Brazil: Police operation kills 18 in Rio Favela

Of the 18 dead, a police spokesman said, 16 were “suspected of belonging to criminal gangs, another a resident of a favela, and another a 38-year-old police officer.” Police at a press conference.

The Office of the Defender of Rights and the Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association, separately, told AFP that they had information about the killing of 20 people, including the policeman and the woman.

The death of the 50-year-old named Leticia Marinho de Sils is still under investigation. “We don’t know how it happened,” said Col. Rogerio Lobaso, the military police officer for the operation, after lamenting.

A man impersonating the 50-year-old’s friend told the G1 news website that police shot the car they were in. “There was a policeman at a red light, we stopped. But they still shot at the car. I saw it fall on my side. When I looked at it, it had a hole in the chest,” Denilson Gloria said.

For his part, President Jair Bolsonaro expressed his sorrow for the death of policeman Bruno de Paula Costa, without mentioning the other deceased. “He died after a clash with bandits,” the far-right head of state said during his traditional presentation on social media, as he also complained about the supposed legal difficulties authorities had to carry out operations in slums.

About 400 members of the security forces, with several armored vehicles and four planes, participated in this sprawling clan to confront a gang specialized in stealing goods and money transport vehicles.

Residents complained to local media about the police operation, during which homes were reportedly broken into.

The “expansionist policy” of gangs

Testimonies collected by the G1 group show an intense shootout between authorities and criminals. Some videos posted by netizens show an explosion of shooting at a police helicopter.

A law enforcement vehicle drives past residents carrying a dead body during a police operation at the Complexo de Alemão favela in Rio de Janeiro, July 21, 2022. Agence France-Presse / Mauro Pimentel.

The authorities said their units were “violently attacked” by “army and guerrilla” tactics during the operation, and accused some suspected criminals of using civilians as human shields.

“The police must act to protect themselves and the population,” Fabricio Oliveira, Coordinator of the Special Civil Police Unit (CORE), commented during the press conference. He described the operation as “symbolic” because it took place in an area traditionally off-limits to law enforcement and where criminals from other Brazilian states find refuge.

Ronaldo Oliveira, the civilian police operations agent, said he would have preferred if the officers had “caught 15 or 14 (the presumed criminals were shot), but unfortunately they chose to shoot the police officers”.

The authorities had previously made it clear that the aim of the operation was to curb the “expansionist policy” of the Complexo de Alemão gangs in “various points in the state of Rio de Janeiro”.

Residents carry a body during a police operation at the Complexo de Alemão favela in Rio de Janeiro, July 21, 2022. Agence France-Presse / Mauro Pimentel.

Rio State Military Police claimed on Twitter that “criminals” from the Complexo de Alemão set fire to barricades and oiled public streets and attacked officers to make the operation more difficult so they could escape.

This is the second high-profile police operation in the Carioca favela in recent months, after the one in May in Villa Cruzeiro, which claimed 25 lives, including 23 suspects.

Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the state of Rio in February to come up with a plan to avoid such heavy losses, and the strategy was presented in March, but human rights organizations, which often condemn alleged extrajudicial executions during this type of operation, considered it She is the other. mysterious.

In 2021, 1,356 people were killed by police forces in this state, the highest number of dead and injured in clashes in Brazil, according to Monitor da Violencia.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.