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Brazilian police raid slum areas in Rio do Janeiro; claims of police brutality

Monday, October 7th 2013 - 17:37 UTC
Full article 8 comments
“It's one more step in the direction of peace,” said Rio de Janeiro governor Sergio Cabral. “It's one more step in the direction of peace,” said Rio de Janeiro governor Sergio Cabral.
The so-called Police Pacification Units aim to wrest control of favelas from drug gangs The so-called Police Pacification Units aim to wrest control of favelas from drug gangs

Brazilian police poured into a dozen slum areas of Rio de Janeiro over the weekend continuing a drive to pacify the poor neighborhoods despite accusations of police brutality that have called the tactic into question.

Backed by Brazilian marines in armoured vehicles, more than 1,000 police poured into a dozen of the slum neighborhoods in northern Rio just after dawn, meeting no resistance.

“It's one more step in the direction of peace,” said Rio de Janeiro governor Sergio Cabral. After sweeping through the area, police began going house to house to conduct searches and question suspects.

“That population has been clamoring for this for a long time,” Rio Police Chief Jose Mariano Beltrame said.

The deployment of so-called Police Pacification Units aims to wrest control of poor hillside neighborhoods from drug gangs and bring down violent crime in the city that will play host to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.

But the police tactics have come under scrutiny after 10 members of one pacification unit were arrested this week for the torture and killing of a bricklayer who disappeared in July from Rocinha, the city's largest favela with 70,000 inhabitants.

Amarildo de Souza's disappearance set off protests by outraged residents demanding authorities explain what happened to him. His body has not been found, but investigators say he was tortured to death by members of a pacification unit who were seen on a surveillance tape taking him into custody.

Police inspector Ellen Souto, who is heading the police probe into the death, said 22 other people have alleged they also were tortured with electric shocks and hot wax.

Cabral, under attack over the police scandal, defended the pacification units, UPP.

“I lament the conduct of those police officers, which was abominable, but without a doubt it will not be a mark against the UPP,” he said. He added investigations of crimes like De Souza's disappearance was only possible when communities were pacified.

“How many crimes went unpunished before the police's arrival in the hillsides,” he asked.
 

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • Brasileiro

    Messing with people's lives is painful. But there is no other alternative. Blacks, whites and mestizos should obey the same gentleman, Brazil. Sorry, but it's true. And continue charging the state for better education and health. I love you all and I give my life to save yours. AMOR E PAZ!

    Oct 07th, 2013 - 06:04 pm 0
  • Conqueror

    All seems a bit hopeless. Can't see Brazil managing to complete all the stadiums, already well behind, extend and widen existing runways together with new ones and put in all the necessary infrastructure by 2014. Then there will be all the refurbishment after the World Cup and before the Olympics. And pacify the population as well. Brazil more off than chew it has bitten?

    Oct 07th, 2013 - 06:35 pm 0
  • golfcronie

    @2
    On the other thread Brasileiro said not to go to Brazil, he is right , nobody in their right mind should go. Give me Blackpool any day, clean and not expensive.

    Oct 07th, 2013 - 06:46 pm 0
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