Brazilian Police Storm Rio Slums In Preparation For Soccer

Brazilian Police Storm Rio Slums In Preparation For Soccer


By Brendan Oliver Bergh Impunity Watch Reporter, South America

BRASILIA, Brazil – The allure of the world cup draws near, and Brazil has taken drastic actions to prepare Rio de Janeiro before crowds and crowds of people descend upon the city. After the relative success of past military incursions into the favelas, or to put it more aptly, slums of Rio, police, tanks and military units stormed multiple favelas over the past months in order to reestablish control over the population.

Brazilian police and military storm Rio’s slums in order to pacify the areas before the World Cup arrives next year. (Photo Courtesy of AFP)

Previously drug backed gangs took control of the slums and the people languished in poverty without access to many basic necessities. Since the military occupation, spokesmen claim that the pacification has benefited over 400,000 impoverished people, with another 1.1 million people left that could still benefit. The overall plan is to provide social services and improve the quality of care of those at risk while quashing any illegal activity that could harm their reputation when FIFA and the Olympic Committee arrive to assess the suitability of Brazils shinning gem that is Rio de Janeiro.

The operation which began in earnest back in January, represents a massive shift to clean up the slums. Early last week, a Brazilian Police force supported by military tanks and helicopters stormed gang occupied slums near Rio’s international airport. Fortunately most of the pacification incursions have gone without a hitch. The police have taken to celebrate their victories by raising the Rio’s and Brazil’s flags on the roofs of buildings, symbolizing the end of the drug traffickers dominion over the impoverished parts of the city.

Critics of the operation state that while the pacification program is effective, the favelas targeted are not the poorest areas, and are simply focused on areas that would be popular during the World Cup and the Olympic Games. Civilians living within the favelas have had different reactions to the pacification. Some note that while there is less major crime, petty crime has increases as they no longer fear retaliation from local crime bosses.

After the pacification of the controlling gangs, staff from Rio’s municipal authority could start entering the areas safely without fear, and begun implementation of new social services, such as schools, healthcare centers and trash collection. Eduara La Rocque, president of the Instituto Pereira Passos has noted that there are over 150 new schools within the favelas as well as formalizing the area into the confines of Rio’s boundaries and maps. Ms. Law Rocque has hoped to implement many new training courses so the previously disenfranchised can acquire legitimate work experience in the future.

However because of the lack of resistance from drug traffickers many believe that the gangs have simply been relocating to other favelas, or to towns outside Rio, effectively just spreading out the problem.


Brazilian police occupies 13 slums


Operation ended “without a shot”, welcomed the head of the military police Frederico Caldas.

A special operations group of the Brazilian police began an operation at dawn on Sunday in 13 favelas of Complexo do Caju and Vasco barrier, close to the airport and the port of Rio de Janeiro.

1600 men participated in the operation, with helicopter support. The operation took place without major problems, with the arrest of six people.

“The operation was a success, this important area was taken without having been fired a shot,” said Frederico Caldas, military police, TV Globo.

Three hours after the start of the operation, the police raised the flags of Brazil and to show that they had finished the domain, decades of armed drug trafficking gangs.

This operation is part of the program of pacification of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro that began in 2008 and there are already 30 slums “pacified”. But critics of the measure say there are more than 600 favelas in Rio and that the program focuses in the richest areas and that may be popular during the football World Cup 2014, hosted by Brazil, and the 2016 Olympics, will compete in Rio.


3 thoughts on “Brazilian Police Storm Rio Slums In Preparation For Soccer

  1. Pingback: Brazilian Police Storm Rio Slums In Preparation For Soccer … - Jornal do Brasil

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