Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Brazil police ‘in control’ of Rio gang stronghold

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on November 26, 2010

by Julia Carneiro for The BBC News, November 26th, 2010.

Police in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, say they now have total control of the Vila Cruzeiro shanty town, as they continue a crackdown on violent drug gangs. Security forces earlier deployed armoured vehicles, transporting armed police, into Vila Cruzeiro, in the north of the city. The offensive comes after five days of clashes which have killed at least 30 people. Eight people of those were killed in Thursday’s push, authorities said.

In response to the police operation gangs have been setting up barricades, burning vehicles and opening fire, officials said. Officials said that drug traffickers had regrouped in Vila Cruzeiro after being expelled from other shanty towns in the city. Jose Beltrame, the state’s Public Safety Director, said state police would receive additional support from federal law enforcement, in order to hold on to Vila Cruzeiro.

He told reporters that police were in Vila Cruzeiro, “and we’re not leaving”. Some 17,500 police officers have been deployed to try to stop the violence. According to the government most of the victims of the violence are drug dealers, reports the BBC’s Julia Carneiro in Rio de Janeiro. But innocent people have also been killed, including a 14-year-old girl and a 62-year-old lady, our correspondent adds. (continue reading… )

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