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PICS | ‘I solely had time to take my kids out again’ – resident recounts lethal Rio favela drug raid


  • The dying toll means it was the deadliest police operation within the historical past, in keeping with investigators.
  • Residents reported seeing corpses mendacity on the pavement in swimming pools of blood, and quite a few our bodies being taken out in an armored police automobile.
  • Police mentioned the operation focused a gang suspected of recruiting kids and youngsters for drug trafficking, robberies, assaults and murders.

An enormous police operation in opposition to drug traffickers in a Brazilian favela on Thursday left 25 folks useless, turning the impoverished Rio de Janeiro neighborhood right into a battlefield and drawing condemnation from rights teams.

A policeman was amongst these killed within the early morning raid on Jacarezinho, on Rio’s north aspect, the place residents awoke to explosions, heavy gunfire and helicopters overhead.

Police confirmed the toll – and investigators mentioned it was the deadliest police operation within the historical past of Rio de Janeiro state.

Police recognized the opposite 24 useless as “suspects” and mentioned all protocols had been adopted earlier than officers opened fireplace, however rights teams and teachers cried foul.

“Who’re the useless? Younger black males. That is why the police discuss ’24 suspects.’ Being a younger, black favela resident routinely makes you a suspect to the police. They only preserve piling up our bodies and saying, ‘They’re all criminals,'” mentioned Silvia Ramos, head of the Safety Observatory at Candido Mendes College.

“Is that this the general public safety coverage we would like? Shootouts, killings and police massacres?” she instructed AFP.

Residents stroll alongside a road throughout a police operation in opposition to alleged drug traffickers on the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Mauro Pimentel/AFP)

Giant teams of closely armed police could possibly be seen streaming into the favela as frightened residents tentatively went about their enterprise as soon as the gunfire died down, AFP journalists mentioned.

Residents reported seeing corpses mendacity on the pavement in swimming pools of blood, and quite a few our bodies being taken out in an armored police automobile, a area people chief instructed AFP, asking that his title not be revealed for security causes.

At the very least two folks had been wounded when the subway automobile they had been driving in was apparently caught within the crossfire throughout the operation, information web site G1 reported.

View of the scene where an alleged drug trafficker

View of the scene the place an alleged drug trafficker was reportedly killed by civil police in Jacarezinho favela, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Mauro Pimentel/AFP)

TV community GloboNews confirmed aerial pictures of armed suspects fleeing from one residence to a different within the densely packed neighborhood throughout the raid, passing what seemed like high-powered rifles from hand at hand.

“Sadly, there have been many clashes within the space. There’s nothing to rejoice with this toll,” one police official instructed a press convention, including that the officer killed was shot within the head.

Rights teams and residents later inspected the homes focused – some had blood stains and harm from the shootout.

Youngster foot troopers

Police mentioned the operation focused a gang suspected of recruiting kids and youngsters for drug trafficking, robberies, assaults and murders.

Residents walk along a street during a police oper

Residents stroll alongside a road throughout a police operation in opposition to alleged drug traffickers on the Jacarezinho favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Mauro Pimentel/AFP)

They mentioned the sting grew out of a surveillance operation that obtained a warrant to wire-tap suspects’ communications.

That led them to establish 21 gang members “answerable for making certain the gang’s territorial dominance,” they mentioned.

The group “had arrange a war-style construction with lots of of ‘troopers’ geared up with rifles, pistols, grenades, bulletproof vests, camouflage fatigues and different army equipment,” they added.

The neighborhood is taken into account a base for the Comando Vermelho, or Purple Command, the long-lasting seashore metropolis’s greatest drug gang.

Nonetheless, rights activists questioned why recruiting minors — a typical follow amongst Brazilian gangs — would result in such a lethal operation.

There have been additionally questions in regards to the timing: The operation got here regardless of a Supreme Court docket ruling barring police from finishing up raids in Brazil’s impoverished favelas throughout the coronavirus pandemic besides in “completely distinctive circumstances.”

One resident instructed AFP {that a} younger man had been killed in her dwelling, the place he had sought refuge after being wounded.

“The boy had been shot when he arrived right here, and as no resident of this neighborhood will kick out one other, he stayed. However the police noticed blood and got here in shouting: ‘The place is he? The place is he?'” the girl mentioned.

“I solely had time to take my kids out again… they killed him within the room.”

‘Predictable consequence’

Rio, a metropolis of 6.7 million folks, is infamous for its violence.

Rio de Janeiro state was positioned below army intervention in 2018 in a bid to rein within the violence, which features a troubled historical past of lethal police shootings.

Final yr, not less than 1 245 folks had been killed by police within the state, in keeping with ISP, Rio’s public safety institute.

That was down from a document 1 814 police killings in 2019, however nonetheless larger than, for instance, the 1 127 folks killed by police final yr throughout all the United States.

“It’s unacceptable that Rio de Janeiro’s public safety coverage continues to guess on killing as a method,” mentioned the Igarape Institute, a assume tank.

Robert Muggah, the institute’s co-founder, mentioned the lethal raid was “the predictable consequence of years of belligerent tough-on-crime rhetoric” from pro-gun, far-right leaders together with President Jair Bolsonaro and Rio’s just lately impeached governor, Wilson Witzel.


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