rufus (#) Apr 01st, 2014 - 09:34 am Report abuse
Got to be said those “armored cars” do look an awful lot like APCs rather than armoured cars.

That's got to be rough on the tracks and the road surface.
6 Brasileiro (#) Apr 01st, 2014 - 10:57 am Report abuse
I go twice a year to the United States. Every time I find myself amazed at the amount of poverty that I see.
Worse, I see malnourished people starving in the streets. New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas has a lot of poverty and prostitution.
A shame for a country that says rich.

Rich is a handful of Wall Street speculators who suck the energy of the nation.

Not impressed me with those plywood houses. When I beat, I cross the walls.
Fat people smelling bad and only eat crap. Definitely the North-American people is poor!
7 yankeeboy (#) Apr 01st, 2014 - 12:01 pm Report abuse
6. Methinks you are fibbing a bit. Our homeless are fat not starving.
I am sure our poverty does amaze you since even the poorest in the USA have more resources than your middle class.
We also do not have shoeless filthy kids begging at street corners like you do in Brazil. And prostitutes for gosh sakes you must never have been to Rio!

The USA must be the only country in the world with fat homeless!
Also why are you vacationing in the poor areas? We don't have homeless in touristy areas at least not the ones I go to.

Plus most of our homeless are crazy, they want to be out in the streets. There are tons of gov't and charities that will rehabilitate, feed and cloth them if they wanted to take advantage of the system.
8 Captain Poppy (#) Apr 01st, 2014 - 03:38 pm Report abuse
yankee let's ask him for some details on the airports he flew into. Like customs areas in JFK......or Miami. But still I wait for his response as to why he vacations in the slums. Do you suppose he was homesick?
9 Jack Bauer (#) Apr 01st, 2014 - 04:28 pm Report abuse
Great visiting card for the world cup tourists...if they get through the war zone into the centre of Rio, they can be considered winners ...
@1 Ilsen...after the tournament ? well, not difficult to imagine....it'll all go back to the shit it is now.
@6 Yankeeboy, you are being very generous with this asshole called Brasileiro...he is an outright liar...he's never been out of his own slum, far less Brazil....it's obvious he's never travelled to the US...at most, he's seen one of the many films in Youtube focusing on Detroit...and in his limited, stupid mind, has generalized. That is the problem of giving access to a tool like the internet to a fool like Brasileiro, when he is obviously not educated enough or prepared to use it properly.

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